Gossip: Mercedes, McLaren, Renault, Bottas, Sirotkin, Williams

McLaren and Renault
Renault won 57 points last year, McLaren only 30

Saturday, 17 February

Mercedes is taking McLaren and Renault "seriously" as potential Formula 1 title rivals as well as Ferrari and Red Bull, says team boss Toto Wolff. (Autosport)

After spending one season as team-mate to Lewis Hamilton at Mercedes last year, Valtteri Bottas is convinced he is ready to beat the four-time champion to the title this year. (ESPN)

Russian Sergey Sirotkin will be a "surprise" in 2018 and the 22-year-old should not be depicted as a 'pay driver', Williams have insisted. (Sky Sports)

Williams technical head Paddy Lowe is confident any fears around Formula 1's new 'halo' cockpit head protection device will be over by the opening races of 2018. (Crash.net)

McLaren executive director Zak Brown says the team are in an enviable position when it comes to driver choice for 2019. (F1i.com)

Brown believes it was inevitable there would be a confrontation between Ferrari and Liberty Media. (Checkered Flag)

McLaren car 2017
McLaren last won the drivers championship with Lewis Hamilton in 2008

Friday, 16 February

McLaren technical director Tim Goss believes Pirelli's softer tyre range will result mainly in two-stop strategies for teams this season. (F1i)

Mercedes driver Valtteri Bottas says he has no plans to target the 'triple crown' - winning the Monaco grand prix, Indy 500 and Le Mans - any time soon.(Grandprix)

Red Bull Racing driver Max Verstappen claims he doesn't need specific goals to boost his motivation and would rather rely on his will to always try and do his best.(F1i)

Ferrari has received a double boost on the Formula 1 engine front for 2018, with confirmation on the dyno that it has hit reliability targets, plus encouraging results from work on a new cylinder head concept.(Motorsport)

Ross Brawn says F1 should aim for quality and not just quantity when it comes to boosting the sport's calendar of races. (F1i)

Sergey Sirotkin, who will replace Felipe Massa alongside Lance Stroll at Williams Martini Racing this year, feels excited and ready for his rookie season, as he helped the team unveil their 2018 car, the FW41, at an event in London on Thursday.(Checkeredflag)

Thursday, 15 February

British teenage racing driver Billy Monger
Billy Monger, 18, lost both his legs in a crash at Donington Park last April

British teenage racing driver Billy Monger says he still dreams of competing in F1, despite losing both his legs in a Formula 4 crash 10 months ago. (Mail)

Monger posted a video on social media, showing him preparing for F3 testing with Carlin Racing. (Twitter)

British teenage racing driver Billy Monger
Billy Monger shared a video showing him getting ready to take to the Brands Hatch track

Meanwhile, 19-year-old Jamie Chadwick, who was the first female to win the British GT Championship, says she wants to win a place in F1 "on merit" and not just because she is a woman. (City AM)

Sauber team principal Frederic Vasseur believes his team can follow Force India and challenge for the top places in F1 with new Ferrari support over the next three to four seasons. (Autosport)

Toro Rosso has fired up the Honda 2018 engine for the first time after releasing a video of the chassis in production.(Motorsport)

Organisers of the Azerbaijan Grand Prix are demanding an improved deal from F1 bosses if they are to extend their current contract for the Baku race. (Planet F1)

Max Verstappen unveiled his 2018 helmet design on social media, saying it has "quite a few personal elements" taken from his other helmets during his career.(Twitter)

Wednesday, 14 February

Red Bull's Daniel Ricciardo
Daniel Ricciardo finished on the podium nine times in 2017 but won only once

Daniel Ricciardo says Red Bull are ready to "attack" Mercedes and Ferrari regularly next season. (Autosport)

The strength tests performed on F1's new 'halo' cockpit are "pretty scary" and have prompted some "heart-stopping moments" because of the loads involved. (Motorsport)

But McLaren's chief aerodynamicist Peter Prodromou says the halo opens up opportunities to gain aerodynamic performance. (ESPN)

American team Haas deny they are against the idea of hiring an American driver, but say they are not yet in a position to take a chance on a homegrown racer. (Sky Sports)

Fernando Alonso has "total" confidence that he will win with McLaren during the 2018 season now the team have switched from Honda to Renault engines. (AS via grandprix.com)

Bottas showed fans what a typical day at Mercedes HQ is like

Tuesday, 13 February

Mercedes driver Valtteri Bottas is hoping to continue his partnership with Lewis Hamilton on a long-term basis. (Express)

Red Bull will reveal their new Formula 1 car next Monday, the Milton Keynes-based team have announced. (Motorsport)

McLaren have no doubt Fernando Alonso can handle his World Endurance Championship commitments this season without letting it detract from his 2018 F1 campaign. (ESPN)

Negotiations over the future direction of F1 post-2020 will become "turbulent" if plans are not put in place soon, warns McLaren boss Zak Brown. (Crash)

Alonso will begin McLaren's F1 pre-season testing programme when he drives the MCL33 on day one at Barcelona. (Autosport)

Valtteri Bottas took to Twitter to show what life is like during a visit to Mercedes HQ. (Twitter)

Monday, 12 February

Re Bull driver Max Verstappen
Max Verstappen, 20, had four podium finishes during the 2017 season

Max Verstappen believes his Red Bull team would be dominating Formula 1 if they had Mercedes engines. (Autosport)

Daniel Ricciardo says he will not leave Red Bull waiting too long before making a decision on whether to sign a new contract beyond 2018. (ESPN)

The decision to move round seven of this year's FIA World Endurance Championships to allow Fernando Alonso to compete is "a shame", says former world champion Jenson Button. (F1i)

The Halo device which is being implemented on F1 cars in 2018 must be strong enough to withstand the weight of a London double-decker bus, according to Mercedes. (ESPN)

The co-founder of SMP Racing has said that Sergey Sirotkin won his 2018 seat at Williams based on ability alone. (F1i)

Button has shared his new helmet for the 2018 season. (Instagram)

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