There’s plenty happening in the F1 world right now, so here’s our headlines for the week:
McLaren Run their Honda Test at Silverstone
McLaren tested the Honda power unit in a promotional day at Silverstone on Friday using the modified MP4-29H car. Eric Boullier tweeted that the test had been a success, and the team posted some initial photos of the car – which looks almost identical to the race car – albeit with the addition of some extra cooling (read our post here).
Caterham Will Run in Abu Dhabi
Caterham’s administrators appear to have secured enough funding to ensure that the team can run at the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix. The crowd funding program had reached 80% of the target on Friday, and with 9 hours remaining it was extended up to the grand prix itself – presumably to give time for some larger backers to come on board. Either way, it’s a positive sign for the team and suggests we could well see them manage to make the grid for next year – assuming that they have a car under development… Read our story about the Caterham attempts to get to the Grand Prix Here. It’s not entirely clear who their drivers might be, although there have been rumours that one seat could be going to former Marussia driver Max Chilton who would bring a decent amount of funding with him
Still No Confirmation about Button or Alonso
Despite the constant swirling of rumours there’s been no confirmation of who will be driving for McLaren in 2015. Gossip from the pitlane and various journalists close to the teams and drivers suggest that Alonso has signed a 2 year deal with a 1 year option beyond that and the deal will be announced at Abu Dhabi, but this – along with Alonso’s claimed $25million salary – remain unconfirmed. Similarly, Button hasn’t been signed for next year although he’s widely thought to be talking to Porsche about a drive for them, and Webber’s tweet indicates that there’s been a contract offer:
— Mark Webber (@AussieGrit) November 12, 2014
New Drivers Chat
Alice Powell was rumoured to be joining the Caterham team for the FP1 session in Abu Dhabi – although she poured water on the rumours by noting that she didn’t have a superlicense yet:
News from my end… None, apart from it's looking very unlikely due to getting a super license! Great news for @CaterhamF1 though
At the same time, Carlos Sainz Junior, who was thought to be a shoe in alongside Max Verstappen at Toro Rosso was also rumoured to be the new number 2 at McLaren ahead of Magnussen and Stoffel Vandoorne – although those rumours were comprehensively dismissed by Joe Saward.
There’s been a lot of rumours flying around about Bernie Ecclestone’s attitude towards the smaller teams with the consensus of opinion being that he doesn’t see the value in having them propping up the rest of the grid. Third cars look unlikely in 2015, and its hard to see customer cars happening either given the complexity of a modern F1 car, not to mention the amount of IP that they contain which the constructors won’t want to share.