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Force India to launch VJM10 Formula 1 car on February 22

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Force India has confirmed that it will launch its new Formula 1 car, the VJM10, at Silverstone on February 22.

Force India enjoyed its best season to date in F1 last year, finishing fourth in the constructors’ championship with Sergio Perez leading its charge for much of the season, picking up two podium finishes.

Perez will be joined by new teammate Esteban Ocon for 2017, the Frenchman replacing Nico Hulkenberg following his decision to move to Renault.

Perez and Ocon will unveil Force India’s new car for 2017, the VJM10, at Silverstone in the UK on February 22, as confirmed by the team on Thursday.

“Give in to excitement – we will launch our 2017 season in Silverstone on the 22nd of February!” the team wrote on its website.

“We have a lot in store for that day, so watch this space (and our social media accounts, too) for more information on how to fully enjoy the start of this new season.

“With a new driver line-up, new regulations and a renewed hunger to build on our most successful season ever, it’s time to Feel the Force again!”

Force India’s launch is the third to be announced by an F1 team ahead of the new season, with Mercedes set to unveil the W08 Hybrid on February 23, one day before Ferrari takes the covers off its new car at Fiorano.

Pre-season testing begins at the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya on February 27.

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.”