Kovalainen in talks to make F1 comeback

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Heikki Kovalainen has revealed that he has spoken to multiple teams in an attempt to make a return to Formula One.

The Finnish driver raced for Caterham between 2010 and 2012, but he was dropped by the British team in favor of two pay drivers – Charles Pic and Giedo van der Garde – in order to aid their finances.

Despite refusing to become a pay driver, Kovalainen has been linked with a return to his old team after appearing in the Caterham garage last weekend, and he did admit to Autosport that he was missing the sport.

“I love F1. I really enjoyed my time here and would enjoy being here today [in Malaysia].

“I already had a few discussions with different teams.”

Kovalainen enjoyed some success in the sport prior to his Caterham switch, racing for Renault and McLaren between 2007 and 2009. However, he failed to match Lewis Hamilton whilst with the Woking-based team, taking just a single victory at the 2008 Hungarian Grand Prix.

His decision to return could be largely down to a potential sponsorship deal. Kovalainen may have been forced between choosing to stick to his principles or make a return to Formula One, but whether or not it will be in the current season remains to be confirmed.

‘Still quite early’ for Ricciardo to think about Red Bull F1 future

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Daniel Ricciardo feels it is “still quite early” to make a decision about his Red Bull Formula 1 future despite seeing teammate Max Verstappen announce on Friday he would be staying with the team until 2020.

Verstappen, 20, put pen to paper on an enhanced F1 contract with Red Bull, with his previous deal due to expire at the end of next season in parallel to Ricciardo’s own agreement.

Ricciardo was asked following practice on Friday why he is yet to strike a new deal for himself with Red Bull, and explained he is in no rush to make a final decision when he has over a year to run on his current contract.

“It’s not that I’ve said no to anything. It’s just still quite early I think,” Ricciardo explained.

“People talked a little bit about contracts and the silly season for next year, but I thought that would still happen next year. It’s still quite early.

“If I’m to try and extract some positives out of his news it’s that it gives us good confidence for next year. He and his management see a lot of positives in the team to continue like that.

“I’m 100 per cent here next year, I can at least say that, and I think it gives both of us confidence that we’ll keep progressing the way we are.”

Red Bull said upon announcing Verstappen’s new deal that it wants to “build a team around him”, with the 20-year-old standing out as a once-in-a-generation talent.

The focus surrounding Verstappen has not left Ricciardo feeling as though he is in the shade or in any way playing second-fiddle to the Dutchman, stressing he has no internal concerns at Red Bull.

“For sure, as far as media goes, he certainly gets a lot of attention. He’s broken records for his age and things like that, so rightly so,” Ricciardo said.

“Take the media out of it, as far as inside the team, new parts on the car, things like this, there’s always been parity and equality.”

Verstappen is only the third driver to commit to a deal beyond the end of next season, following Sebastian Vettel at Ferrari and Fernando Alonso at McLaren on multi-year contracts.

All 10 F1 teams have at least one free seat for 2019, making Ricciardo a possible candidate for seats with either Mercedes or Ferrari were he to consider a move away from Red Bull.

Speaking to British broadcaster Sky Sports, Red Bull F1 advisor Helmut Marko said he felt Ricciardo was “putting himself on the market” by waiting to make a decision on his future, but that talks would take place when possible.