Haas, the new American team for 2016, has scheduled a driver announcement for next week. The Ferrari-linked outfit has invited journalists to its Kannapolis headquarters next Tuesday, where it says a "driver announcement" will take place.
It is strongly rumoured that Ferrari reserve Esteban Gutierrez will be one driver, with Romain Grosjean probably moving from Lotus to join him. "The more I think about my decision, the happier I am," Frenchman Grosjean - who earlier admitted his decision may become public "next week" - said at Suzuka.
Indeed, Lotus is painfully scraping its way through the Japanese grand prix weekend, as it waits for Renault's decision after running out of cash. Grosjean sat on a food-cooling esky in the garage during practice as the team is still locked out of its hospitality tent in the paddock.
Bernie Ecclestone is now feeding members of the team in the expensive paddock club, after some hungry mechanics had pizzas delivered late on Thursday. But reserve driver Jolyon Palmer 'tweeted' a photo of himself in much less salubrious surroundings on Friday with a coffee and packet of Doritos.
Grosjean, meanwhile, was also spotted in the Suzuka paddock being introduced by Eric Boullier to fellow McLaren official Jonathan Neale. (GMM)
Bahrain International Circuit - Winter testing