Castroneves starts getting acclimated to new team, color

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Tony Kanaan, of Brazil, left foreground, talks with Helio Castroneves, of Brazil, before testing at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, Thursday, April 8, 2021, in Indianapolis. (AP Photo/Darron Cummings)

INDIANAPOLIS – Three-time Indianapolis 500 winner Helio Castroneves felt a little out of place Thursday at Indianapolis Motor Speedway.

He wasn't exactly sure where Meyer Shank Racing set up shop in Gasoline Alley and when he did arrive, the hot pink driver's suit certainly looked bright. It's something he'll get used to by May.

First, though, the popular Brazilian has some real work to do — like getting a new team, a new car and a new routine.

“I need to run," Castroneves said after Thursday's abbreviated first test session on the historic 2.5-mile oval. “I don't really care about the speed, that will come. But we still have to get the pedal position down and all of those sorts of things. We need to start running and we need to get in rhythm."

He spent the past 21 seasons driving for Team Penske, though he had run primarily in sports cars the last four seasons. In August, he competed in his first 500 for Arrow-McLaren SP — his first Indy start in a non-Penske car.

Now Castroneves has a six-race IndyCar schedule as he tries to join A.J. Foyt, Al Unser and Rick Mears as the only four-time winners of the 500.

“I hope we can connect," Castroneves said. “Some things might not work because every team has its own style, its own way but at the end of the day everyone wants to get to the same place."

That would be victory lane.