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Steiner: British GP the toughest day yet for Haas F1

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Haas Formula 1 team principal Guenther Steiner called Sunday “toughest day since we started this adventure” after a difficult British Grand Prix.

Haas drivers Romain Grosjean and Esteban Gutierrez were hopeful of points after qualifying 13th and 14th respectively at Silverstone on Saturday.

However, Grosjean was forced to retire after 17 laps due to a loss of drive, while Gutierrez was the last car running on-track, one lap down in 16th place.

“For sure, it’s been our toughest day since we started this adventure,” Steiner said after the race.

“There were a few issues today. When we double stopped, we had a problem with the tire change on Esteban’s car.

“Then we had the power go down on all our systems. We didn’t have any GPS maps, so we didn’t know when to call them in and when not. Then Romain had a transmission failure ending his race.

“You always learn from your mistakes. We’ll work on getting ready for Hungary now, but we have to do better again.”

Despite not finishing the race, Grosjean was able to take some positives from the weekend.

“Well, the weekend didn’t end positively as we had a technical issue in the race, forcing our retirement,” Grosjean said.

“We were very slow on intermediate tires. That’s something we need to work on and understand.

“On a positive note, the car felt good on the high-speed corners, and qualifying was very tight. We almost made it to Q3, so that was great.

“We’ve had a lot of learning opportunities again this weekend. We have to take that as a positive. I’m very much looking forward to going to Hungary now.

“Our biggest challenge will be to get our tires to work, but when they do, the car feels very good.”

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.”