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Report: Haas says he had “too much time” to prep for F1

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There’s two songs on Pink Floyd’s incomparable “Dark Side of the Moon” that are relevant regardless of the time, place, era or situation.

They are “Time” and “Money.”

And in Formula 1, generally speaking, you never seem to have enough of either.

Which is what makes Gene Haas’ comments about having “too much time” all the more abnormal to hear or read, especially as a new entrant into the sport.

But Haas claims that given there’s been nearly a full two years of laying the groundwork for Haas F1 Team’s 2016 debut, he’s almost had more time than he figured he would need to get everything sorted.

“We had too much time, actually,” Haas told Autosport.

“We probably had maybe three months more than what we really needed. But that provided us with the time to look at all the things we needed to order in, things like the technical trailers – it takes almost a year to build them all.

“That time gave us a benefit you don’t normally get.”

He added how the extra time has allowed him to get its Banbury factory, formerly Manor’s, fully updated and swapped out of past machinery.

All told, these are bold comments, because new teams in F1 generally don’t have it easy, and seem to run more on borrowed time than anything else.

Of the three newest teams in F1 that premiered in 2010, only Manor – initially Manor before morphing into Virgin, then Marussia, then back to Manor – still exists. Caterham and HRT are defunct.

USF1 of course never made it out of neutral to a single Grand Prix, and remains an inglorious mark in the checkered history between F1 and the U.S. market. It did live on though in a series of cartoons and bad toaster jokes.

Gene Haas is a smart man and he wouldn’t have the money he does to make this dream into reality if he didn’t know how to allocate the dollars – and the time – properly.

But I hope one day he doesn’t find that 10 years have got behind him, and if no one told him when to run, he misses the starting gun at Melbourne.

In other words, we hope the words don’t come back to bite him if the team launch isn’t as good as we all hope.

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.”