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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 215
  • Podiums 1
  • Grand Prix 100
  • Country ES
  • Date of b. Jul 29 1981 (40)
  • Place of b. Oviedo, ES
  • Weight 68 kg
  • Length 1.71 m
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Date
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Bahrain
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Bahrain
16 - Apr 18 2021
Italy
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Portugal
7 - May 9 2021
Spain
20 - May 23 2021
Monaco
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Azerbaijan
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France
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Austria
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Austria
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United Kingdom
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Hungary
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Belgium
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Netherlands
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Italy
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Russian
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Japan
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Turkey
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United States of America
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Mexico
12 - Nov 14 2021
Brazil
19 - Nov 21 2021
Qatar
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Saudi Arabia
10 - Dec 12 2021
United Arab Emirates
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United Arab Emirates
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Formula 1 Calendar - 2021

Date
Grand Prix & Circuit
26 - Mar 28 2021
16 - Apr 18 2021
30 - May 2 2021
7 - May 9 2021
20 - May 23 2021
Monaco Monte Carlo
4 - Jun 6 2021
Azerbaijan Baku City Circuit
18 - Jun 20 2021
France Paul Ricard
25 - Jun 27 2021
Austria Red Bull Ring
2 - Jul 4 2021
Austria Red Bull Ring
16 - Jul 18 2021
United Kingdom Silverstone
30 - Aug 1 2021
Hungary Hungaroring
27 - Aug 29 2021
3 - Sep 5 2021
Netherlands Circuit Zandvoort
10 - Sep 12 2021
Italy Monza
24 - Sep 26 2021
Russian Sochi Autodrom
8 - Oct 10 2021
8 - Oct 10 2021
Turkey Istanbul Park
22 - Oct 24 2021
United States of America Circuit of the Americas
5 - Nov 7 2021
12 - Nov 14 2021
Brazil Interlagos
19 - Nov 21 2021
3 - Dec 5 2021
Saudi Arabia Jeddah Street Circuit
10 - Dec 12 2021
United Arab Emirates Yas Marina Circuit
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United Arab Emirates Yas Marina Circuit
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