The German GP has been axed again after
the Hockenheim circuit failed to reach a
deal with F1 commercial chief Bernie
Ecclestone. No replacement is expected,
so the 2017 slate is cut to 20 races.
Despite the availability of
the F1 champion’s seat,
Jenson Button hasn’t
changed his tune. The Briton
approached 2016’s finale in
Abu Dhabi as “my
last race” after
308 GP starts, the
first of which came
with Williams in
“It is true I have a contract
[with McLaren] for 2018, but
at this moment I am not going
to be racing in 2018,” he said.
“In three months’ time, when
I’m thinking of things to do in
the future, maybe I realize I
need F1 back in my life. But
in this moment of time, that
certainly isn’t the case.”
Button insists he
will race in 2017,
don’t clash with his
“I might do the Suzuka
1000kms in Super GT. Apart
from that I might do some
rallycross in America,” he said.
The trend toward new F1
races in unfamiliar places has
been countered by the return
of the French Grand Prix for
2018. The race will be held at
one of its prior locations – Paul
Ricard, or Le Castellet as it was
known when it last hosted the
event in 1990 – in late July.
The French race has been
off the calendar since 2008,
whan the Magny-Cours circuit
balked at F1’s rights fees. Paul
Ricard is owned by SLEC, F1
commercial boss Bernie
Ecclestone’s family trust, but
Ecclestone says promoters will
rent the track from SLEC.
Jenson Button appears to be sticking with sabbatical
READY FOR SOMETHING DIFFERENT
WHAT’S OLD IS NEW AGAIN
Nico Rosberg will be the seventh
Formula 1 champ conspicuous by
his absence the following season.
UNDEFENDED CROWNS Button launched his F1 “sabbatical” like a
retirement – which it may or may not be.
Ferenc Szisz was the first French GP winner
at Le Mans in 1906, and 85 have followed.
circulated that Mercedes’ Paddy Lowe
could be headed back to Williams, where
he started his F1 career back in 1987.
While emphasizing how crucial Bottas
was to the team’s future, Williams hinted
that it could be persuaded to part with
him if Felipe Massa could be persuaded
to put off his own retirement plans.
Hamilton insisted he would welcome
whomever Mercedes chose, although he
urged the team to avoid someone who
might create a “poisonous effect.” Which
is of course the trickiest part of all...
Whether Bottas can push
Lewis Hamilton is only one
of the criteria Mercedes
had to weigh after its
2016 pairing splintered.
Fatal crash at Monza ’ 70 made him
F1’s first posthumous champion
1971 Jochen Rindt
After five titles in seven years, El
Maestro decided he’d had enough
1958 Juan Manuel Fangio
French ace revoked retirement to
win another title, then resumed it
1994 Alain Prost
Despite crushing it at Williams, Brit
felt disrespected and quit for CART
1993 Nigel Mansell
Safety on his mind after a spike of
tragedies sent Scot to the sidelines
1974 Jackie Stewart
Sensitive Brit had been shocked by
’ 58 death of teammate Peter Collins
1959 Mike Hawthorn