This week in quotes
* Jenson Button announced his intention to stay at McLaren even though his contract extension reportedly has no final signatures yet. "I'll be here for my future in Formula 1," said the 2009 champion. "It's obviously not going our way at the moment, but it will and I'm very happy here. I feel good here and I still feel we can achieve so much together."
* Martin Whitmarsh stated that he wishes to continue with the current McLaren lineup of Button and Sergio Perez, but his team became the fourth outfit linked to Kimi Raikkonen--after Lotus, Red Bull and Ferrari--during a silly season. "Kimi has always been great, and I am a big fan of his. There is a lot of speculation out there at the moment, so let's see what happens," the team principal admitted. "I probably shouldn't be, but I'm completely open--last year, we had talks with him, but for various reasons it didn't happen. This year, we've had no talks...yet." He did predict, however, that Raikkonen will likely end up staying at Lotus. "Obviously, Kimi is determined to go somewhere else, and I sense that he will not succeed in that goal, so let's see how he gets on there."
* Meanwhile, Mercedes non-executive chairman Niki Lauda had this to say to his Ferrari team principal back in the '70s: "If I were [current Ferrari chairman Luca di] Montezemolo, I would pick Kimi." Quick recap: At the end of 2009, the Maranello squad opted to pay its Finnish 2007 champion not to race in 2010 despite his being under contract, in order for Fernando Alonso to take his place. It left Raikkonen without a seat and prompted his two-year hiatus from F1. But regardless of this past falling-out, Lauda noted that Raikkonen could be exactly what Ferrari needs. "Kimi is someone the mechanics and engineers would immediately look up to. He could give the team a boost as Lewis Hamilton has done at Mercedes. And he would be in a position to annoy Alonso."
* For his part, Ferrari team principal Stefano Domenicali expressed preference for his current No. 2 driver: "Felipe [Massa] is a very good guy--very dedicated to the team--and when you look around, there are not so many drivers out there that you swap and they immediately deliver." Not that the Brazilian's affability would be enough to keep him employed, as Domenicali stressed. "But of course, we need good results from Felipe, so that's why we will not rush as we have to make the right decision for the team." Apart from Raikkonen, also in the fray for Massa's seat is Sauber driver Nico Hulkenberg.
* Looks like Pirelli is set to continue as F1's sole tire supplier, in spite of French rival Michelin's statement of interest. "FOM (Formula One Management) and Pirelli have a contract," clarified Bernie Ecclestone to Speed. Ecclestone further denied that the teams want a switch to Michelin. "None of the teams who have spoken to me have said that," he insisted. "All the teams who have spoken to me say they are very happy with Pirelli, and the problems they've had, they're happy that [Pirelli has] dealt with them."
This week in numbers
* Article 14.7: The part of the sport's technical regulations that has been tightened up for the Singapore GP. It states: "All cars, while under their own power, must be fitted with devices that will retain the wheel fastener in the event of it coming loose." From Singapore onwards, a two-piece retention device must replace the current single-piece system. The regulation change was put in place following the German GP pit-lane accident in which a cameraman was hit by an improperly fastened wheel that came off Mark Webber's Red Bull.
* 17: The number of races (out of the 19 GPs this season) it will take Sebastian Vettel to clinch his fourth consecutive title, according to Niki Lauda. "I am committing myself: He will be world champion in Abu Dhabi, the third [to the] last race," the three-time champion said. "His lead is already big enough after Spa (46 points), where he dominated even though the Red Bull was not really suited to the track. His best circuits are still to come. Red Bull won't be the favorite at Monza, but on all other circuits he has the best car."
This week in tweets
* After further investigation, we think we know where the infamous brake breaking tear off came from... #Evidence #F1
- It was reported after the Belgian GP that Kimi Raikkonen's record points-scoring run came to an end when a visor tear-off strip got into his left-front brake-cooling duct, resulting in a brake failure. Lotus (@Lotus_F1Team) presented this evidence (photo from Lotus F1 Team's Twitter feed).
* It was a lot of fun recording #Tooned50 celebrating @McLarenF1's first World Championship. Check it out: youtu.be/d8eQ9wMaO9I
- Emerson Fittipaldi (@emmofittipaldi) didn't mind that McLaren had divulged the secret behind his championship-winning form in the latest episode of Tooned.
Photos from Lotus F1 Team