Talking in a pre-season information convention at Indianapolis Motor Speedway, Castroneves opened up about his loss – as he himself transitions from being a full-time IndyCar driver to a crew co-owner with Meyer Shank Racing in 2024.
“Yeah, I form of misplaced my marketing consultant, my advisor in being a crew proprietor,” an emotional Castroneves stated as he fought again his tears. “Definitely we’ll miss him for positive.
“My recollections with Gil is from the start of our period with Group Penske, [it] was us having our first assembly, which took us about an hour and 45 minutes, which implies Gil was [talking for] an hour and 40, and mine was 5 minutes.
“Definitely, his persona was fully totally different than mine. Regardless that he is making an attempt to be humorous, which he wasn’t humorous, turned humorous. He was a type of guys – massive coronary heart, very, very intense, unimaginable data, and yeah, we had quite a lot of good moments, myself, Gil and [Team Penske president Tim] Cindric.
“We have been referred to as the Three Musketeers. Nothing might cease us.”
Photograph by: Walt Kuhn / Motorsport Images
Helio Castroneves and Gil de Ferran
Castroneves and de Ferran teamed up at Group Penske in 2000 and from then till de Ferran’s IndyCar retirement in 2003, the duo scored 20 race wins and 25 pole positions between them, with de Ferran claiming back-to-back CART championships in 2000 and 2001.
Castroneves turned the primary driver to win the Indianapolis 500 in his first two begins (2001 and 2002), and de Ferran gained the 2003 version of ‘The Biggest Spectacle in Racing’ to make it three in a row at Indy for Group Penske.
“For positive, there have been quite a lot of recollections,” added Castroneves. “He is the primary man or first particular person truly that shut in my life that’s not going to be with me or with us anymore.
“However yeah, we have simply acquired to maintain it going, and I am positive he’s up there proper now redesigning the gates of heaven, so making an attempt to make a modernized [version] or electrical or no matter it’s. I am positive he is having enjoyable up there.”
Castroneves stopped competing full-time in IndyCar on the finish of final 12 months, as MSR adjustments its line-up to subject Tom Blomqvist and Felix Rosenqvist in 2024 however will proceed his bid to turn into the first-ever five-time winner of the Indianapolis 500 on Could 26.
“The brand new position might be very fascinating, a studying curve with MSR,” he stated of his new association. “We’re working already intensively, our group. At MSR, quite a lot of the folks from [IMSA] sportscars ended up being on my facet for the third Indy automotive.
“The final two 500s principally have been fascinating. I felt that we labored effectively as a crew however sadly weren’t in a position to execute with velocity. We did not discover what we’re searching for, and I really feel that now we’re undoubtedly heading in the right direction, which I am very completely happy to say.”