Hamilton dedicates Canadian GP victory to Muhammad Ali

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Lewis Hamilton dedicated his win in Sunday’s Canadian Grand Prix to Muhammad Ali following the legendary boxer’s death last week at the age of 74.

Hamilton fended off Ferrari’s Sebastian Vettel to clinch his fifth Formula 1 win in Montreal on Sunday, cutting the gap to Mercedes teammate and drivers’ championship Nico Rosberg leader Nico Rosberg to nine points in the process.

After crossing the line, Hamilton quipped one of Ali’s most famous quotes over the radio while celebrating before dedicating the victory to one of his heroes.

Upon getting out of his car before the podium ceremony, Hamilton did the ‘Ali Shuffle’ before going to celebrate with his Mercedes team.

Hamilton spoke about his performance on the podium with actor Michael Douglas, explaining the poor start that saw him fall behind Vettel before forcing Rosberg wide at the first corner.

“Today I had another really bad start, I’m not quite sure why, I think overheating my clutch,” Hamilton said.

“Sebastian and Nico got quite a good run down to Turn 1, tires were cold, big understeer. I feel very grateful me and Nico didn’t damage anything on our cars.

“Otherwise, after that, I was just trying to chase [Vettel] down. He was so quick out there. The car felt fantastic, I think I got the setup just right with great work from the engineers and mechanics.

“I won my first grand prix here in 2007. This is just such a blessing.”

The result brings Hamilton back into the thick of the title fight, having cut Rosberg’s lead from 43 points to just nine in the space of two races.

“We’re gonna just take it one race at a time. There’s still work to do,” Hamilton said.

“We’re gonna continue to improve this car, there are a lot of races. We need to try and keep on a roll if possible. There’s a long old way to go.

“These guys are getting faster and faster, Ferrari and Red Bull. Collectively as a team we’re just going to keep our head down and keep working.

“I’m just overwhelmed with today. I remember when I was here nine years ago. It feels just as great as back then.”

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.”