Red Bull, Sauber confirm first Barcelona F1 test schedules

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Red Bull and Sauber have become the latest teams to confirm their running schedules for the first collective Formula 1 test of the year in Barcelona next week.

The first test commences at the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya on Monday, lasting until Thursday before more running is held the following week from Tuesday to Friday.

Red Bull lifted the covers off its new livery for 2016 in London earlier this week, which features a new matte design.

Daniel Ricciardo will get the first run in the RB12 car next week, taking its reins on Monday and Tuesday before handing over to Daniil Kvyat for the second half of the test.

Sauber will not debut its new car, the C35, until the second test, but will still attend the first four days of running with its 2015-spec car in the 2016 livery.

Marcus Ericsson will pilot the C34 on the first two days of running in Barcelona, with Felipe Nasr then taking over for days three and four.

Red Bull Racing Barcelona Test One Running Order

Monday February 22: Daniel Ricciardo
Tuesday February 23: Daniel Ricciardo
Wednesday February 24: Daniil Kvyat
Thursday February 25: Daniil Kvyat

Sauber F1 Team Test One Running Order

Monday February 22: Marcus Ericsson
Tuesday February 23: Marcus Ericsson
Wednesday February 24: Felipe Nasr
Thursday February 25: Felipe Nasr

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.”