The silly season comes to an end but there’s one last volley of news for us to wade through. Valtteri Bottas is the happiest Finnish man in the world, the shortest retirement in the world is over, and Manor hangs in the balance once again.
It’s been one hell of an off season, that’s for sure.
The silliest season I’ve ever sat through is now over and the music has ended in the game of musical chairs. Everyone is where they’re going to be when the lights go out in Australia. The only remaining question is Manor, but we’ll get to that later. The jig is up at Mercedes with the team announcing Bottas as Lewis Hamilton’s partner, ending the Finn’s longtime partnership with the Williams team. You might not consider this the most exciting choice available, but it was the smartest choice available. If the team want to continue their domination of the sport, smart and safe choices are the only way going forward.
And speaking of safe choices, let’s go back to Williams. I may have had my public misgivings about Felipe Massa returning to the team, but with young Lance Stroll already confirmed to be joining the team, why not call upon your reliable old boy for one last mission? Welcome back Felipe, let’s show the young Canadian the same fire you brought to F1 back in 2008, and show the world that you’ve still got it.
Finally, some potentially sad news in the world of F1, as Manor has apparently been put into administration. The team is searching for new money in the face of losing out on the 10th spot in the constructors championship to Sauber at the Brazilian GP. As the last of the 2010 expansion teams, Manor has had a long and troubled history with money, but also the highest highs of any of those teams. From Jules’ points in Monaco to fielding American rookie Alexander Rossi, it’s been a journey for the smallest team in F1. I think the grid would be worse off without them.
That’ll do it for this season of Formula Fun. Look out for winter testing to begin soon though, and we’ll have discussions about the new cars and see how the drivers are adapting.