Formula 1 Paddock: Latest Gossip and Rumours

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Formula 1 Paddock: Latest Gossip and Rumours
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McLaren Not Ruling Out Kimi Raikkonen Return...

Kimi Raikkonen might return to McLaren in the near future, having missed out on joining the Woking squad last season.

The Lotus driver has been the subject of much speculation over the summer, as he was one of the favourites to land the second Red Bull seat.

However, while Red Bull insist he is not out of the question, and Lotus are adamant he will sign a new contract, it has emerged that the Finn's old stable, McLaren, are interested in enquiring about his services again.

Speaking to the official Formula 1 website (via Yahoo! Sport), Martin Whitmarsh was asked if he'd considered Raikkonen for next season or beyond. He replied:

Yes, we have. Kimi has always been great and I am a big fan of him. There is a lot of speculation out there at the moment so let's see what happens. Last year we had talks with him, but for various reasons it didn't happen, This year we've had no talks - yet.

 

...And Felipe Massa still in Ferrari frame

Vladimir Rys/Getty Images
It's been another up-and-down season for Massa

Despite yet another inconsistent and uninspiring season for Ferrari, 2008 world championship runner-up Felipe Massa is still being considered for the second seat in 2014.

Speaking to the Formula 1 website, team principal Stefano Domenicali said Massa was his "favourite choice" but that they had "plenty" of choices if the Brazilian did not up his game.

Asked about his 2014 driver lineup plans, he replied:

Don’t forget, everybody wants to drive for Ferrari. We have to wait and see. My favourite choice would be, of course, to keep Felipe because Felipe is a very good guy—very dedicated to the teamand when you look around there are not so many drivers out there that you swap and they immediately deliver. But, of course, we need good results from Felipe, so that’s why we will not rush as we have to make the right decision for the team. As soon as we have made up our minds we will announce it officially to silence the rumours once and for all. When we are ready…

He also denied there was any ongoing feud between himself and Fernando Alonso.

When asked if there was a power struggle between himself and the Spaniard, he replied: "No, no, this is something that I totally reject."

 

Mark Thompson/Getty Images
Kovalainen won with McLaren

Heikki Kovalainen Unmoved On Pay Stance

 

F1 race winner Heikki Kovalainen remains adamant he will not pay to drive in the sport again, according to Autosport.

The Finn was dropped by the Caterham team for which he had driven since 2010 in favour of the paying Giedo van der Garde this season.

However, he was drafted in by boss Tony Fernandes to drive on some Grand Prix Friday mornings, and he has been hopeful of a full-time return to racing in 2014.

The former Renault and McLaren driver, though, maintains that he "does not want to bring money" with him to guarantee him a seat, even if he doesn't race again.

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I think it's important to get back racing, that's clearly my goal, but I really don't know whether the chances are good or not. The fact is that I will not bring money, everyone knows that, and if that's going to be an obstacle again then it's out of my hands. I haven't worried about other drivers bringing in money and taking the places.

I'll try to find other ways, and I'll try to convince people based on another way, purely on performance and the things that I do and how I do things. Whether that will work or not I don't know.

 

 

GP2 star set for Toro Rosso seat

Brazilian GP2 race winner Felipe Nasr is in the running for a seat at Scuderia Toro Rosso next season.

The feeder series front-runner is well-backed from his homeland, and F1 supremo Bernie Ecclestone has hinted in the past at helping him into the sport's top echelon.

Motorsport.com reports that Auto Motor und Sport's Michael Schmidt believes Nasr could challenge Red Bull junior Antonio Felix da Costa for a potentially vacant second seat if Daniel Ricciardo succeeds Mark Webber at the senior team.

Voices from Brazil say that GP2 star Felipe Nasr is knocking on the door at Toro Rosso with money from Banco do Brasil and Sky Brasil.

 

Silverstone Sale

According to Sky News, a private equity firm owned by the state-backed Lloyds Banking Group is in talks to buy a big stake in Silverstone.

Reporter Mark Kleinman writes that "people familiar with the Silverstone transaction said on Tuesday that it would be structured as two separate agreements with the present owner, the British Racing Drivers' Club (BRDC)."

Kleinman says LDC will invest millions of pounds in backing a management buyout of Silverstone Circuits. MEPC, a property group owned by the BT pension fund, will acquire the development land around the site.

Mark Thompson/Getty Images
Hill led BRDC F1 negotiations in '09

The most recent BRDC quote to the issue, from June, reads as follows:

[The BRDC] can confirm that it remains in discussion with parties interested in investing in Silverstone. Those discussions are progressing. Under the terms of non-disclosure agreements, the BRDC is not able to comment on any details or speculation surrounding potential investors.

 

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