The Formula 1 Gossip column
The latest gossip and speculation from around the sport as the season enters its crucial final weeks
Last Updated: 22/10/18 12:29pm
Hamilton gets his invite to Raikkonen's 40th
Lewis Hamilton says Kimi Raikkonen's winning performance in the United States GP has encouraged him to believe he can still get better too.
At 33, Hamilton is still half-a-decade younger than Raikkonen but remains the third-oldest driver on the grid.
"I think Kimi's given me a lot of confidence that I can keep getting better," said Hamilton, before admitting he wasn't sure if Raikkonen was 38 or 39.
"39," Raikkonen interjected. "Next year 40, so I'll invite you to the party."
"Hope I get an invite for the 40th," said Hamilton.
"We can call," reaffirmed Raikkonen.
Frustrated Ricciardo 'punched wall'
Daniel Ricciardo, who will move to Renault next year, hasn't finished on the podium since winning the Monaco GP in May and was forced to retire from fourth position in Austin due to a car failure.
Red Bull boss Christian Horner revealed Ricciardo punched a wall in his driver's room as the Australian's frustration boiled over.
"l feel so sorry for him because it looks like the identical power unit failure that he had in Bahrain," Horner told Sky F1. "He was driving a strong grand prix. I'm sure he will be having a word with his future employers about it.
"He has just taken his frustration out in his room by putting his fist through a wall and you can totally relate to that. He knows the team isn't to blame in any way, we are doing all we can."
But at least Kimi was happy...
Formula 1 or Formula Fuel Saving?
Unfortunately today we were racing in Formula Fuelsaving rather than Formula 1. And we used 0.1kg (!) too much for the whole race so we got disqualified. Those are the rules so we just have to manage better. Car was great though and the pit stop was amazing. On to the next one!— Kevin Magnussen (@KevinMagnussen) October 21, 2018
Hartley's frustration comes to the surface
Speaking to Sky F1 prior to his promotion into the US GP points due to Kevin Magnussen and Esteban Ocon exclusions, Brendon Hartley's frustration became clear as the New Zealander reacted angrily to the latest wave of speculation about his future.
"I've felt good in the last few races, but obviously l have to answer questions about my future every week which is getting increasingly annoying," Hartley told Sky F1.
"I've read in the media that l have to beat my team-mate. I was ahead of him in Singapore before team orders, l was ahead in Russia before the car broke down, I was ahead at Suzuka in qualifying and l was ahead today. So let's see what happens."
Ocon also frustrated with exclusion
The Force India driver was stripped of his eighth place for a fuel irregularity...
Sainz unhappy with US GP penalty
Great start overtaking 3 cars before T1. I did run wide behind the Ferrari but rejoined letting Esteban by, who I then overtook in T6. Still can’t understand the penalty. Then it was all about tyres and fuel saving. Very strong result for the team so in general happy for today! pic.twitter.com/0zn7UgEJEa— Carlos Sainz (@Carlossainz55) October 21, 2018
Grosjean says sorry to Leclerc
The Haas driver has been hit with a three-place penalty for Mexico for his clash with the Sauber at the start in Austin
Ocon given 2020 'guarantee'
Some intriguing comments from Mercedes boss Toto Wolff about Esteban Ocon's F1 future at the US GP.
We know the Frenchman's hopes of being on next season's grid solely rest on Williams now, but it seems Mercedes are very confident any absence from the field will only prove one-year long.
"We are prepared for Plan B with Esteban," said Wolff. "One thing I can guarantee to you is that he's going to be in a good car in 2020 because there are many teams out there who have an interest in Esteban."
What chance that "good car" being a 2020 Mercedes?
In the shorter-term, Wolff isn't giving up hope of getting his man into the second Williams seat next to George Russell.
"They say only fools are optimists and in July I was really optimistic about having Esteban in a Renault," said the Mercedes chief.
"It's not our call. Williams need to make up their mind who they think is the best driver for their team. It's not only Esteban, I think there is Robert [Kubica] in the frame and others. All of them deserve the chance and Williams will make their choice."
What's red, yellow and white in 2019?
In a bid to make it easier to keep a track of who is using which particular tyre next year, Pirelli have confirmed their tyres will only be marked red (for the softs), yellow (for the mediums) and white (for the hards) next season...
McLaren not joining IndyCar...but could race in Indy 500
McLaren have ruled out a full-time IndyCar series entry in 2019.
Team boss Zak Brown confirmed: "For the IndyCar series, we've taken the decision to not compete on a full-time basis in 2019. We're simply not ready yet and very focused on Formula 1. So we won't be doing that in 2019."
However, could there be a one-off entry for the Indy 500 - perhaps with Fernando Alonso on board?
"As far as the Indy 500 is concerned, it's something that remains of interest to us. That will be a decision that ultimately we take in the off-season. I think it's something that Fernando would like to do as well, but right now we're still focused on Formula 1 and until we get a little bit of fresh air we'll remain focused on that."
Hope for Ocon?
Esteban Ocon has revealed he still in talks with Williams about a 2019 drive, but he only wants to sign a short-term deal - Full story
Perez says Force India's best yet to come
Fresh from signing a new one-year deal at Force India, Sergio Perez has predicted that the team's new ownership can help propel them to the next level towards the front of F1.
"I've been here five years and I know the potential," he said. "Everyone here in the team has been very loyal as well because we went into big uncertainty with our future and everyone stuck together. It's great to see the outcome for the team.
"I now believe there are great years coming ahead.
"Lawrence [Stroll] is willing to put this team in to the next step and the next step has to be the top three. You are fighting big budgets, big facilities but I believe that with the right investment and the guidance this team can definitely be one to watch for the near future.
"I'm optimistic that already next year we should be making a good step forwards."
Hamilton predicts Mick Schumacher in F1
Reigning F1 world champion believes it's inevitable that Mick Schumacher will drive in F1 - and doesn't believe the youngster's family name will weigh him down when he does enter the sport.
"I don't think it will be a burden," said Hamilton. "There will one hundred percent be a Schumacher back in Formula One, partly because of the name, but secondly because he's doing a great job. He's obviously got a lot of talent as his Dad had, just like Keke and Nico, just like when Fernando has kids I'm sure an Alonso will be here again. Even if I have a kid who wants to race and even if he's no good he can make it Formula One because of the name.
"But no, he's doing a really great job and he's a really great kid as well. He's come to… and been a part of our team a couple of weekends, very attentive. He's got a great talent as his Dad had so I don't think it will be a burden in my personal opinion. I think it could be great for the sport."
McLaren agree Coca-Cola deal
The logo of the famous American drinks company, plus associated brands, will appear on McLaren's car for the final four grands prix of this season, starting in the US GP this weekend.
"Coca-Cola has a rich history of sponsorship and a record of innovative activations and we are honoured the company has chosen to partner with McLaren to explore opportunities in Formula 1," said McLaren chief executive Zak Brown. "Formula 1 as a sport is changing, as are we as a team, and we're looking forward to introducing Coca-Cola to the potential that our team and fantastic, global sport represents."
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