Formula One Paddock: Latest Gossip and Rumours

Scott Mitchell@scottmitchell89Contributor IAugust 12, 2013

VALENCIA, SPAIN - JUNE 24:  Romain Grosjean of France and Lotus drives during the European Grand Prix at the Valencia Street Circuit on June 24, 2012 in Valencia, Spain.  (Photo by Paul Gilham/Getty Images)
Paul Gilham/Getty Images

Controversy reigns as we take a look at the hot topics set to rumble on in Formula 1 this week.

 

Valencia To Terminate F1 Contract?

The first comes courtesy of Diario Sport, a Barcelona-based newspaper, which reports that Valencia is set to terminate its contract to host Grands Prix.

Valencia has been part of the calendar for five years, and despite its €40m hosting costs, had looked to share the burden of the Spanish Grand Prix by inter-changing hosting years with the Circuit de Catalunya.

However, Laura Lopez Alpiac writes (in Spanish) that circuit bosses have invoked its €33m release clause.

Rosberg Unsure of Mercedes' Focus

Nico Rosberg remains in the dark over whether Mercedes bosses intend to switch their attentions to next year's car.

Both Rosberg and teammate Lewis Hamilton have won races this year, leading both team personnel and the drivers themselves to admit a title challenge is not off the cards.

However, with the 2014 regulation set to pose a daunting task for engineers and designers, many teams are already forsaking further development on this year's cars in order to get an advantage for next year and possibly beyond.

The German told Auto Motor und Sport, as reported by Auto Week

This is a difficult question because I'm in two minds. On the one hand, I find it so cool to come to a race weekend with the best car and knowing 'I can put it on pole and win'.

On the other hand, half of me thinks next year is a huge opportunity because of the massive changes. So we let it be and we can sure get a few good results out of this car even if it remains as it is.

This is a really difficult decision for the team on how and when to shift resources to next year.

F1 Drivers 'Have Doped'

Formula One drivers have used performance-enhancing drugs, according to quotes on Wheels24.co.za.

The website claims that Marc Sanson, head of the French anti-doping council from 2003 to 2005, earmarked F1 as one of the sports in which athletes have doped in a report which focused mostly on the cycling scandal.

Wheels24 quotes him as saying:

For many years, drivers have used Tacrine, a product used in the treatment of diseases such as Alzheimer's, in order to remember the circuits more easily.

 

Coulthard Expects Vettel Triumph

David Coulthard reckons Sebastian Vettel will claim a fourth straight Formula 1 crown after establishing a strong lead before the sport's summer break.

The Scot, in an interview with GPUpdate.net, pointed to Jenson Button's 2009 success as proof that the second half of the season can be less spectacular providing you've done the work in the first half.

Historically, if you’re able to build a bit of a buffer in the first half of the season, even if somebody then comes forward in performance, normally you can hang in there and get the championship.

Sebastian is unquestionably a remarkable driver when you look at the amount of starts, the amount of success, the qualifying and racing and what have you. Obviously I don’t know this, but I would be surprised if he doesn’t win his fourth championship.

The 2001 world championship runner-up added he believed Red Bull should opt for Daniel Ricciardo over a more experienced hand.

It would be a great validation of the Red Bull young driver programme to have another driver like Sebastian who came up through that scheme.

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