Formula 1 Paddock: Latest Gossip and Rumours

Scott Mitchell@scottmitchell89Contributor ISeptember 2, 2013

Ex-F1 Driver Alex Zanardi Wins Gold

Starting this roundup on a high, what a sight it was to see Alex Zanardi win his maiden Para-Cycling world title.

Ex-Jordan, Minardi and Team Lotus racer Zanardi, twice a Champ Car title winner, earned the gold with success in the time trial in Canada on Saturday.

Double-amputee Zanardi completed the 17.3km course in 27:15 to win the H4 class.

It's excellent to see such inspirational stories get publicity, despite BBC Sport confusing "kart" with "cart", the competition in which Zanardi lost both legs in the most horrendous of crashes.

Is Todt's FIA Reign Over?

Former Ferrari team boss and current FIA President Jean Todt will be opposed in this year's presidential elections by his former running mate David Ward, should he try and stay on for a second term.

Ward, who has quit his role as director general of the FIA Foundation charity, has his roots in British politics.

It follows fresh criticism of Todt's time as FIA President, this time from his predecessor Max Mosley, who according to says Todt is partly responsible for the sport's money crisis. 

No one could or wanted to join the [budget cap] proposal. Instead, the teams introduced their own cost limits, but it was never effective in reality. In the end it was only a non-binding letter of intent -- a kind of lip service. It was ineffective, partly because my successor Jean Todt was never a friend of cost limits. Now Formula One has a big problem.

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Caterham's Van Der Garde Hopeful of F1 Stay

Giedo van der Garde is optimistic he will be on the F1 grid next season after a career-best qualifying and strong race at the Belgian Grand Prix.

The Dutch driver, in his debut season, reached Q2 at Spa, starting the race 14th and fending off faster cars in the early stages before eventually dropping back.

He wrote in his diary on the official Formula One website:

Right now I know I have what it takes to be an F1 driver because that’s exactly what I am! I’m sure big egos work for some drivers, for others it’s maybe something else that helps drive them. For me, sure I have a healthy ego, but I also know that if you put good things out into the world, you’ll get good things back.

I saw at a demo event we did in Rotterdam at the end of the August break what it means to the Dutch fans to have a local boy to cheer for. That was a special feeling—pretty humbling to be honest. Now I just have to keep learning, keep improving and take my chances when they come.


Hamilton's Happy Bubble Burst?

Lewis Hamilton, after his tumultuous penultimate season with McLaren in 2011, told Autosport that then-teammate Jenson Button had a "happy bubble" which had led to him having a stronger season.

Since Hamilton's move to Mercedes 12 months later, he has confessed to the The Independent he is happier than ever.

Well, that may change. The 2008 world champion has made no secret of his love for Pussycat Doll Nicole Scherzinger on Twitter, despite the pair's on-off relationship.

Now, according to the Daily Mail, Scherzinger has told The Sun it's off for good: "It was very sweet of him. The truth is we are no longer together. It is over. I know he's been very public about trying to get me back, but we're still not together."

Ricciardo's Bum 'Not Too Big For Red Bull'

Daniel Ricciardo has reportedly had a seat fitting at Red Bull, according to the Daily Telegraph, but denies his bum is too big to fit in the car.

Red Bull designer Adrian Newey is very efficient with how he sculpts every area of the car, including the cockpit.

And Aussie Ricciardo admits it was slightly problematic fitting himself in his current Toro Rosso mount.

However, he's determined that will not come between him and his dream move, as reported by the Daily Telegraph:

I’ve got wide hips. It’s not my arse per se. I guess it’s genetic. Even when I signed for Toro Rosso we had to do a few seat fits and they did some scans to make that particular part of the cockpit a bit wider, so that we’re not sitting on the actual carbon fibre.

But yeah, I’ve heard that Adrian does like to build small race cars. I can’t do much about it. Even if I go on a massive diet my hip bones aren’t going to change. I’d shave my hips if necessary. I might die of blood loss but it would be worth it.