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A race that began with the Battle of the
Reds and Bulls ended with a Bonding of the
Bros, as podium pollster Mark Webber took
a bootful of champagne from fellow Aussie
Daniel Ricciardo at Spa. Different, anyway...
Is it a sabbatical, or is it
retirement? The official line
from Jenson Button and
McLaren-Honda on Jenson’s
decision to move to a reserve
driver role in 2017
is the former.
But with the
taking over the seat,
a return in 2018 seems less
than straightforward for the ’09
Formula 1 World Champion.
McLaren chairman Ron
Dennis denies keeping Button
on the books is an insurance
policy, should Fernando Alonso
leave when his contract expires
at the end of 2017. Whatever,
it’s ended any speculation that
return to Williams,
where he began his
F1 career in 2000.
driver Felipe Massa
(ABOVE) announced he’ll quit F1
at the end of the season. Force
India’s Sergio Perez is touted
as a possible replacement,
joining Valtteri Bottas.
The threat to the future of
the Italian Grand Prix at Monza
had sent shudders through F1
fans far beyond the borders of
the Apennine Peninsula.
Financial and political problems
had drawn out negotiations for
a renewal of F1’s deal with the
grand old Autodromo – and
crystalized fan discontent with
the tug-of-war for race dates
between the sport’s traditional
venues and new markets.
This time, the traditionalists
appear to have come out ahead,
following a compromise deal to
keep Monza on the calendar
for the next three years.
Verstappen vs. Ricciardo: Red Bull’s
dream/nightmare scenario, page 20
McLaren brings in the new kid, but is Jenson done yet?
NO NEED TO REMAKE THE ITALIAN JOB
PRESSING THE PAUSE BUTTON
Ferrari’s ever-quotable ace
summed up Verstappen’s
driving: “If I would not have
braked, we would have had
a massive accident.”
RAIKKONEN ON RED MIST
Button donates his
’ 17 McLaren seat
to Vandoorne. After
that, who knows?
The tifosi got its wish
as Monza is set to
keep F1 flags flying.
something that has happened,” he said.
“It’s not the place to start acting silly.”
Vettel – who termed Verstappen’s first
corner line “bold,” but apologized for his part
in it – suggested disagreements between
drivers ought to be handled privately.
“I’m not a fan of penalizing people, it’s
not the way to educate,” he said. “We need
to talk to each other and have respect.”
Nevertheless, F1 race director Charlie
Whiting did meet with Verstappen at the
following weekend’s Italian GP, noting, “He
just needs to be careful he doesn’t get a bad
name for himself. He fully accepts that.”