• Newly-promoted to the RED BULL team in Spa, ALEX ALBON reflected upon his previous karting run-ins with new team-mate Max Verstappen. “It was in 2010, wasn’t it? We did the European and World Championships together. We had a few crashes together, do you remember?”
Verstappen: “A few touches, yeah.”
Albon: “We had a good rivalry going. Max was the young guy, I was the experienced one – which is a bit weird. I mean, I’m older than Max but he’s a bit more experienced than me in F1. So, yeah, we started like that.”
• The confirmation of the SPANISH GRAND PRIX has allowed the full 2020 F1 calendar to be announced. It will be the first 22-race season in the championship’s history.
• FERNANDO ALONSO has reportedly been in extensive contact with both FERRARI and RED BULL in recent weeks, campaigning to return to F1. Red Bull was interested, but its engine partner Honda rather less so… Ferrari boss Mattia Binotto has repeated that the team’s current Vettel/Leclerc line-up will be unchanged into next year. “Maybe things change, and 2021 may be a good opportunity,” Alonso said to Sky at the Italian Grand Prix about his future F1 prospects.
• The funeral of F2 race winner and reigning GP3 champion ANTHOINE HUBERT (top) took place on the Tuesday after the Italian Grand Prix. The driver who collided with Hubert’s car in the Spa F2 race, JUAN MANUEL CORREA, suffered serious leg injuries and subsequently respiratory complications after being transferred to a British hospital. He has been placed in a controlled coma and at the time of writing was reported to be in a ‘critical but stable’ condition.
• At Spa it was confirmed that Mercedes reserve driver ESTEBAN OCON will be replacing NICO HÜLKENBERG at Renault from next year. Concurrently, VALTTERI BOTTAS extended his contract with Mercedes for another year. SERGIO PÉREZ has signed a three-year extension of his current Racing Point deal. At the time of writing Hülkenberg had been in strong contention for a place at Haas, but ROMAIN GROSJEAN has since secured that spot. Discussions between Hülkenberg and Alfa Romeo are also understood to have taken place.
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