Charlie’s Chatter

  • Carlos Sainz took a bit of a beating from his Red Bull bosses last week after he said it was unlikely he would stay at junior squad Toro Rosso for a fourth season. Sainz doesn’t appear to be backing down from those comments, however. “I have nothing to regret. I said something very clear,” Sainz told reporters.
  • Formula One hosted a terrific “live event” in central London this week. It was a wonderful event for the fans and the drivers showed off the cars on some of London’s most iconic streets. All drivers attended the event with one unexpected exception: Lewis Hamilton. Lewis was too busy with a two day holiday in Greece. But was that the real reason he skipped?
  • A report in The Daily Mail says that the Briton is unhappy with Mercedes after Toto Wolff attended Sebastian Vettel’s 30th birthday party. “It is conceivable that Wolff’s decision to attend Vettel’s shindig is key to Hamilton’s apparent disgruntlement with his team — a situation seemingly so bad that it played a part in his staying away from Trafalgar Square on Wednesday night,” McEvoy said.
  • Could we see Lewis Hamilton and Sebastian Vettel switch teams in the coming years? Paddock rumors certainly suggest it is a possibility. Perhaps Toto Wolff is looking for a German driver for his German team.
  • To add fuel to the fire, it appears that Vettel is playing a game of chicken with Ferrari concerning his seat next year. “All options are on the table,” Ferrari executive Marchionne told Sky F1. “We will continue discussing with Kimi. I’ve made it very clear if Sebastian wants to stay, he has the option.”
  • Former World Champion Nikki Lauda finally weighed in regarding the Vettel-Hamilton incident. “If I were to be a driver today, I would drive the way I want – aggressive, eccentric, try to win – because the FIA won’t do anything bad anyway,” Lauda told Sky F1. Not surprisingly, it sounds like the Mercedes man is siding with Lewis Hamilton.
  • Mercedes are in no rush to confirm their driver line-up for 2018, but team boss Toto Wolff has ruled out bringing in junior driver Esteban Ocon, who is driving for Force India this season. “Esteban is not a candidate to be our second driver in 2018,” Wolff was quoted in Next-gen Auto. “He’s too young. He’s a good guy, and he has a future, but we cannot put him alongside Lewis Hamilton yet.”
  • Red Bull could be the next team to rack up engine penalties in 2017 after Max Verstappen and Daniel Ricciardo reached the season limit for one area of the power unit in Austria. Drivers receive grid penalties when they exceed the four-component limit for the various areas of the power unit, starting with a 10-place demotion, and fourth MGU-Hs of the season were installed on both Red Bull cars at their home race.
  • Jos Verstappen has confirmed his son Max will be at Red Bull next season. So much for all those Verstappen to Ferrari rumors.
  • Are Porsche set to enter Formula 1 as an engine manufacturer? Representatives from the company were present at a meeting to discuss future F1 engine regulations earlier this month and Auto Motor und Sport report the Porsche board will make a decision on its ‘future orientation of motorsport strategy’ later this month.

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