Grosjean to join Haas
Sources close to Lotus driver Romain Grosjean say he is poised to join the Haas team. Grosjean has already made his decision despite the impending buyout by French manufacturer Renault.
His departure means the Enstone team will have a seat free alongside Pastor Maldonado. The main contenders are former Toro Rosso driver Jean-Eric Vergne and McLaren reserve Kevin Magnussen is also in the running. However Magnesson could replace Jenson Button.
Renault Sport boss Cyril Abiteboul dropped a heavy hint that the team hasn’t been able to secure Grosjean. Speaking to French TV Abiteboul said “Romain is a great driver, he deserves a great team. There’s no national bias, we wouldn’t stay in Formula 1 for a particular country or region.
“Renault is an international brand, especially in countries like China and in south-east Asia.” He also hinted that there maybe another French driver may fill the seat one day.
Grosjean maybe hoping that it will give him a chance of taking Kimi Raikkonen’s seat at Ferrari in 2017.
Button to retire
Jenson Button is set to confirm his retirement from Formula One at the Japanese Grand Prix according to British media. The Daily Mail is reporting that talks over his future with McLaren have failed.
The Brit has during his career has taken 15 victories and an emotional championship with Brawn GP in 2009. He joined the sport aged 19 in 2000. The Mail claims that he talks with the team have broken down which contradicts his words at the weekend saying he was encouraged by the progress of talks with McLaren over staying with the team for the 2016 season.
He says he has no interest in joining another team and he acknowledged there were external factors influencing negotiations. It had been claimed that Button’s salary demands were proving prohibitive for McLaren.
We will get sponsorship – Boullier
McLaren Racing Director Eric Boullier says the team is 99.9 percent sure they will get new sponsorship to address a shortfall this season. The team are currently ninth in the championship.
Part of the teams problems have been the lack of performance in there Honda power unit. There are no guarantees that this will improve next season and Honda will invest into making improvements. Boullier says they have not asked Honda about that scenario.
He told Sky Sports “As a partner we obviously have to address this scenario next year. As a team as well, we are working hard to improve our sponsorship portfolio and I cannot guarantee you 100 per cent, but 99.9 per cent there will be some announcements soon.”
Boullier says McLaren are set to lose money from FOM because of their place in the championship. But how much is a closely guarded secret by all parties and could be $20 million based on 2014.
VW expresses interest
Red Bull boss Christian Horner has confirmed that Volkswagen/Audi has expressed some interest in entering Formula 1 in the future. But adds it is too early to know if there defiantly make a deal.
Talks of Volkswagen joining the sport have gained momentum in recent weeks after Red Bull confirmed they are parting with Renault at the end of 2015. The BBC pundit Eddie Jordan said at the weekend that a deal for VW/Audi to buy Red Bull was close – although this has been played down by the team.
Today Volkswagen has been caught up in a US emission test rigging scandal which may be there main priority at the moment. Chief executive Martin Winterkorn issued a fresh apology for the test-rigging, saying he was “endlessly sorry” for the “manipulation”.
Horner says he “think it is important for F1 to have competitive engine manufacturers. What we are rapidly descending upon is two dominant engine suppliers, and that ultimately isn’t healthy for F1.”
A British man who walked across the track during Singapore grand prix has appeared in court charged with a “rash act” which endangered the lives of drivers.
27-year old Yogvitam Pravin Dhokia according to the charges endangered the “personal safety of the drivers” when he crossed the track while the Singapore grand prix on Sunday. He could face a six month prison sentence or 2,500 Singapore dollar (£1,147.59) fine.
The High Commission in Singapore said “We can confirm the arrest of a British national in Singapore and we stand ready to provide consular assistance.” He was remained in custody because he is unable to pay the 15,000 dollar (£6,884.50) bail fee.