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Alonso holds the key to unlock driver market - Grosjean

  • Published on 05 Sep 2014 11:21
  • comments 0
  • By: Rob Veenstra
Right at the front of the grid, the 2015 'silly season' is threatening to burst into life. On paper, the top teams - Ferrari, Mercedes and Red Bull - are all locked up contractually. But Romain Grosjean, the Lotus driver looking for a change of scene, thinks Fernando Alonso is still the "key" that could unlock a torrent of action.

Jenson Button, also waiting on his future, isn't so sure. "I don't really think he (Alonso) is the key," said the 2009 world champion. "I think the two McLaren drivers are probably the key." Indeed, McLaren has been the source of a lot of the rumours lately, with the Woking team wanting a truly top star to lead the new Honda era.

Red Bull's Sebastian Vettel is one name linked with a huge-money move, and at Monza he is not denying that talks have taken place. "It is not the first time I have been approached in the last couple of years which obviously is nice, but it is not my style to share (publicly)," said the German. "At Spa I heard on Thursday that I'd signed for 150 million pounds for three years -- I was asking where the pen was but nobody came back!" Vettel joked.

Lewis Hamilton may also still be in the running, after the 2008 world champion on Thursday denied Mercedes boss Toto Wolff's recent claim that contract talks have been frozen amid the intensity of the title battle. And the latest development is that Wolff is not ruling out a change to the German squad's driver lineup should the increasingly bitter Hamilton and Rosberg feud prove impossible to manage.

"We would have to take decisions and take the consequences of having a different lineup," Wolff told the BBC at Monza. "If we are not able to manage the two of them following the Mercedes-Benz spirit then we need to admit that."

Further down the grid, Nico Hulkenberg gave the strongest sign yet that he is not a player on the driver market this time around. He said it "can be assumed" that he is staying at Force India in 2015. "I am very comfortable where I am sitting," Hulkenberg told German reporters at Monza. "I have no headaches."

It's not quite the same situation for his teammate Sergio Perez, as Spaniard Dani Juncadella is knocking on the door with sponsor Astana in tow. "I have only read newspaper reports," Mexican Perez said when asked about Juncadella. "I'm not worried. It's not like a year ago with McLaren -- I have a greater role in the decision-making now and I feel comfortable at Force India." (GMM)

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Driver profile

  • Team Alpine F1
  • Points 296
  • Podiums 1
  • Grand Prix 122
  • Country ES
  • Date of b. Jul 29 1981 (41)
  • Place of b. Oviedo, ES
  • Weight 68 kg
  • Length 1.71 m
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Date
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Bahrain
18 - Mar 20
Bahrain
25 - Mar 27
Saudi Arabia
8 - Apr 10
Australia
22 - Apr 24
Italy
6 - May 8
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20 - May 22
Spain
27 - May 29
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10 - Jun 12
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17 - Jun 19
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1 - Jul 3
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8 - Jul 10
Austria
22 - Jul 24
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29 - Jul 31
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26 - Aug 28
Belgium
2 - Sep 4
Netherlands
9 - Sep 11
Italy
30 - Oct 2
Singapore
7 - Oct 9
Japan
21 - Oct 23
United States of America
28 - Oct 30
Mexico
11 - Nov 13
Brazil
18 - Nov 20
United Arab Emirates
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Formula 1 Calendar - 2022

Date
Grand Prix & Circuit
18 - Mar 20
25 - Mar 27
Saudi Arabia Jeddah Street Circuit
8 - Apr 10
Australia Albert Park
22 - Apr 24
6 - May 8
United States of America Miami International Autodrome
20 - May 22
27 - May 29
Monaco Monte Carlo
10 - Jun 12
Azerbaijan Baku City Circuit
17 - Jun 19
1 - Jul 3
United Kingdom Silverstone
8 - Jul 10
Austria Red Bull Ring
22 - Jul 24
France Paul Ricard
29 - Jul 31
Hungary Hungaroring
26 - Aug 28
2 - Sep 4
Netherlands Circuit Zandvoort
9 - Sep 11
Italy Monza
30 - Oct 2
7 - Oct 9
21 - Oct 23
United States of America Circuit of the Americas
28 - Oct 30
11 - Nov 13
Brazil Interlagos
18 - Nov 20
United Arab Emirates Yas Marina Circuit
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