Charlie’s Chatter

  • With Valtteri Bottas only currently confirmed for one season at Mercedes, the two leading drivers on the world champions’ books, Esteban Ocon and Pascal Wehrlein, could conceivably stake their respective case for a 2018 seat via strong performances for their new teams in 2017.
  • Fernando Alonso has side-stepped speculation over the future of McLaren’s relationship with Honda after reports emerged suggesting the Woking team had made a tentative enquiry with Mercedes about a supply of engines from 2018.
  • Daniel Ricciardo has admitted it may be good if his relationship with Red Bull team-mate Max Verstappen deteriorates this season as it will probably mean they are battling for the world championship.
  • Valtteri Bottas is confident he will get equal status with Lewis Hamilton at Mercedes and says he is ready to challenge for the drivers’ championship.
  • New F1 boss Chase Carey has revealed he is talking to “multiple” cities in the United States about joining the F1 grid and would like a new American races as early as 2019.
  • Sergio Perez says he has been on an “extreme diet” before the Australian Grand Prix to help Force India cope with its ‘overweight’ car.
  • Force India deputy team principal Bob Fernley says hopes of a top-three finish in the constructors’ championship are already out of reach after pre-season testing suggested Mercedes, Ferrari and Red Bull were ahead of the pack.
  • Paddy Lowe left Mercedes to join Williams as the team’s chief technical officer and he believes “there are undoubtedly things here at Williams that are much better than they have in Mercedes already”.

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