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Carey confident of keeping Singapore on F1 calendar for 2018

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Chase Carey is confident of keeping the Singapore Grand Prix on the Formula 1 calendar for 2018 as part of his push to grow the sport in Asia.

Carey took over from Bernie Ecclestone as F1’s CEO and chairman back in January after Liberty Media completed its $8 billion takeover of the sport.

Ecclestone said last November that Singapore was considering dropping its F1 race as it had fulfilled its purpose, with its existing contract set to expire after the 2017 event on September 17.

Neighboring Malaysia has already confirmed it will no longer be hosting F1 beyond this year, agreeing a deal with the sport’s management to end its contract one season early.

Speaking in a conference call with investors, Carey discussed the importance of keeping a foothold for F1 in Asia, making reference to Singapore and expressing his confidence that a deal could be struck.

“We are actively engaged on redoing Singapore, so we don’t expect Singapore to go away. We’ve got to reach a deal, but we are actively engaged there and our goal is to continue the race in Singapore,” Carey said.

“We have a list of locations that want to add races, and in many ways were trying to engage with as many of them as possible, evaluate both in markets like Europe that obviously are much more historical markets, as well as opportunities in the Americas and Asia.

“We want to make sure we understand what each of those opportunities means to us as we go forward. Although in many ways priority one is to make sure we’re doing everything we can to make the 21 races we’ll have next year as successful as possible.”

France and Germany are set to return to the F1 calendar in 2018, making up for the loss of Singapore, but Carey admitted he has been inundated with interested cities and countries for new events.

“I could fill a page with the number of locations that have asked to meet and discuss the opportunity to host a Formula 1 race,” Carey said.

“So I think it speaks well to our ability to continue to take advantage of the global appetite for this sport and the excitement for this event and as we make the event, as we make the event better and improve the sport on the track.

“We think all those things just add fuel to each of those initiatives.”

Helio Castroneves ‘hustling’ for IndyCar, IMSA rides; talking with four to five teams

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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.”