Alonso unconcerned about racing in Barcelona following pre-season accident

Leave a comment

MONTMELO – Fernando Alonso has no concerns about racing at the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya this weekend despite suffering an accident at the circuit during pre-season testing that forced him to miss the first race of the 2015 Formula 1 season.

Whilst testing for McLaren in Barcelona in February, Alonso suffered a bizarre accident at turn three on the circuit, with a number of different reasons being given for the crash.

The end result was that Alonso had to spend three days in hospital, and was advised by his doctors to miss the opening race of the year in Australia in the middle of March.

Speaking ahead of his home event in Spain on Sunday, Alonso said that he had no concerns about returning to the track and is relishing the chance to race in front of his fans.

“No concerns,” Alonso said. “That was an accident that happened three months ago and unfortunately it was a little bit longer to recover.

“The impact was a little bit unlucky and it put me one month out of the car. But yeah, coming back here with full confidence and full motivation to do well, to perform and to deliver a good result in front of the home crowd.”

Alonso revealed that he is taking the hospital staff that cared for him out for dinner at the end of the race weekend to say thank you for their work and support earlier this yeah.

“The week that I was in the hospital, I had some of the best staff I could imagine,” he said. “They were so kind to me and I plan to have dinner with them, probably on Sunday.

“I’m staying here on Monday for one event with a sponsor, so Sunday night after all the stress and the race has passed, I will have dinner with all of them.”

McLaren is due to bring a number of updates to the race in Spain for the MP4-30 that could give Alonso and teammate Jenson Button a chance to score their first points of the season after a difficult start to 2015.

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

Helio Castroneves IMSA IndyCar
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.”