Formula One's Latest Rumours and Talk: Maldonado Set for Lotus and More
Despite the Formula One season having drawn to a close after the final race of the season in Brazil, there is no let-up in the intensity of the rumour mill.
With a number of seats still up for grabs for the 2014 season, several drivers face an anxious wait over their F1 futures and some are in a stronger position than others.
Maldonado Closes on Lotus Drive
Maldonado has been linked with a number of teams including Sauber and Force India but his preferred option has always been Lotus because they can deliver him a race winning car.
Should Maldonado move to Lotus, Nico Hulkenberg is expected to move back to Force India, possibly to join former McLaren driver Sergio Perez. That would leave both Paul di Resta and Adrian Sutil looking for a drive with Sauber the only viable option.
Alonso Would Have Given Massa Podium
Fernando Alonso says he would have let Ferrari teammate Felipe Massa past in his final race for the team had he been in a position to do so near the end of the race.
Massa had been running fourth before receiving a controversial drive-through penalty for crossing the pit lane entry line.
The Brazilian Grand Prix was Massa’s last race for Ferrari before switching to Williams and Alonso said on ESPNF1 that it was a shame he could not have carried off the gesture.
It was a shame that he had this drive through because I think the podium was very close for Felipe today. When I saw him in fourth I said that this would be very good celebration for him.
I'm sad for this race but happy for the last four years. He has been an amazing team-mate inside the circuit with very competitive skills and also like a person. We built a friendly relationship in the last four years, spent a lot of time together and we'll see him in the paddock next year with different colours but he will always remain a very good man.
Webber Explains Helmet-off Gesture
Mark Webber revealed that he took his helmet off during his slowing-down lap at the end of his final race to show fans the human side of the F1 driver.
Webber had finished second behind teammate Sebastian Vettel in his final race in F1 when he took off his helmet before waving to the fans on his return to parc ferme.
The Australian told Autosport that it wasn't an easy stunt to carry off but he was pleased to be able to show his face to the fans.
It's not easy to get the HANS device away from the helmet so I spent half a lap trying to get the left hand side off. I finally got it there but the cars are bloody noisy with no helmet on, I know that much... So it was really noisy, all the vibrations and you can hear lots of things that you don't want to be hearing with the helmet on, that's for sure.
In this sport, it's not always easy to show the person that's behind the wheel. We can in lots of other sports but in Formula 1 we've always got the helmet on so it was nice to drive back with the helmet off. The only time you're seen with the helmet off is on the podium if we have a good day.
Kovalainen Admits Seat Chances Fading
Heikki Kovalainen has admitted that his chances of landing a race drive for 2014 are "not looking good".
The Finn replaced compatriot Kimi Raikkonen at Lotus for the final two races of the season but struggled for pace in relation to teammate Romain Grosjean and failed to score a single point.
After finishing a disappointing 14th on Sunday, Kovalainen is quoted in Finland’s Turun Sanomat via motorsport.com that he expected things to have been easier.
These two races were not the best. I knew it was a bit of a risk (replacing Raikkonen) but I did not think it would be so difficult. At the moment I do not have an agreement (for 2014). I can only say that it's looking good. Caterham is still the most likely option for me.