Button may leave McLaren – Watson
Former F1 driver John Watson reckons that Jenson Button could leave McLaren if his contract is weighted in favour of performance. Watson says the lack of competitiveness could trigger him leaving the team.
He told Sky Sport News “What Jenson has to rationalise in his own mind is ‘do I want to hang on to the bitter end? ‘ and maybe end up in a situation where he might be given a very reasonable fee but on a big performance-related bonus.”
Button hinted at the Italian Grand Prix that his future with the team was in his hands saying “Hopefully in the next few weeks we’ll decide, either way.”
According to reports, Button is on an annual salary of around £8m compared to the £25m team-mate Fernando Alonso. He does have the option to remain with McLaren for 2016 but McLaren have three drivers including Button, his former team-mate Kevin Magnesson and young driver Stoffel Vandoorne.
Watson also warned that McLaren risk k losing key sponsors if their poor form continues. Also there prize money will fall this year with them being ninth in the championship.
Rossi to replace Merhi
Alexander Rossi will replace Roberto Merhi for four of the six remaining races including his home race in Austin next month. Merhi will compete in the Russian and Abu Dhabi Grand Prix’s also he and Rossi will act as reserve drivers when there not racing.
Rossi who had been the now defunct Caterham team’s reserve driver took part in three practice sessions over the past two years before joining Marussia who collapsed last year. However Marussia were saved and now are the team who give him his debut.
Rossi said “I’m very thankful to race for the Manor Marussia F1 team and for their continued belief in me. I’ve been prepared for this opportunity for quite a while now.”
Adding “Singapore is a circuit I really enjoy and the timing of my debut could not be more perfect. There’s a lot of work ahead and I’m looking forward to a busy end to the 2015 season.”
Manor team principal John Booth said he believed Rossi would do a great job.
- Bosses at Mercedes and Renault have confirmed they are willing to co-operate on non-competitive matters. However cannot co-operate on the development of technical parts because this is against F1 rules.
- McLaren reserve driver Kevin Magnussen has revealed on Twitter that he has broken his hand in a cycling accident.
Force India’s “significant” update
Force India is hoping to bring a “significant” update for the Mexican Grand Prix to improve the chances of Sergio Perez getting a podium for his home race in November.
The team has made progress and has outperformed their main rival Lotus and overtook them in the championship. According to deputy team principal Bob Fernley the full potential of the upgrades will not be realised until this weekend’s Singapore Grand Prix.
They have also planned a big push for Mexico. Speaking to Autosport chief operating officer Otmar Szafnauer said “We hope to have the whole package working in Singapore, where we can optimise anything. From then on, it’ll be little increments.”
He added “We are looking at bringing something significant to Mexico if we can do it in time because it is Checo’s home race.” He said the team wanted to give him the best shot to be on the podium.
Fernley is pleased with the progress the team has made since the introduction of the B-spec but said it must improve its reliability.
Louts marks Singapore’s half century of independence
The luxury hotel brand Four Seasons and HPL Hotels & Resorts will appear on the lotus cars this weekend as part of Singapore’s celebrations marking fifty years since independence from Malaysia in 1965.
The deal will means the lotus cars will carry both the Four Seasons logo featured alongside the SG50 logo throughout the Singapore Grand Prix.
Stephen Lau, chairman of HPL Hotels and Resort told local media this Singapore Grand Prix “provides a fantastic platform to showcase the nation’s momentous milestone to a global television audience of more than 85 million, watching the home of Formula 1 night racing.”
Mike Crawford said the hotel brand was “thrilled to be associated with this world-class event.”