Daniel Ricciardo is believed to be in line for a big promotion. (Photo: Getty Images)
Daniel Ricciardo insisted Thursday that he has not been told that he has Mark Webber’s Red Bull drive for next season – despite the consensus in the paddock being that the young Australian has gotten the nod.
However, the Toro Rosso driver’s body language definitely suggested that he’s expecting some good news, and even by his usual standards, he had a big smile on his face at Spa-Francorchamps.
“I don’t, honestly, follow too much of the media hype – sorry guys,” he said. “I’m on Twitter, so you see a few comments on Twitter. People write to me asking things, so then I become aware of maybe a few things that are going on. As far as I know, they could have happened, they could have not; it could just be one person starting a story.
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Nico Hulkenberg may be headed to Ferrari. (Photo: Getty Images)
Nico Hulkenberg’s name continues to be linked with the second Ferrari F1 seat in 2014, and the German admits that he would be very happy to get the opportunity to go to Maranello.
Many see his position at Sauber as a sort of holding camp, allowing Ferrari to keep an eye on him and call on his services should he fit the team’s plans in 2014. However, he says that his future plans are open.
“It’s a good team, for sure, one of the top teams, and if you’d get the chance you’d probably do it,” he said of Ferrari. “But at this point we’re still looking at the options of what we can do, where to position ourselves. Nothing is decided, and I think it will still take a little while.”
Hulkenberg denied that his future might depend on what happens to Kimi Raikkonen.
“Not necessarily,” he said. “Obviously, Kimi is playing a role there, but it’s not necessarily depending all on him.”
Regarding how things might play out, he said: “What you want and what is happening, that is sometimes not the same. You have to wait and see. I want to make a decision when I feel that I’ve made the right choice and when I’m comfortable with everything included in the deal.”
Kimi Raikkonen is the 2007 F1 World Champion. (Photo: Getty Images)
Kimi Raikkonen skipped out on his Formula One commitments at Spa-Francorchamps on Thursday, and his Lotus team has said that the Finnish driver is ill, but will be back at the track on Friday.
Usually on Thursdays, drivers have media commitments, team briefings, and a track walk with their engineers, although Raikkonen opts out of the latter.
Inevitably, there is speculation that Raikkonen simply doesn’t want to face a barrage of media questioning about his future.
A more likely explanation is that he is making a point to the team, which is believed to be behind on salary payments. While missing Friday or any other track running will clearly harm his title campaign, he may well believe that he can skip Thursday and in doing so ruffle a few feathers at the team.
Meanwhile, his future remains up in the air after his management told the media earlier this week that any negotiations with Red Bull had ceased.
Although he can clearly stay at Lotus, he has to be convinced that the team will have a competitive package in 2014, and that the funds will be in place to properly recompense him.
Raikkonen is still potentially of interest to other teams, and a return to Ferrari is not out of the question.
In Europe, there has long been a thriving FIA-backed hillclimb championship featuring some well-established venues in countries like Switzerland – where other forms of motorsports have been banned since the 1955 Le Mans tragedy.
Among the most famous courses is the St Ursanne/Les Rangiers climb, which has hosted an annual event since before WWII. In 1965, Jim Clark even had a go in a less-than-suitable Lotus 38, just weeks after winning the Indy 500.
We thought you might enjoy this mind-boggling clip of Luxembourg’s David Hauser in action in last weekend’s event, at the wheel of his Dallara GP2 car. He demonstrates just how brave some of these guys are, especially given that safety facilities appear to have changed little since Clark’s era.
The last Formula One Indian Grand Prix was held in October 2012 at Buddh International Circuit. (Photo: Getty Images)
The Indian Grand Prix promoter says that he is confident that the Formula One race will return in a healthy state in 2015 after skipping 2014 – but says that the event would benefit from government support.
Thus far, the race has run without any help, and indeed has been held despite the controversy over the government’s attempts to collect tax revenue from the visiting teams.
“We have a very sound contract with the F1 management,” Sameer Gaur of Jaypee Sports told NDTV. “Bernie Ecclestone is a wise man, and he believes in India as a destination. The 2014 Indian Grand Prix is not happening because of logistical problems, but those problems will be sorted out, and in 2015, bang on, we will be on target.
“We will continue to have the Grand Prix till our five-year contract runs [out]. But after five years, let us see how the situation is. We don’t want to disappoint the F1 enthusiasts in India, the ones who have gotten used to watching the Grand Prix here. We have that in mind, and God-willing, we will find a way out.”
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