The blood in Formula One's circulatory system stops not even for a moment. Both the business and sporting side are in constant evolution just as the desperate search for the last drops of performance never comes to a rest.
Felipe Massa’s future in doubt
Felipe Massa is fighting for a race seat at Williams for the 2018 championship season. After retiring from the Moving Circuis at the end of last season, the Brazilian was brought back to F1 following Nico Rosberg’s shock retirement. The Sao Paolo-born is currently tenth in the Drivers’ Standings with 36 points. He has not had an utterly successful season, his best finish was the sixth place in the Australian and Bahrain GP.
With Lance Stroll’s place at Williams being secured due to his father’s backings, there is only one seat available at the Grove-based team. In the hunt for that sole race seat are Felipe Massa, Robert Kubica, Paul di Resta and Pascal Wehrlein. As Williams conducted test sessions with Kubica and di Resta in Hungary, the pair is tipped to be in contention with a real chance for the race seat.
Massa said that he is in no talk with the team, he is simply waiting for the decision of the successful British squad. However, the Brazilian would be keen on working as a consultant for Formula One’s new owner Liberty Media to make the sport even more successful.
"If I can help, and they are interested in my help, then of course we can talk," he said in Austin.
Arrivabene delighted with the comeback
After having been dogged by reliability woes in recent races, Ferrari came back with a double podium in Austin. Sebastian Vettel secured the second place while his team mate Kimi Räikkönen stood on the lowest spot on the rostrum.
Team principal Maurizio Arrivabene sounded delighted after the race and praised his team for having been able to stand up following recent difficulties.
“The team, both here at the track and back in Maranello, did a good job in coming back from the difficulties encountered in free practice on Friday. The most important thing is that we never gave up and getting both cars to the podium, even if it was not the ideal result, was achieved by fighting right to the end. We did that thanks to a car that, yet again proved to be competitive. Just as we did today, we will continue to fight to the very last corner of the final race,” concluded the Italian.
Holland is in the hunt for a street race
Liberty Media is open to approving a Grand Prix in Holland in the future. The idea came up on the back of the huge popularity of Red Bull driver Max Verstappen. The race could be held on the streets of either Rotterdam or Amsterdam.
Verstappen is, however, unsure whether the race can actually materialize in the near future.
"If there is the money and the support and everything, then we’ll see."
Kvyat wants to talk with Helmut Marko
Daniil Kvyat feels he is in better form then ever after having been forced to miss two GPs. The Russian driver was ousted in the Malaysian and Japanese Grand Prix to give the chance to the Frenchman Pirerry Gasly to make debut in Formula One. The reigning GP2 champion contested in the Japanese Super Formula and missed this weekend’s American GP to fight for the title in the last round of that series.
Kvyat was called back for last weekend’s American GP to take over the driving duties in the absence of Gasly. The 23-year-old was content with his own performance.
"It was my best race this year. I came here with a new approach to use all the knowledge that I have. I feel I have become stronger psychologically, with a new motivation.”
"Every day I have been asked if I think this weekend is the most important in my career, and if it was, I think I could not have done anything better," said the former GP3 champion.Engine plans influenced Vertsappen’s decision
Max Verstappen surprised the world when Red Bull announced the contract extension of the 20-year-old driver. His previous contract would have run out at the end of 2018, but his new deal has extended his commitment to Red Bull Racing through the 2020 season.
It came as a surprise as racing seats will be available at Ferrari and Mercedes at the end of 2018. Red Bull’s kingpin dr Helmut Marko disclosed that his team informed Verstappen about the engine plans the squad has for the future.
"He knows what our plans are and what the alternatives are and this convinced him to extend the contract. But I cannot tell you the details," said the team official.
Red Bull will be driven by Renault’s power unit next year, but its sister team Toro Rosso will switch to Honda engine. Many in the paddock think Toro Rosso’s deal is a pilot project and Red Bull wants to see whether Honda can produce competitive engine. If the Japanese manufacturer can make a U-turn after its shocking start to its latest endeavor in F1, Red Bull can swap the Renault power unit to the Honda one in 2019.
Liberty Media to team up with Netflix
Liberty Media is set to make another big move in the digital presence of Formula One. The American company is in talks with internet company Netflix about a potential tie-up which could revolutionize how the Moving Circus is broadcast.
The deal could be made as soon as this year. However, the contract would include initially only showing feature content, highlights, replays instead of live broadcast.
"Liberty Media has been trying to expand the presence of formula one in multimedia channels," said F1’s commercial boss Sean Bratches.
"We are talking to Netflix about a collaboration from 2018 onwards," he added.