Formula 1 gossip: Alonso, Mone, Wolff, Kyalami circuit

Fernando Alonso
Two-time Formula 1 world champion Fernando Alonso will take part in all rounds of the World Endurance Championship this year

Sunday, 11 February

McLaren boss Zak Brown says the team insisted Fernando Alonso had a "very minimised" role with Toyota in allowing him to compete in the World Endurance Championship. (Autosport)external-link

Former boxing ring card girl Michelle Mone has criticised Formula 1's decision to ban grid girls. The Tory peer believes unfair pressure has prevented the models earning money from the sport. (Daily Record)external-link

Toto Wolff believes his Mercedes team has such strength in depth that it would not falter should they lose a key member of technical staff. (Planet F1)external-link

South Africa's Kyalami circuit is unlikely to return to the Formula 1 calendar because of the high costs of hosting a modern day Grand Prix. (ESPN)external-link

Valtteri Bottas playing ice hockey
Mercedes' Valtteri Bottas enjoys something new in the off-season as he tries his hand at ice hockey

Saturday, 10 February

Daniel Ricciardo says he sometimes "overdrove" under pressure from Red Bull Formula 1 team-mate Max Verstappen. (Autosport)external-link

McLaren boss Zak Brown says Formula One management cannot afford to bow to the wishes of existing manufacturers such as Ferrari and Mercedes when deciding the next set of regulations. (ESPN)external-link

Russian driver Sergey Sirotkin's backers say the money they are putting into Williams will all be spent on development to improve the team's Formula 1 car. (Autosport)external-link

McLaren racing director Eric Boullier says he was 100 per cent certain Fernando Alonso would quit McLaren in 2017. (MotorsportWeek)external-link

Renault is on course to produce a more powerful and more reliable engine for the 2018 Formula 1 season, according to its new customer McLaren. (Autosport)external-link

F1 boss Chase Carey does not think the sport will lose any of its glamour because of the decision to scrap grid girls. "There will still be pretty girls at races", says the American. (Telegraph)external-link

Mercedes driver Valtteri Bottas "honestly can't wait" for the season after a week of "simulator work and meetings" at the team's factory. (Twitter)external-link

McLaren boss Zak Brown is open to Lewis Hamilton rejoining the team
McLaren boss Zak Brown is open to Lewis Hamilton rejoining the team

Friday, 9 February

McLaren executive director Zak Brown says he is open to the idea of Lewis Hamilton returning to the team. Hamilton is heading into the final year of his Mercedes contract and is yet to sign a new deal. (Express)external-link

Brown would also not be surprised if Mercedes claimed every title up to the 2021 rules reset. (Motorsport Week)external-link

Sauber's use of a 2018 Ferrari Formula 1 engine will be a "big leap" from trying to contend with a year-old specification last season, according to driver Marcus Ericsson. (Autosport)external-link

Red Bull's Daniel Ricciardo says he would like to be in the same team as Mercedes' Lewis Hamilton at some point in his career. (Racer)external-link

Former Ferrari driver Fernando Alonso has completed his first test behind the wheel of his 2018 Le Mans-bound Toyota TS050, labelling it "very special". (F1i)external-link

Lewis Hamilton
Mercedes hope they can find the next Lewis Hamilton by monitoring junior races

Thursday, 8 February

Mercedes boss Toto Wolff says the German manufacturer is keeping tabs on teenage talent in karting as it searches for the next Lewis Hamilton. (F1i)external-link

Sebastian Montoya, the son of former Formula 1 driver Juan Pablo, has joined Ferrari's Driver Academy despite being just 12. (Autosport)external-link

F1 bosses have introduced rules to clamp down on 'tricks' being used by teams to get more out of their engines. (Autosport)external-link

McLaren are expected to unveils a major sponsorship deal with Dell Technologies as the F1 team looks to return to the sharp end of the grid. (Sky - via Planet F1)external-link

Renault boss Cyril Abiteboul says the three-engine limit introduced for the 2018 season is a "headache" for teams. (Fox Sports)external-link

Daniel Ricciardo
Daniel Ricciardo has won five F1 races in his career

Wednesday, 7 February

Former Red Bull driver Mark Webber believes Daniel Ricciardo should focus his attention on beating team-mate Max Verstappen at the start of this season rather than worrying about his 2019 contract. (ESPN)external-link

McLaren executive director Zak Brown believes there will be an "inevitable" battle between Ferrari and Liberty Media over a fairer payment structure and new engine rules. (AS via Fox Sports)external-link

And Brown says McLaren will not be repeating their Indianapolis 500 entry this year and will instead concentrate on getting the team back on the podium. (RACER)external-link

Romain Grosjean believes the Haas F1 team must stop 'losing months' with unsuccessful upgrades. (Autosport)external-link

Fernando Alonso is confident McLaren will be in a position to "taste the champagne" on a regular basis during the 2018 Formula 1 season, following the team's switch to a Renault engine. (

Force India driver Sergio Perez has shared his unusual pre-season training methods. (Twitter)external-link

Tuesday, 6 February

Lewis Hamilton
Lewis Hamilton joined Mercedes in 2013

Mercedes boss Toto Wolff says it is "just a matter of time" until Lewis Hamilton signs a contract extension to keep him with the team beyond 2018. (ESPN)external-link

McLaren reserve driver Lando Norris says his F1 future depends on how long Fernando Alonso stays with the team. (Autosport)external-link

McLaren racing director Eric Boullier says he supports Alonso's move into Le Mans racing.(L'Equipe via

Russian Sergey Sirotkin has dismissed claims he is a "pay driver", owing his seat at Williams to money.(Sport FM via

Mercedes gave fans a teaser with a video before their 2018 car launch. (Twitter)external-link

Monday, 5 February

F1 drivers Fernando Alonso and Lewis Hamilton
Fernando Alonso and Lewis Hamilton were team-mates at McLaren in 2007

McLaren boss Zac Brown says he expects the improved 2018 car to put Fernando Alonso in a position to resume his long-standing rivalry with former team-mate Lewis Hamilton at Mercedes. (Daily Express)external-link

McLaren's technical director Tim Goss says the team are focusing on developing a driver-friendly car for 2018, rather than the "peaky" design of last season. (Autosport)external-link

F1 owners Liberty Media have managed to reduce the sport's tax bill through restructuring, following a government crackdown on legal avoidance schemes.(Telegraph)external-link

Former F1 driver David Coulthard said he was "surprised" to win his second Race of Champions, finishing ahead of ex-World Rally Champion Petter Solberg in Saudi Arabia. (NBC)external-link