First off, apologies for the absence of an early discussion piece.
Driver market news for 2014: Bianchi has been retained by Marussia. Not too surprising, as he’s probably the best driver in the pointless teams. I hope he gets the opportunity to drive for a more competitive team in the near future.
Hulkenberg reckons a decision about his seat next year will be made later this month. It sounds like he’s been a bit unhappy (and unpaid) at Sauber, but has been professional enough not to kick up a fuss. He’s also very fast, so I think, and hope, he gets a Lotus seat.
Interestingly, Barrichello, the 73 year old Brazilian, is in talks with Sauber. However, whilst he seems a nice guy I can’t help but think it’d be better for fresh talent to emerge.
The third practice session concludes at 4am, hence the earlier than usual posting of this piece. I’ll skim through the markets but don’t intend to offer a bet.
It’s well worth noting that a tropical storm is nearby and could produce 100mph winds and heavy rain. As well as keeping an eye on the forecast it may be preferable to focus on betting against things happening than for them.
P1 had Hamilton fastest, ahead of Vettel and Webber. Rosberg, Button and Alonso were next, followed by Grosjean, Raikkonen, Perez and Massa.
In P2 Hamilton and Vettel were again top, with Rosberg, Webber and Massa up next (making it seem like a fairly close Red Bull-Mercedes fight). Grosjean, Alonso, Raikkonen, Button and Sutil rounded out the top 10.
In P2 two-tenths covered the top four, and in P1 the same timeframe covered the top three. I didn’t listen to either due to the timing, but Gary Anderson, BBC technical chap, reckoned it’d be very close between Red Bull and Mercedes, which is something.
No bets jumped out at me. I suspect we’ll be in for another Vettel-Hamilton duel.