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Haryanto handed grid penalty after pit lane run-in with Grosjean

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Rio Haryanto has been handed a three-place grid penalty for his maiden Formula 1 race after clashing with Haas driver Romain Grosjean in the pit lane during practice in Australia on Saturday.

Haryanto and Grosjean collided at the beginning of FP3 in Melbourne as both moved into the ‘fast lane’ on pit road.

The collision prompted Haas to change the floor on Grosjean’s car and repair much of the front of his car, while Haryanto required a new front wing.

After the session, the stewards requested to see both drivers to clear up the incident, eventually deeming Haryanto to have been at fault.

“The driver of car 88 [Haryanto] left the team garage and did not pay attention to the approaching car which was in the fast lane,” a brief statement from the stewards read.

Haryanto was handed a three-place grid penalty, meaning he will start his first F1 race from last on the grid after qualifying 21st.

Haryanto also received two points on his FIA super license ahead of his grand prix debut, with drivers receiving a race ban if they accrue 12 at any time.

The Indonesian rookie felt frustrated after qualifying, having only been afforded a single lap in the session due to the new elimination knockout system.

“After the previous Q1 system of having 20 minutes to extract the best from the car and driver, it felt pretty strange to have such a short qualifying,” Haryanto said.

“Today we only had time for one lap. It wasn’t a bad lap either, but it also wasn’t perfect. I could have been quicker and that’s what we’ll have to work on but even with a tenth or so to play with we would still have been out of time.

“Still, I completed my first qualifying, learned a lot and my job is to keep improving in every area. Tomorrow is my first F1 race and I’m very excited for that. I’m sure we can have a better day.”

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.”