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Wolff: British GP brought out the best in Formula 1

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Mercedes chief Toto Wolff believes that Sunday’s British Grand Prix at Silverstone brought out the very best in Formula 1 as Lewis Hamilton swept to a popular home victory.

The race started behind the safety car after a rain shower in the lead up to lights out, with the damp track offering a challenge to all of the drivers.

Hamilton managed to keep his cool and score a third consecutive victory at Silverstone, with Mercedes teammate Nico Rosberg eventually being classified P3 after a post-race penalty.

“This afternoon was Formula 1 at its best,” Wolff said.

“Probably the best fans in the world, a wet-dry race, loads of incidents and overtaking, and a fantastic home winner at the end of it all.”

Wolff heaped praise upon Hamilton after seeing the Briton dominate proceedings at his home grand prix.

“On days like this, Lewis is unstoppable,” Wolff said. “He pulled the gap in the early laps, we made the perfect call on the strategy, then he controlled the race from there. He was calm all day, had everything under control and just nailed the race. Brilliant.

“For Nico, it was a bit trickier: running in the spray in the wet always costs lap time, then he had a long battle with Max [Verstappen].

“He lost out on the intermediates, but then was able to hunt him down after switching to the dry tyres and pulled off a great outside move into Stowe, one of the fastest points on the circuit.

“In the final laps, he was stuck in seventh gear, which was clearly a critical problem that would have resulted in failure.”

Mercedes responded to this issue by giving Rosberg instructions over the radio, which were deemed to be in breach of the sporting regulations, resulting in a 10-second time penalty for the German.

As a result, Rosberg will arrive in Budapest for the Hungarian Grand Prix later this month just one point clear of Hamilton in the drivers’ championship.

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.”