The Formula 1 Gossip column
The latest gossip and speculation from around the sport
Last Updated: 19/01/19 6:41pm
Mick Schumacher 'dreaming' of driving in F1
And his place at the Ferrari driver academy is now official:
I am thrilled that I will be part of the @insideFDA and also of the @ScuderiaFerrari Family. I will make everything to achieve my dream, racing in @F1. Ferrari has a big place in my heart and those of our family, so I am delighted on a personal level about this as well. #FDA #SCM pic.twitter.com/5nTDNxfJNs— Mick Schumacher (@SchumacherMick) January 19, 2019
Bottas back at Mercedes
Refreshed, raring to go and, erm, bearded, Valtteri Bottas has reported back to work at Mercedes...
Schumacher set for Ferrari test?
Mick Schumacher is set to join the Ferrari young driver academy this season and would therefore be likely to complete his first F1 tests with the team, according to Sky Sports in Italy and motorsport.com's Roberto Chinchero.
The journalist claims Schumacher, 19, will take another step towards emulating his record-setting father by signing a deal with Ferrari, who have spots available for their in-season test days this year.
Of the four days of testing, two after Bahrain and two after Spain, half must allocated to beginners, and Ferrari's previous tester Antonio Giovinazzi is on the grid with Sauber this year.
Schumacher, who had been linked with Mercedes, is enjoying a rapid rise through the junior formulas and is preparing for his rookie season in Formula 2, F1's feeder series, this year. (Full story - external site, in Italian)
Hamilton is ready to fight this year...
Verstappen serves punishment for Ocon shove
Max Verstappen has completed his first day of public service for pushing Esteban Ocon at last year's Brazilian GP, observing stewards at the Formula E race in Marrakesh over the weekend.
The Dutchman said the experience was "constructive".
"It's interesting to see it from the other side," said the Red Bull driver. "Normally you can't spend an entire day with the stewards!
"Everybody does their own job during the weekend, and it's good to really see what it takes to make these important decisions. Sometimes a decision might not be nice for a certain person but it has to be taken and you have to follow the rules.
"I think it's good to experience different things in racing rather than just sitting in the car. To be here and do this kind of work has been a constructive thing for me."
Verstappen was ordered to to complete two days of public service by the FIA after shoving Ocon in parc ferme in Interlagos, after being hit from the lead by the backmarker.
Driver preparations continue
Surfing for Hamilton, running for Gasly, and singing for Ricciardo...
Is Lewis Hamilton the greatest active British sportsman?
The answer to that question is yes, according to the poll we put out earlier today!
POLL: Who is the greatest current British sportsman? 🏆— Sky Sports News (@SkySportsNews) January 11, 2019
This doesn't look fun!
Still sure you want to be an F1 driver in the future?...
McLaren appoint new F1 team boss
The full story as F1 appoint Andreas Seidl as managing director of their Formula 1 team, including details of the team's management reshuffle, reporting lines and what now for Gil de Ferran... (Full story)
A New Year, a new Valtteri?
Binotto the new Brawn?
Ferrari's newly-installed team principal certainly has plenty on his plate for F1 2019, with the Italian team confirming in their statement announcing his promotion that "all technical areas will continue to report directly" to Binotto in addition to his new responsibilities.
So how will that all work?
Gazzetta dello Sport, who broke the Arrivabene exit story, report that the change "means that Binotto, former technical director of the team, will assemble a double charge, becoming responsible for the team at the factory and on the track, with various delegates.
"Something similar to what Ross Brawn was at Mercedes."
The newspaper also predict that Binotto will make "adjustments" to the way Ferrari is run, rather than introduce radical change, and shared a similar philosophy to the late Sergio Marchionne.
Red Bull's new recruit training in LA
Hamilton's new 'trainer'...
Arrivabene out, Binotto in, at Ferrari
All change at the top of Ferrari's F1 team as team boss Maurizio Arrivabene leaves and is replaced by technical chief Mattia Binotto in time for the 2019 season.
Binotto has been with Ferrari since 1995 and was promoted by the late Sergio Marchionne to the role of chief technical officer in summer 2016 having headed up their engine department.
Arrivabene, who had long-time links to the team through his work at Marlboro, became Ferrari team principal in November 2014. (Full story)
On the road with Russell...
Hamilton pays tribute to Schumacher
And he's not the only one...
Wishing you a happy birthday, Michael. 50 years of life and a legacy that will last forever. What an honour it is to say that I have raced with you. You’ve always been a true inspiration to me and the entire world. Keep fighting, Champ 🙏🏾- LH pic.twitter.com/dmx4mLZVfj— Lewis Hamilton (@LewisHamilton) January 3, 2019
Norris and Sainz look forward to McLaren launch
McLaren's 2019 car, the MCL34, will be unveiled on February 14. Here's a list of the launch dates so far.
Key to start at McLaren in 2019
McLaren have provided an update on the likely timeframe for James Key's arrival from Toro Rosso later in 2019.
"I'm excited that James will be starting in time not to influence the 2019 car on its debut, but certainly to help its progression over the course of the season, and most importantly have him be the 'father' of the MCL35," Zak Brown told the team's website.
McLaren's chief executive, meanwhile, said that changes to the Woking team's hierarchy are "still a work in progress to complete". Gil de Ferran joined the team in the summer, while Pat Fry returned in September "to lead and co-ordinate the design and delivery of the MCL34". (Full story - external site)
If you've ever wondered what Sergio Perez's golf swing looked like...
What awaits Leclerc in 2019?
Renault to launch 2019 car on February 12
What's next for McLaren?
Some thoughts from team boss Zak Brown on McLaren's 2018 - and what might be possible in 2019...
"2018 was a difficult year, but one where we've implemented a lot of change. We've learned a lot, we understand the mistakes we've made, and we've worked hard to make sure we don't replicate those moving forward.
"Winter preparations are going well. Everyone is working extremely hard. We have a good understanding of what we need to do to improve our race car. The changes we've made over the last five or six months, both in our structure and leadership, are already in play and beginning to take effect."
Canada launch for Racing Point
The team, formerly known as Force India, will launch their new car on February 13 in Toronto... (Full story)
Silverstone deny deal reports
Silverstone bosses have emphatically denied reports they have offered a £30m package to F1 in order to keep the British GP.
BRDC chairman John Grant told RaceFans: "As previously stated, we have no intention of talking about the British Grand Prix contract negotiation in public. The Pitpass and Mail on Sunday articles are pure fiction and spurious speculation...We have agreed with F1 to keep these discussions private and will continue to do so" (Full story)
Could Alonso test the 2019 McLaren?
Team boss Zak Brown says it's possible...
"Yeah I wouldn't rule that out," Brown told the official F1 website. "We're still working through (what the plan is). We know we're doing Indianapolis together.
"We'd like him to be part of our racing programme because we're also reviewing other forms of motorsport which has been widely noted, World Endurance, full season of IndyCar, and he's certainly not done driving. So yeah we're working through what a longer term relationship could look like" (Full story - external site)
F1's 2018 soundbites reimagined...
Fun in the snow
For Haas driver Romain Grosjean...