Report: Chilton in F1 talks with Haas, but remains unsure about chances

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Max Chilton has revealed that he is one of the ten drivers in the running to race for Haas F1 Team in 2016, but is unsure about his chances of securing a seat with the outfit headed up by NASCAR team co-owner Gene Haas.

Chilton spent two years in Formula 1 with Marussia F1 Team, making his final appearance at the 2014 Russian Grand Prix before the operation financially collapsed.

The Briton has since raced for Nissan’s LMP1 team and also become a race winner in Indy Lights with Carlin, but he is not giving up on his F1 dream.

Speaking to Sky Sports News in the UK, Chilton confirmed that he had held talks with Haas about a possible drive in 2016.

“I’ve definitely put my foot in the door and we’ve had a few chats,” Chilton said.

“I think they came out a few weeks ago and said they were talking to ten drivers so I am definitely one of those.”

However, Chilton believes that Haas’ strong ties with Ferrari will result in one of the race seats going to a driver associated with the Italian marque.

“I’d love the chance, but I have a strong feeling that it is going to be one young Ferrari driver, because it is hugely a Ferrari project,” Chilton said.

“They have Ferrari engines and are using their wind tunnel. And I hear they want an experienced driver.”

Esteban Gutierrez is the favorite to secure a drive with Haas given his previous experience in F1 and current reserve role with Ferrari, but the likes of Nico Hulkenberg, Jean-Eric Vergne and Alexander Rossi are also thought to be in the running for a seat.

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.”