Christian Horner responds to speculation about his future

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Red Bull Racing team principal Christian Horner has responded to speculation that suggested he could be fired by calling it “total rubbish”.

The team is currently enduring something of a rough spell in F1, hitting a low ebb as it scored just one point at its home race in Austria last weekend.

According to a report in The Times, one rival team principal called Horner across the Austrian Grand Prix weekend to offer sympathy after hearing that he was set to be fired.

In an interview with Red Bull Racing’s official website this week, Horner dismissed the rumors about his future and underlined his intention to return the team to its former glories.

“Unfortunately in Formula 1 there are always rumours, and this is total rubbish,” Horner said.

“I’m fully committed to Red Bull and I love what I do. We’re working hard and my focus is trying to get the team back to where we were 18 months ago, that is where my focus is.”

Team owner Dietrich Mateschitz explained over the weekend in Austria how he was losing interest in F1 due to the current regulations in the sport, acting as the latest of numerous quit threats from Red Bull.

Horner has now moved to clarify Mateschitz’s comments, and said that the team was still working hard to fix both its own issues and those currently blighting the sport at the moment.

“The situation is quite clear, Dietrich Mateschitz made some comments over the weekend and it’s exactly how he feels,” Horner said.

“He is frustrated and he is frustrated with the show. He is a fan as well and as a fan he has put a huge amount of investment into the sport over the last few years and he wants to see the sport go back to its glory days and see it have the same appeal and attraction that Formula 1 has previously enjoyed.

“We’re working hard to try and help change things and from a team point of view, we want to be in a position where we can be competitive.

“At the moment we’re in a difficult position and hopefully we can turn that around. The intention is to be here and to sort out the issues in the sport and our own competitiveness.”

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.”