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FIA confirms Paris tribute ahead of Brazilian GP

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The FIA has confirmed that it will honor the victims of the Paris terrorist attacks during the drivers’ parade ahead of Sunday’s Brazilian Grand Prix.

Paris was hit by six separate but co-ordinated attacks on Friday night that is known to have claimed the lives of 127 people, with a further 200 wounded.

Lotus announced on Saturday that it would be racing with #PrayForParis written on both of its cars at Interlagos, and a tribute from the paddock is now set to take place during the drivers’ parade.

The ceremony for World Day of Remembrance for Road Traffic Victims will go ahead as planned.

“Because of the horrific terrorist attacks of 13 November in Paris, the ceremony to pay tribute to the casualties of road traffic accidents scheduled for the Brazilian Grand Prix within the framework of the World Day of Remembrance for Road Traffic Victims has been modified,” a statement from the FIA read.

“The drivers’ parade lap will see all competitors wearing a black armband as a sign of mourning and tribute to the victims of the Paris tragedy and as a gesture of solidarity with their families and loved ones.

“In addition, a French flag decorated with a black ribbon will be carried on the truck used during the drivers’ parade. The same flag will be displayed on the world television feed, as will ‘13.11.2015’, the date of the tragedy.

“Finally, a backdrop prepared for the World Day of Remembrance for Road Traffic Victims will be displayed behind the drivers on the grid at 13:45 local time for a minute of silence as a tribute to those who have lost their lives or have been injured in road traffic accidents.”

“We had already planned to do something tomorrow at the occasion of the day of celebrations for road victims,” FIA president Jean Todt told reporters in Brazil on Saturday.

“Every day on our streets, 3,500 people die. Every day there are 30 times more people who die than in the Paris assassinations.

“We had decided a minute of silence and of course we can’t ignore what happened in Paris. We will thus have a moment of attention for what happened in Paris.”

Helio Castroneves ‘hustling’ for IndyCar, IMSA rides; talking with four to five teams

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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.”