Magnussen set to join Haas
Autosport and BBC News understands that Renault’s Kevin Magnussen is to sign a deal with Haas for 2017. In Mexico Haas’s team principal Gunther Steiner said that the dane had held talks with in its efforts to find a team-mate for Romain Grosjean for next year.
Sources according to the magazine say that negotiations have continued and he is said to be poised to sign a one-year contract. Magnussen has been growing increasingly frustrated with the lack of decision that Renault have made. Although Magnussen’s preference was to remain with Renault given its “ability to fight for championships in the future”.
Renault had taken their option up on his contract, but that has lapsed allowing him to open talks with other teams. Sources at Renault suggested to the magazine that he was not Renault’s number one choice, which has further forced the 26-year-old’s hand to look elsewhere.
Magnussen was on the radar of Haas last year prior to the team opting for Esteban Gutierrez as partner for Grosjean, with Steiner recently remarking they “have always kept in touch” as “he’s a driver who has a place in F1”. If these rumours are true it is likely that he will replace Esteban Gutierrez, who has been on Renault’s list to drive alongside Nico Hulkenberg.
Guttierrez hasn’t managed to score a point on his return to F1 this season, although he has finished 11th on five occasions. Jolyon Palmer could also be in Haas’s sights too and Renault still hope they could luring back Esteban Ocon.
Palmer retained by Renault
Jolyon Palmer has been retained by Renault for 2017 beating team-mate Kevin Magnussen for the seat alongside Nico Hulkenberg. The French team have retained him after he showed consistent improvement in performances in recent months following a troubled start to his career.
Since announcing that Hulkenberg would be joining the team speculation has been growing over the second seat. But following reports today that Magnussen will join Haas next season, replacing Esteban Gutierrez it seemed as if Esteban Ocon is to join Force India. But it leaves four seats left, however Sauber is expected to retain Marcus Ericsson and Felipe Nasr, while Pascal Wehrlein is likely to stay on for a second year with Manor.
Should all that come to fruition then it would leave a single seat at Manor available.
No change in Rosberg approach
Nico Rosberg says he doesn’t need to change his approach this weekend knowing he could take his first title. If Rosberg takes a podium in Brazil this weekend he will seal the title regardless of where Hamilton finishes.
Rosberg can follow Hamilton home in second place at the next two grands prix, or record one second and a third, and still secure the title. However, the German insists he will continue to use the method he has used so far in 2016. Rosberg told ESPN that Mexico wasn’t ideal. “I was going for the win as always but Lewis was just a little bit faster all weekend. Sometimes you just have to accept that and be satisfied with your work. I’m not going to change my approach.”
The German says that anything can happen in F1 and he needs to focus on the factors he has in his hands. Rosberg has always gone well in Sao Paulo winning the race for the last two years and says that the circuit “usually produce some exciting races, so I’m looking forward to getting out there and having a big battle in front of those awesome Brazilian fans.”
But team boss Toto Wolff believes that Rosberg has the least pressure, having the luxury of a second opportunity to claim the championship. Wolff said “If he wins the race in Brazil, he is champion. We’ve seen many races where he has coped well under pressure.”
“But, mentally, I think this new situation is actually a bit easier in terms of tackling the situation with a little less pressure, as he still has another chance in Abu Dhabi.”
Silverstone future not dependant on new owners
The future of the British Grand Prix could be secured even though those two buyers have pulled out of negotiations to buy the circuit. Jaguar and Ginetta boss Lawrence Tomlinson had been two of the four parties looking to buy the circuit
In September BRDC president Derek Warwick warned that the cost of the GP was becoming financially unviable, heightening the importance of a deal. But BRDC chairman John Grant told Autosport: “Discussions with JLR have been terminated because we couldn’t come to a deal that met their requirements as well as ours.
“Lawrence had extended his option until October 31 but his offer lapsed when we hadn’t made a decision by then. The JLR deal was the only one that would have enabled us to retain control of the Silverstone business.”
“All of the others want to buy Silverstone Circuits Ltd, the business that runs the track.” Despite setbacks there is the belief that the deal could be done. Grant also says that the Liberty deal is helpful saying it may give new owner a chance to decide on the future of the race.
He say that “The financial position of the BRDC is not strong enough to support a high-risk business like the British GP – that’s why we have been looking for a partner with deeper financial pockets.”
The fourth party can’t be named by Grant, but they are a substantial investor from overseas he confirmed.
Vettel rejects call to focus on car
Sebastian Vettel has accepted his main focus is to drive the car but has rejected Maurizio Arrivabene’s request to focus purely on his own role. Last month the Ferrari team principal said if he wanted to say with the team he needed to earn his place in the team.
Arrivabene told Autosport “Sebastian just needs to focus on the car. He is a person who gives so much and sometimes this means he is interested in a bit of everything. So sometimes you have to re-focus him, remind him to be focused on the main job.”
When asked about his position in Ferrari compared to Red Bull Vettel said it was very different before explaining “It’s very different. When I joined Red Bull, I was 21 years old. I have a bit more experience now, so it’s a completely different situation. When you grow up, you build a certain experience and you’re able to see the bigger picture.”
Ferrari have had a difficult season failing to meet there target of beating Mercedes and falling behind Red Bull. This has led to criticism of Arrivabene, while Bernie Ecclestone suggested the Italian needed more support with the day-to-day running, but Vettel defended his team boss.
Vettel added “The way I see it, he has a lot of responsibilities and he is pushing very hard and working a lot, so you can’t take that away from him. But there are a lot of other people in the team so he is not all by himself.” Before saying that it takes time to get to the top that what he said they did at Red Bull.
Stroll full package – Williams
Williams say there decision to sign Lance Stroll for next season was easy because he is the “full package”, according to deputy team principal Claire Williams. Stroll will make his debut alongside Valtteri Bottas.
Stroll joined the teams young driver development driver scheme at the end of last season and has since embarked on an extensive simulator programme as well as doing testing in a 2014 car. Ms Williams told Autosport “We are a team with clear ambitions in this sport, we are the third most successful team in F1 and we have won 16 world championships.”
“But we have clear ambitions for the future, and if we are to achieve those ambitions, we need great talent. For Lance and us it’s exciting. He’s done such a great job in the F3 championship this year and he’s the full package for us.” She says when the team is looking for a driver they need everything.
Stroll has the talent, intelligent and gives great feedback which she says made it an easy decision. his testing programme continues next month, with more time in the car as well as further simulator work and integration with the team at its Grove base.
But the team confirmed that the Canadian wouldn’t be taking e part in any Friday running at the last two races because the team does not believe it would be fair on either of its current drivers.
Brawn prepared to work with Berine
Ross Brawn says he would be prepared to work alongside Berine Ecclestone as the new F1 boss. Brawn has been having talks with Liberty Media as the group prepare to complete their takeover of F1.
However, he says that the has agreed to be the the sport’s new chief executive are wide of the mark, he has admitted to Sky Sports he “would get pleasure from trying to help Formula 1 move forward” and work alongside Ecclestone. When asked if he could in partnership alongside marketing guru Zak Brown, Brawn said “I would be interested in such a role but there are so many things that need to be resolved first.
“The one thing that Bernie is not is immortal, none of us are, and at some point he has to put his pen down. He’s a very special person, he’s created most of what we are dealing with today, and there will never be a replacement for Bernie.” Brawn says working for Ecclestone might be interesting and fun thing to do.
In the interview he was also asked about Michael Schumacher he said “He was the most complete driver of that era. He had fabulous talent but he also had the application, the intelligence and the devotion – and a love of driving. Michael is a very honest person, he doesn’t like fun and games – and I’m the same.”
Asked about the biggest coup in the driver market when he signed Lewis Hamilton he said “We built it slowly with Lewis. it grew: Lewis started to understand what we wanted to achieve and why we hadn’t achieved the results we wanted to and how critical being an engine supplier was going to be with the new regulations.”