Williams disappointed to leave Hungary without points

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Williams drivers Valtteri Bottas and Felipe Massa made no secret of their frustration after finishing outside of the points in an eventful Hungarian Grand Prix on Sunday.

Both drivers started the race inside the top ten, and although the tight and twisting nature of the Hungaroring did not play to the strengths of the FW37 car, the team still looked set to score some points in the race.

Massa’s day got off to a bad start when he lined up short of his grid slot for the beginning of the race, forcing the officials to call another formation lap.

The Brazilian was handed a five second stop go penalty for his misdemeanor, and struggled on the medium tire before finishing the race in 12th place.

“That was a really challenging day for us,” Massa said. “I got a penalty early on and then the medium tire in traffic didn’t work well for me at all, it was uphill from there on.

“As a team we walked away with no points, which is a blow for the championship, but something we now have to make up for.”

Bottas has been poised to finish in the points, but suffered a puncture after being hit by Max Verstappen following the safety car restart on lap 49. The Finn dropped through the order and was unable to recover, finishing 13th.

“It was a disappointing day to score no points,” Bottas said. “At the start of the race we were running in line with the pace of the car. There were plenty of opportunities to score well, but I suffered a puncture at the wrong time and from then on it was a struggle.

“It is important we move forward from this, have a good rest and arrive fresh and ready for Spa.”

In spite of its non-score, Williams remains third in the constructors’ championship, but did lose a further 25 points on Ferrari in second following Sebastian Vettel’s victory.

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.”