Symonds suggests Marussia-Ferrari deal is close

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Marussia technical director Pat Symonds has suggested that a deal with Ferrari is close, with the Italian marque keen on supplying more teams with engines in 2014.

The backmarkers have made a good start to the 2013 season, with its charge led by Ferrari Driver Academy member Jules Bianchi. This tie-in appears to have made an engine agreement more possible, although Symonds admitted that Marussia are considering every possible option.

“Both Ferrari and Mercedes have been very positive with us,” Symonds told Sky Sports. “I say it’s near, because if it’s not then we’re not going to have a car. My original target for getting a 2014 engine deal was the end of May.

“But it was the end of May 2012. So we are behind where we want to be.”

Symonds also revealed that Renault had shot down a possible partnership, citing that they were already supplying enough teams.

“Renault have made it clear they’ve got enough on their plate.”

He also said that Bianchi’s efforts with the team have aided negotiations.

“It absolutely hasn’t done us any harm, it’s brought us a little bit closer to Ferrari. I think that they wanted another team anyway and the contact through Jules has done nothing but help.”

Marussia’s start to the season has certainly been impressive, although the gap to Caterham in Bahrain will have been cause for concern. However, with Ferrari power looking likely for next season, the future could be very bright for the Anglo-Russian team indeed.

Verstappen doesn’t want F1 season to end after recent run of form

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Max Verstappen says he is not ready for the 2017 Formula 1 season to come to an end after enjoying a run of strong form through the closing stages of the campaign.

Verstappen endured a rocky run of form through to the end of the European season that saw him suffer a number of reliability issues and score just a single podium finish, taking third in China back in April.

However, the Dutchman has rallied to score more points than any other driver in the last five races, including victories in Malaysia and Mexico, as well as a podium finish in Japan.

Verstappen heads into next weekend’s Abu Dhabi Grand Prix chasing a third win of the year to sign off, but joked he does not want the season to end just as he’s got into a good groove.

“We will, of course, try and end the season with a strong result in Abu Dhabi,” Verstappen said. “Last year was actually quite a good race after skipping a pit stop following a spin at Turn 1, it was hard to manage the tires to the end of the race but we did it and finished fourth.

“I would say that my favorite part of the track is at Turns 2 and 3, the fast left, right. It’s also very cool driving underneath the hotel and racing in the darkness with all the lights.

“The final sector at Yas Marina is actually quite technical so you have to be really precise there, but it should also be our strongest part of the track.

“There are quite a few overtaking opportunities to make the race interesting, before the long straight at the hairpin and then at the end of the straight under braking for the next chicane section.

“Abu Dhabi is the last race on the calendar, but I don’t actually want the season to end. I’m really fired up at the moment and I just want to keep going.

“The nice thing will be to spend some time with friends and family over the winter break and then I will look ahead to January and get back into training before it all starts again.”