Practice at Monza hasn’t started yet and I’m afraid boredom has settled in. I’ve watched all of the replays from last week and have exhausted the majority of the news stories surrounding the Verstappen conundrum. In the downtime between races, I’ve found the quickest way to pass the time is to propagate rumors and speculate superfluously about what’s to come for our beloved drivers next season.
Just recently, Valtteri Bottas signed a two-year deal to return with Williams Racing for the 2017 and 2018 seasons.
There was speculation regarding a possible jumping-ship by Bottas to Renault, but for those in the know, this was never a real possibility.
Renault, though ripe with potential, is slow. Slower than Williams. Slower than Haas, my beloved first-year American team. Slower than Force India.
Why would a driver voluntarily sign a contract to go around a track slower?
Come to Renault, they said. You’ll be fast, they said.
Though we know Bottas won’t be experiencing team relocation, he may still be expecting a change of teammates, as Felipe Massa has yet to renew a contract. Say what?
It gets deeper!
Jensen Button is also rumored to be getting a swift kick from McLaren, not that he will be too upset given recent powerplant issues. Remember his frustrated race-radio transmission comparing his Honda engine to that of a GP car? Funny then, funny now.
Button started his career with Williams, could he be returning? Though sources have stated otherwise, a guy can still dream.
In terms of rumors, these are just the tip of the iceberg. Still to be determined is the fate of Sergio Perez, rumored to be in talks with Renault, though still largely interested in staying with Force India. On top of this, we are still uncertain of the driver landscape for Haas Racing. Who stays and who goes?
This stuff is stressful!
Maybe the most concerning tidbit of driver speculation revolves around Fernando Alonso, who, after winning back-to-back with Renault in 2005 and 2006, has had a career riddled with poor timing and shit luck. Whether or not Alonso stays with Mclaren, moves to another team, or leaves Formula 1 altogether is yet to be determined.
Don’t leave us Alonso.
Certainly we should expect more positioning and contract jockeying over the next few weeks, with multiple teams set to announce their 2017 lineups by the end of September.
If you have any other rumors you’d like to spread, list ‘em below, but do keep them inside the world of F1. I’m not trying to read about what Kelly did last week.