Ocon signs for Force India
Esteban Ocon has been announced as the replacement for Nico Hulkenberg after signing a “multiyear deal” with Force India. Hulkenberg was announced as a Renault driver after join from Force India.
Yesterday the Renault announced it was retaining Jolyon Palmer, where Ocon was expected to drive next season. The Frenchman will partner Sergio Perez. Force India team principal Vijay Mallya told Autosport “He’s an exceptional talent, as his status as a Mercedes junior demonstrates, and I have no doubt he will flourish inside our team.”
“We’ve had our eye on Esteban for a number of years and have followed his progress through the junior categories where he delivered outstanding result.” Force India along with Renault ran him in practices and testing with Mallya adding “his performance convinced us that he is more than capable of racing alongside Sergio.”
Ocon made his debut in August replacing Rio Haryanto. With most seats filled now it only leaves Manor and Sauber with seats for 2017. But Sauber are expected to sick with Felipe Nasr and Marcus Ericsson, with Pascal Wehrlein saying at Manor.
Mercedes boss Toto Wolff said “Force India have a strong record of working with young drivers and have again shown courage and vision to take Esteban under their wing.”
Is a doping scandal about to hit?
The Sun newspaper has unearthed a lack of doping testing by the World Anti-Doping Agency in Formula One. The Sun report comes after McLaren’s Jenson Button said he hasn’t been tested for “three or four years”
WADA has faced criticism over the Russian doping scandal which saw the majority of athletes banned from the Olympic and Paralympics. There is no evidence of drivers were using drugs to gain an improvement in their cars, there is still a lack of testing in place. Button has and called for more random tests, telling the sun he hasn’t been tested for three years adding “I don’t know of any drivers who have been tested recently.”
He says Wada tested in winter and they did urine tests at races. Meanwhile it has merged that Wada is set for urgent talks with the FIA over these allegations.
Whiting willing to “move on”
Race Director Charlie Whiting says he considers the matter of abusive language towards him during the Mexican Grand Prix closed, saying he’s willing to “forget it and move on” after the German personally apologised to him.
Sebastian Vettel told Whiting repeatedly to “f*** off” during his battle with Max Verstappen prompting an FIA investigation which was dropped after Vettel wrote letters to Whiting and the FIA to apology. Today, Whiting made the unusual step of sitting on the drivers press conference.
Whiting said when asked for his personal views on what was said about him, said “It’s not the first time bad language has been used, of course, and the fact it was directed at me was unfortunate. I think there were a number of mitigating circumstances which led up to Sebastian’s obvious frustration.”
Whiting says Vettel was keen to find him after the race to apologise, adding his comments were made in the heat of the moment.
Vettel added “I have no problem saying it again — I’m sorry for what I said. When you are racing, you are fighting, you can understand why I wasn’t so happy at that point. For sure I regret what I said.”
Ban all radio, if you’re worried – Verstappen
Max Verstappen says that all radio communication should be banned, if the FIA are worried about young fans hearing offensive language.
It comes after Sebastian Vettel told race director Charlie Whiting repeatedly to “f*** off” during his battle with Max Verstappen prompting an FIA investigation which was dropped after Vettel wrote letters to Whiting and the FIA to apologise.
During the press conference attended by both Vettel and Whiting Verstappen said that views needed to understand that drivers are going to get emotional in the heat of the moment. When asked how the younger generation might feel about the language he said “I think, when you are in the heat of the moment and you have a radio available, you can say bad things.”
“But let’s say you give a microphone to a football player, imagine how many words are coming out there during game … doesn’t even need to be football, rugby or whatever.” Radio is dangerous and maybe it shouldn’t be broadcast he added.
Vettel during that press conference apologised saying that it was a moment of extreme stress at the end of a dramatic race.
Perez breaks with sponsors over Trump
Sergio Perez has reacted to the US Presidential Election where Donald Trump has taken the White House. Sergio Perez has ended a sponsorship deal with Hawkers.
Hawkers have apologised for saying that Mexicans should buy its shades to hide their tears when Mr Trump began to build a border wall.
Trump has vowed to build a wall along the Mexican border as well as calling them drug dealers, rapist and murders. Perez Tweeted “Very bad comment. Today I am breaking my relationship with @HawkersMX. I will never let anyone make fun of my country! #MexicoUnido”.
Founder of the company said in a video that he and his team had committed “a grave error” and were sincerely sorry about the comment, which they have since erased from their Twitter feed.
Magnussen to finalise Haas deal
Haas is hoping to finalise a deal this weekend for Kevin Magnussen to join the team next season. Today, the Dane said that there is only a “little work” was now needed to complete the deal.
Magnussen and Haas have verbally agreed to sign a deal but this is yet to be signed. Team Principal Gunther Steiner wouldn’t name him but said imminent announcement is due. When asked when an announcement is expected, Steiner said: “I don’t know. Hopefully this weekend. Hopefully we announce something this weekend. There are still a few things we have to talk to people about and then we will announce who our driver will be.”
Motorsport.com pushed him further with him saying that it was like buying a car and being in the final stages. Steiner said there has been ups and downs as not everyone wanted to talk to him but there has been interest from a number of drivers.
Haas are unlikely to retain Esteban Gutierrez but Steiner didn’t want to explain exactly why. He only said that many aspects of the team could have been better in 2016.
Ecclestone not afraid of his security
Berine Ecclestone has not increased his personal security for this weekend Brazilian Grand Prix.
Earlier this year, his mother in law was kidnapped and was threatened with beheading by a group linked with a helicopter pilot who formerly worked with Ecclestone.
So when asked if he is worried as he returns to Sao Paulo for the grand prix, the 86-year-old insisted to the German newspaper Bild “I’m not afraid. Why should I be? In the last eight years, this was one of the biggest abductions.”
“Brazil is not as dangerous as many people think.”