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F1: Max Verstappen wins thrilling Austrian GP

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Max Verstappen won the Austrian Grand Prix in thrilling fashion Sunday afternoon, passing race leader Charles Leclerc in the closing laps to win his first race of the season, and the first race for Honda since 2006.

After falling to eighth place after a poor start in the race, it appeared as Verstappen was set for a long and disappointing afternoon.

However, Verstappen spent the race charging his way back through the field, and eventually found himself in second and closing in on Leclerc.

Verstappen passed Leclerc with three laps remaining in Turn 3, with Verstappen’s Red Bull Honda making slight contact with Leclerc’s Ferrari, which pushed Leclerc into the run-off area.

The prompted a post-race investigation by race stewards into whether or not a penalty would be assessed to Verstappen, however the stewards eventually made the decision to not take any disciplinary action – over three hours after the race had concluded – and Verstappen’s sixth career victory stood.

Verstappen took the checkered flag for the victory, while Leclerc had to settle for second.

“After that start I thought the race was over,” Verstappen said following his win. “We just kept pushing hard”

Valtteri Bottas finished the race in the third position, as Mercedes’ eight-race winning streak to begin the season had finally ended.

Sebastian Vettel finished fourth, while Lewis Hamilton was the final driver to finish on the lead lap in fifth.

Lando Norris came home in the sixth position for McLaren while Pierre Gasly, Carlos Sainz, Kimi Raikkonen and Antonio Giovinazzi rounded out the top ten.

Full race results are below. The next race of the 2019 Formula One World Championship is the British Grand Prix on July 14.

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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.”