Alguersuari to miss upcoming Formula E season amid medical concerns

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Jaime Alguersuari has confirmed that he will take no part in the second FIA Formula E season as he awaits a diagnosis following a faint earlier this year.

Alguersuari pulled out of the final round of the inaugural Formula E season in London on medical grounds after fainting in the aftermath of the Moscow ePrix, resulting in the suspension of his race license.

The ex-F1 driver had competed in every race up to that point with Virgin Racing, recording four points finishes. He would ultimately end the season 13th in the final drivers’ standings.

In a statement issued on Thursday, Alguersuari confirmed that he was still awaiting a final diagnosis for his faint, and as this had not been resolved, he would not be taking any part in the second Formula E season.

“As you well know, last June I suffered a fainting episode after the Moscow ePrix,” Alguersuari said. “As a consequence of this faint, my license to race was temporarily suspended because the FIA commission wanted to delve into medical research.

“During the month of July, I underwent several tests for which there has not been a medical resolution and I am still waiting for the final diagnosis.

“For this reason I need to announce that, unfortunately, I will not be able to take part in the FIA Formula E Championship for the 2015/16 season with my team DS Virgin Racing.

“I want to wish good luck to the team in the new championship and thank everyone for their support.

“In September I will announce my future plans. Until then, happy summer to all!”

Alguersuari has become the second driver this week to confirm that he will not be returning to Formula E for season two. Karun Chandhok is turning his attention to sportscars after a difficult first season in the electric-powered series.

Virgin replaced Alguersuari with 2013 GP2 champion Fabio Leimer in London, and the Swiss driver may be a possible option for the start of season two in Beijing this October.

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.”