Formula 1 gossip column: Russian GP, Honda, Marussia

Sunday, 18 January

The Russian Grand Prix in October will not be a night race in 2015 despite its organisers pushing for the Sochi event to be run under floodlights. (ESPN)external-link

Any remaining hope that Marussia could return to the F1 grid this season will be extinguished if Wednesday's auction of the team's equipment goes ahead, former boss Graeme Lowdon has admitted.(Sky Sports)external-link

Daniel Riccardo and Soa The Hulk Palelei
Daniel Riccardo meets the "Hulk"

Red Bull's Daniel Riccardo met up with a fellow Australian Soa "The Hulk" Palelei, of the Ultimate Fighting Championship.

Friday, 16 January

Toro Rosso tweet a picture of their young driver Max Verstappen, 17, and write: "Today @Max Verstappen in the house: seat, pedals and monocoque check, meeting with his race engineer."

Max Verstappen
Learning curve: Max Verstappen listens in to a briefing by his Toro Rosso race engineer

The FIA says it is open to tweaking the new Formula 1 superlicence system in future if the sport's governing body feels that the weighting of junior championships needs adjusting. (Autosport)external-link

Red Bull

Red Bull tweet a pictureexternal-link of a caravan and write: "Calling all #F1 fanatics. Where will you get your Grand Prix fix in 2015?

Sebastian Vettel has paid his first visit to Ferrari's Maranello base since his winter holidays 'at the request' of new Scuderia team principal Maurizio Arrivabene. A team statement said: "The purpose of the tour was to allow the four-time world champion to visit all the departments and to get better acquainted with everyone he will be working with this season."(Sky Sports)external-link

The Lotus E23 chassis has been homologated after passing the FIA's mandatory crash tests. The Enstone-based team joins McLaren-Honda, Sauber and Toro Rosso in confirming that it has cleared the tests, required before a car takes to the track. Lotus has switched from Renault to Mercedes power for the 2015 campaign, after scoring just 10 points last season. (GPupdate)external-link

Romain Grosjean
French driver Romain Grosjean tests his feet for size in the Lotus

Meanwhile, Lotus reveal pictures of their driver Romain Grosjean's feet and explain by tweeting:external-link "Have we snuck into the #E23 secret room with @RGrosjean to take photos of his seat fitting? Yes, we have."

Thursday, 15 January

Ferrari president Sergio Marchionne admits work on the team's 2015 car has started late, but predicts it will get better as the season goes on. (Autosport)external-link

Mark Webber and Maria Sharapova
"Quality afternoon," wrote Mark Webber

Former F1 driver Mark Webber posted a photoexternal-link of himself and Maria Sharapova on Twitter after taking the tennis star for a spin ahead of the start of the Australian Open.

Sauber driver Marcus Ericsson says the team is "fired up" to fight back in 2015 after failing to score a point last season. (Crash)external-link

Officials are considering rescheduling the Malaysian Grand Prix to avoid downpours in the wake of Jules Bianchi's crash in Japan last season. (Pitpass)external-link

McLaren test driver Stoffel Vandoorne will remain in GP2 next season with the ART GP team.(Autosport)external-link

Wednesday, 14 January

Ex-F1 driver David Coulthard believes development will be difficult for Toro Rosso in 2015 without an experienced driver to guide the team's engineers. (Sky Sports)external-link

Test driver Jean-Eric Vergne has spent his first day on the job at Ferrari and says he cannot wait to work alongside race drivers Sebastian Vettel and Kimi Raikkonen. (

World champion Lewis Hamilton loves his music. And his dog. He decided to post a photoexternal-link on Twitter capturing the majesty of both, saying music was "therapy" to him.

Lewis Hamilton and dog
"Do you know the theme from The Littlest Hobo?" Roscoe may or may not have said

Anthony Hamilton thinks his son Lewis could wrap up the 2015 world championship by the middle of the season if he avoids the bad luck which plagued him at Mercedes last season. (ESPN)external-link

Britain's Jolyon Palmer, who won the GP2 title in 2014, is eyeing a third-driver role after seeing drivers with bigger budgets secure F1's few vacant seats for next season.(Sky Sports)external-link

Lotus driver Romain Grosjean says he is approaching the 2015 season with a revamped driving style to help boost his form. (Autosport)external-link

Tuesday, 13 January

Romain Grosjean sweets
Will Romain Grosjean give in to sweet temptation?

Qatar has given the green light for ambitious plans to hold a Formula 1 grand prix on a new street circuit in the city of Losail, in either 2016 or 2017. (Autosport)external-link

But their plans could be thwarted by an unofficial veto given to Middle East neighbours Bahrain by F1 chief Bernie Ecclestone over a decade ago. (Daily Telegraph)external-link

F1 track designer Hermann Tilke is confident that his revisions to the Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez in Mexico City will prove to be successful when the race is held on 1 November after a gap of 23 years. (Adam Cooper F1)external-link

Williams needs to secure a bigger budget before it can make the next step and become a world championship contender again, says its technical chief Pat Symonds. (Autosport)external-link

Lotus driver Romain Grosjean has been given a present of sweets with images of him and his wife, Marion, on the shell. "Lovely, isn't it?" he tweeted.external-link

Former Toro Rosso driver Jean-Eric Vergne says he would rather be a test driver at Ferrari than with a struggling team at the back of the grid. (Gazzetta Dello Sport - in Italian)external-link

Red Bull design chief Adrian Newey expects the team will still be playing catch up to Mercedes again in 2015. (James Allen on F1)external-link

Monday, 12 January

Lewis Hamilton
Hamilton went for a more leisurely skiing holiday before Christmas

Lewis Hamilton's preparations for his 2015 world title defence continue as the Mercedes driver incorporates cross-country skiing into his fitness programme.external-link

Jenson Button meanwhile has been visiting Tokyo with wife Jessica, paying a visit to the city's Meiji Shrine.external-link

Former McLaren test driver Gary Paffett has criticised plans for a points-based super licence system for 2016, saying that the present plans have cut off a route into Formula 1 for drivers competing in the German Touring Car (DTM) series. (Reuters)external-link

Red Bull designer Adrian Newey says that he understands why Sebastian Vettel left the team to join Ferrari. "It's a natural curiosity in life to find out how you can perform in different environments," he said. (Sky Sports)external-link

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