Ferrari Set to Appoint Nico Hulkenberg? Or Kimi Raikkonen?
Nico Hulkenberg’s brilliant fifth-place finish in the Italian Grand Prix will have done his chances of landing a coveted drive with the Maranello-based team no harm at all.
Hulkenberg was already one of the drivers firmly in the frame but now appears to be the No. 1 contender after his impressive drive, as reported by Autosport:
I have done a very decent job here, we have done a 100 percent score this weekend and that's all I can do. Even the year before I think my performance has been very consistent and very good, that's all I can influence now. Some decisions are not in my hands.
Felipe Massa is the driver that Hulkenberg would likely replace, but the Brazilian told BBC Sport he is hopeful of staying on after his fourth-place finish: "This race was important, not just for my contract but also to show the other teams what I'm able to do."
The ultimate decision rests with Ferrari president Luca Di Montezemolo, who told the BBC that the decision would be made public over the next few days.
Listen, we have Raikkonen, Hulkenberg, [Paul] Di Resta. I have seen so many names. Now we will think very, very carefully, because we don't have a gun here [pointing at is head] to decide tomorrow or after tomorrow, but after Monza this will be something I want to decide.
And on Monday morning there was an interesting rumour on Raikkonen's Ferrari return doing the rounds on Twitter. If it turns out to be true it would have serious implications on the grid.
Am hearing Kimi/Ferrari deal now agreed. Dramatic developments ahead? #SkyF1— Mark Hughes (@SportmphMark) September 9, 2013
Red Bull to Carry Out Pirelli Tyre Test
It looks increasingly likely that Pirelli will be the sole tyre supplier for the 2014 season after Paul Hembery confirmed to ESPN F1 that Red Bull will carry out a tyre test at the Circuit de Catalunya this week.
The Pirelli motorsport director confirmed at Monza that the test will focus on the 2014 tyres, with Red Bull running a 2011 spec car during a two-day test. Former Toro Rosso driver Sebastien Buemi is likely to be the driver.
It's a 2011 car, next year's tyres, I'm not sure about the driver - that's probably going to be Buemi. It's 1000km as we did with Mercedes and Ferrari. We've got full FIA approval, all the other teams were invited and maybe there's another team that we're looking to organise another 1000km with that's offered their availability. This time, hopefully, we won't be ending up in Paris! So we've had good collaboration from the FIA and I think this time it's all been OK.
Lewis Hamilton Backtracks Over Title Chances
Lewis Hamilton has made a dramatic U-turn about his title chances after initially ruling himself out of the title race following a disappointing Italian Grand Prix.
A clearly frustrated Hamilton initially told BBC Sport that his title chances were over after a disappointing race saw him lose radio contact with his team before finishing ninth:
I’m very disappointed with myself. We blew it in qualifying and it was just impossible to catch up. The radio failed in the race so I didn’t know what was going on. I missed my pit stop laps by quite a few laps. An overall disaster of a weekend. Obviously that's that for the championship.
Having had time to cool off and re-assess the situation, Hamilton told reporters he was not going to give up after all:
When I got out of the car I was angry, and definitely thought that would be it. But I've been back with my engineers and I'm not going to give up. I basically need to win every race, which is the tallest order ever, but I can do nothing but try.
Heikki Kovalainen’s Caterham Chances Increase
Heikki Kovalainen has been given a solid hint that he may reclaim his race seat for the 2014 season after team boss said Caterham may not have to sign two sponsored drivers for next year.
Kovalainen was dropped at the end of last season with the arrival of Charles Pic and Giedo van der Garde.
But after a tough season in which the team has struggled against rivals Marussia, a driver of Kovalainen’s calibre would be a significant asset should Caterham find the necessary sponsors to pay him.
Team principal Cyril Abiteboul told Russia's f1news.ru via motorsport.com.
A lot can happen with the races we have left. We are trying to find new sponsors, new people, so it's too early to talk about the impact that our final position in the championship will have on our decision. Naturally, we have to have the necessary budget for next year. And Formula One is not exactly getting cheaper.