F1: Bernie Ecclestone says he’s “a little bit disappointed” with Sebastian Vettel’s attitude

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On the heels of a Formula One season that brought about the end of Sebastian Vettel’s reign at the top of the sport, F1 supremo Bernie Ecclestone has criticized the four-time World Champion for his attitude in 2014.

Vettel’s Red Bull Racing was severely hampered at the start of the year by an unreliable Renault engine, but his teammate, Daniel Ricciardo, was still able to squeeze out three Grand Prix wins and a third-place finish in the championship.

On the other side of the Red Bull garage, Vettel tumbled to fifth in the standings in a winless campaign and has now jumped to Ferrari, where he’ll look to help the Scuderia find its way again and rebuild his own reputation as one of the best drivers in the world.

Ecclestone has had a good relationship with Vettel over the years. But in his foreword to this year’s F1 season review, the boss doesn’t let that hold him back in his assessment of the German.

“I’m a super supporter of Sebastian, but I’m a little bit disappointed with his attitude, which I think has changed,” Ecclestone writes. “He’s acting like a defeated guy, and he isn’t — that’s not his mentality.”

The British billionaire also adds that he didn’t think that F1 “could have lived with another Red Bull year, any more than we could have lived with another [Michael] Schumacher year” – a reference to the not-too-distant dominant days of the seven-time champion.

Additionally, Ecclestone was thankful for the thrilling title duel this season between Mercedes men Lewis Hamilton and Nico Rosberg in that they were allowed to race each other straight-up – admitting that without such a battle, “we would have had a really lousy championship.”

“We’ve been extremely lucky with what happened, these two guys have been racing each other and it’s good that Mercedes has allowed them to do that,” he said on the subject. “…The reason I was originally campaigning for three races with double points was just in case.

“If we hadn’t been lucky with Nico and Lewis racing each other and one of them had got away and been dominant, the season would have been over by Silverstone.”

Helio Castroneves ‘hustling’ for IndyCar, IMSA rides; talking with four to five teams

Helio Castroneves IMSA IndyCar
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As his season gathers steam, Helio Castroneves said his prospects for finding new rides for 2021 in IMSA and IndyCar also are gaining momentum.

The three-time Indianapolis 500 winner said Monday he is optimistic about landing in either or perhaps a combination of both series when Team Penske and Acura end their DPi partnership after this season.

“A lot of people I spoke with, four to five teams, are interested,” Castroneves said. “Whether it’s doing Indy 500 only, whether it’s pushing to do full time or do the sports cars as well. It’s been a very nice conversation.

LOOKING AHEADTeam Penske drivers seeking new rides for 2021

“I have a lot of respect for all the teams that have been talking, and I feel the same feedback. We just have to wait for their (sponsor) connections, and I’m also looking for some connections on my side as well, so hopefully we’ll be able to put this together and get something very soon.”

Given two decades of success with Penske in IndyCar and IMSA, Castroneves’ resume hardly needs burnishing. But the Brazilian has combined with co-driver Ricky Taylor in the No. 7 Acura DPi to win the past two overall victories at Road America and Michelin Raceway Road Atlanta.

But Castroneves, who doesn’t have a manager, said he has been working the phones hard rather than wait for the strong results to bring in the calls.

“At this point, I feel like I’m the one who needs to be talking to them because people need to know I want to continue racing and understand my desire,” Castroneves, 45, said. “There is opportunity, no question, in both (IndyCar and IMSA), which I’m really happy about it. However, because of the COVID-19, a lot of things sometimes have to be a little delayed. But I’m excited. Whatever the opportunity and whatever destiny guides me, whether IndyCar or sports cars, trust me I’ll be as happy as it could be and doing my 100 percent like I always did.

“It’s like politics, you need to be out there, good news or bad news. People have to make notice of your presence. I’m hustling. I want to continue to keep it going. Hopefully, we’ll have good news very soon.”

The news has been all good lately on track for Castroneves and Taylor, who hope to continue their run Sunday at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course.

The No. 6 duo has surged to sixth in the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship standings, 10 points out of the lead with four races remaining. After thinking there was “no hope” to be competitive after opening the season with three consecutive poor finishes, Taylor now sees an opportunity for a happy ending.

“With the program going away, Helio has won all the big races and given so much back to the team and left such a mark, he’s really part of Penske history,” Taylor said. “For me, it’s been an opportunity of a lifetime to be a part of it. I’d like to leave my little mark as well. Helio has won everything except for a championship.

“Obviously, we’ve won races already together, but we can win a championship now. I think if both of us can do that together and both win our first championship for ‘The Captain,’ that would be an absolute dream come true, and we can tie a bow on it and be happy.”