Sainz enjoys taking the fight to Ferrari, Williams at Silverstone

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Carlos Sainz Jr. was pleased with eighth place in Sunday’s British Grand Prix after taking the fight to the Ferrari, Williams and Force India drivers at Silverstone.

Sainz started seventh for Toro Rosso and managed to hold onto the position as the track dried and drivers made the switch from wet to slick tires.

Sainz briefly got ahead of Ferrari’s Kimi Raikkonen for P6, but was unable to hold back the Finn after running wide at Turn 1 on the damp patches.

Force India’s Nico Hulkenberg also got past Sainz, leaving the Spaniard to settle for eighth at the flag.

Nevertheless, Sainz was delighted with the result, having taken the fight to many quicker teams with his Toro Rosso car.

“[It was a] good day. The first half was amazing for me,” Sainz told NBCSN after the race.

“Lots of battling in the mixed conditions. Managed to get past Raikkonen, [I] was catching up. But it was so hard in Turn 1. Then I had to come down a bit.

“In the end P8 is very good. We’re happy to take it to Williams and Ferrari. The Force Indias though were a bit too good for us.”

The race started behind the safety car due to the damp conditions, but parts of the track remained wet throughout the grand prix.

“It was very, very tricky because there were some wet patches,” Sainz said.

“Turn 1 and the last two corners had a bunch of wet patches. Doesn’t allow you to feel much grip.

“Then I lost the car when I was a bit too quick! Had to reset the confidence.”

Toro Rosso teammate Daniil Kvyat finished the race 10th, battling from 15th on the grid to pick up the final point on offer at Silverstone.

“We fought our way back to the points. Felt I deserved more this weekend on my side of the garage,” Kvyat told NBCSN.

“We stuck the medium after the start, then went to the end with no major issues. Our pace was comparable for Ferrari. Many things to analyze but it wasn’t so bad.

“Mixed feelings about the start [behind the safety car]. One part was OK, but a couple places where the standing water was massive.”

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.”