Villeneuve: Leaving Ferrari may have ended Alonso’s career

16 Comments

1997 Formula 1 world champion Jacques Villeneuve believes that Fernando Alonso was wrong to leave Ferrari for McLaren, and that the move could be career-ending.

Alonso left Ferrari at the end of last year after five unfulfilled years that failed to produce a third world championship that many had expected to follow upon his move to Maranello in 2010.

The Spaniard opted to rejoin McLaren for 2015, whom he spent one turbulent year with in 2007. However, the team has suffered its worst ever start to a Formula 1 season due to a variety of problems with its Honda power unit.

Speaking to Spanish newspaper AS, Villeneuve made his thoughts on Alonso’s move clear, believing it to be a huge mistake.

“Leaving Ferrari clearly is a mistake,” the Canadian said. “He could have spent three or four more years at the Italian team, and then retire, or go to McLaren if he wanted to win with them like in 2007 or whatever.

“I do not think he can afford to take risks. With this move may have ended his career. He may not win titles or even races.

“I hope things change, but I do not think it was a good choice.”

Villeneuve also hit out at Manor Marussia F1 Team’s revival over the winter, saying that the team should not be on the grid if it cannot be competitive.

“The teams is not worthy of F1,” he said. “It is better to be in GP2 or World Series and maybe be ahead.

“This is an expensive sport and you must be competitive.”

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

Helio Castroneves IMSA IndyCar
IMSA
Leave a comment

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.”