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Mercedes is hoping to place George Russell with Williams for a couple of years and there have been talks about Esteban Ocon taking a Williams drive, but that does not make a huge amount of sense, as Mercedes would be putting its two young drivers up against one another.
There is a third element in the story because Robert Kubica remains Williams’s reserve driver, with the Polish driver believed to have as much as $10 million in sponsorship for 2019, which suggests that Williams might go for a Kubica-Russell line-up, funding the line-up with help from Mercedes, Kubica’s support and the money that Lance Stroll has to pay to release himself from his Williams contract, in order to join his father’s team (née Force India).
We should know the new name of the team by December 1, when the FIA is supposed to issue an entry list for next year, although the federation does not always get around to doing it on time.
Sebastian Vettel admitted after the Japanese Grand Prix that he and Ferrari had helped Lewis Hamilton to the verge of a fifth world title by their own failings.
“We made it a bit too easy for them in the last couple of races,” the German said. “Credit to them, they executed well. But we need to look after ourselves and do our bit and then we see.”
[Removing] all the [mistakes] up brings a total net loss to Vettel of 80 points. Which means, had Ferrari had a perfect season, he could still be leading the championship by 13 points.
Unfortunately, my twitter account was hacked in the last days. All direct messages are not written by me. Someone has tried to sell Amazon Gift Certificates through my account. Sorry for the inconveniences.
Crazy world… 🧐
— Nico Hülkenberg (@HulkHulkenberg) October 10, 2018
Pascal Wehrlein rejected a deal with the Mercedes backed HWA Formula E team for the fifth season of the all-electric series, suggesting he could be set for a 2019 deal in Formula 1 with Toro Rosso after a year off the F1 grid.
“Of course he would have been an option,” said HWA boss Uli Fritz. “At the time when we would have liked to have made the decision, Pascal’s focus was very clear: to return to F1
“If he does Formula E in the end, it will be because another one did not work.
“I came to know him as an extremely strong-willed driver, extremely focused. What still impresses me is how he deals with pressure.
“He knows no pressure, he can hide that and deal with difficult situations. Besides, he has a great driving talent. That’s undisputed.”