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Carey responds to Ferrari threat: ‘We don’t plan to be NASCAR either’

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Formula 1 CEO Chase Carey has responded to Ferrari’s threat to quit the series over its future plans by stressing Libery Media does not intend to follow NASCAR’s lead and increase standardization between teams.

Ferrari chairman Sergio Marchionne said last week that the Italian manufacturer would consider its future in F1 if it could not agree on the future rules and direction it was heading in.

Marchionne said he did not want “to play NASCAR globally” in response to the planned partial standardization of power units from 2021 as part of Liberty’s push to reduce costs in F1.

Speaking on a conference call earlier this week, Carey responded to Marchionne’s comments by stressing Liberty was not looking to make F1 a spec-series and introduce widespread standard parts.

“Actually I don’t think we have a differing view to Ferrari. I‘m not trying to be derogatory toward NASCAR, but we don’t plan to be NASCAR either,” Carey said, as quoted by Reuters.

“We don’t want to standardize the cars. We don’t want 20 identical cars going round the track, and the only difference is the driver.

“We want all the teams to have the ability to do what they do to create cars that are unique to them – unique engines to them, unique bodies to them.”

“But we want the cars to be unique. We want each team to have the ability to have a car that is unique to it.”

Carey did, however, re-affirm Liberty’s commitment to leveling the playing field in F1 by reducing costs, with plans for a budget cap being mooted for 2019.

”We want teams to compete to win, but we want all the teams to have a chance,” Carey said.

“It’s never going to be equal, there are going to be favorites that evolve, but over time we want the teams to feel they all have a fighting chance.

“Sports are built on the unexpected, so we do want a sport that can have the unexpected.

“You need competition, you need the unknown, you need great finishes, you need great stories and great dramas. We’ve got to create that.”

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.”