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F1 teams stay on in Bahrain for first in-season test of 2017

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While Sunday’s Bahrain Grand Prix may have marked the completion of Formula 1’s first back-to-back of the year, all 10 teams are not on their way back to base just yet as they gear up for the opening in-season test of 2017.

In-season testing has been brought forward in 2017, with the traditional first two-day test being shifted from Barcelona to Bahrain.

Teams will enjoy track time on Tuesday and Wednesday at the Bahrain International Circuit, working to dial their cars in and evaluate any updates for introduction at the Russian Grand Prix on April 30.

All teams are required to allocate at least two days of their in-season running to young drivers (classified as those with no more than two F1 races to their name), with a further two days planned following the Hungarian Grand Prix at the start of August.

Ferrari is set to allocate one of its days in Bahrain to Pirelli tire running, helping to develop its 2018 compounds as part of a season-long program.

Here is who each team will be running in Bahrain over the next two days.

Mercedes
Tuesday: Lewis Hamilton
Wednesday: Valtteri Bottas

Ferrari
Tuesday: Antonio Giovinazzi
Wednesday: Sebastian Vettel

Red Bull
Tuesday: Daniel Ricciardo
Wednesday: Pierre Gasly

Force India
Tuesday: Alfonso Celis Jr.
Wednesday: Esteban Ocon (AM), Sergio Perez (PM)

Williams
Tuesday: Lance Stroll (AM), Felipe Massa (PM)
Wednesday: Gary Paffett

McLaren
Tuesday: Oliver Turvey
Wednesday: Stoffel Vandoorne

Toro Rosso
TBC

Haas
TBC

Renault
TBC

Sauber
Tuesday: Marcus Ericsson
Wednesday: Pascal Wehrlein

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.”