After coming close to winning the IZOD IndyCar Series Championship, Helio Castroneves is enjoying his time off before next season. After all, this is the first off-season that he’s really taking a true break.
“Adriana (Henao) always complains that I never take a vacation because I enjoy taking vacation (while) working,” Castroneves said. “It’s like a work-cation as they say. I ended up going to Rio for a few days (during a recent trip to Brazil) for an appearance at a Hitachi event.”
Two years ago, he spent the of-season racing V8 Supercars in Australia. Last year, he was busy with Dancing with the Stars.
“It was very brutal on everyone. But I do feel it’s great to have this off time, especially after the season that was so long and so compact,” he said. “I guarantee you that next year is going to be the same, so I’m going to take every opportunity I can to spend the time with the family and recharge the batteries so next year we’ll be ready to go.”
Castroneves have already moved past the disappointment as he sets his sights on making 2014 a better year. He will also be welcoming in a new teammate at Penske Racing – Juan Pablo Montoya.
“It will be interesting,” he commented. “I know him and Will (Power) will know him as well. I feel that it’s going to be dynamic. We’ll have a lot of fun. He’s a Latin guy, so if he gets angry that will probably be more fun with the jokes that we might play.
“I think he’ll fit in well. People talk about the way Team Penske works, but we try to get everybody involved and in sync because getting a rhythm will benefit the team, which is the goal. He’s a talent, no question about it. We’ll be competitive, but it will be a healthy competition. But the most important thing is to help Team Penske. “
Castroneves has been with Team Penske since 2000 and says it’s been the perfect match as they all have the same goals.
“I admire a lot not only the way the team works, but also I admire Roger (Penske) a lot,” he added. “The way he conducts himself to everyone – not only as a businessman, but as a human being. To have that type of a person leading the way makes you continue to do your best. I feel blessed to be in that circumstance, but I’m pushing myself to achieve the goals that I want because I know the goals I want are the same for team and that makes everybody happy. I’m still learning so much with the team. I’ll always be grateful.”