Vettel moves to third on all-time F1 wins list

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Sebastian Vettel’s victory in Sunday’s Singapore Grand Prix saw him move clear into third place on the all-time wins list in Formula 1.

Heading into the weekend, Vettel had ranked joint-third on 41 victories alongside three-time F1 champion Ayrton Senna, who is widely recognized as being one of the greatest drivers in the history of the sport.

Senna was a great source of inspiration to Lewis Hamilton, who was looking to tie with the Brazilian and Vettel on 41 wins in Singapore.

However, as Mercedes failed to put up any kind of fight for the race win, it was Vettel who came away from Singapore having made history with his 42nd victory.

Vettel’s next target is Alain Prost, who won 51 races throughout his career to rank second on the all-time list, but Michael Schumacher’s existing record of 91 wins is one that the German finds daunting.

“I think, to be honest, Prost’s is in sight somehow,” Vettel said. “I’m 28 so I’m not the youngest any more especially if the kids start racing at 17 now.

“But Michael’s is just ridiculous: number of wins, number of poles, number of fastest laps. I think all the statistics you can go for you compare yourself to him or anyone to him, so I think that’s far away.

“So if you have 23 corners in Singapore, I consider myself being in turn one and Michael in turn 23. I’m not really looking at that.

“I’m having a great time. I think I can consider myself very lucky and blessed the way things have turned out. I’ve always had a more or less competitive car, competitive team, so if it keeps going that way then I can consider myself very lucky.”

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.”