Rodolfo Gonzalez gets FP1 call for Marussia in Hungary

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Marussia reserve driver Rodolfo Gonzalez will once again get some Friday running at the Hungarian Grand Prix as part of his programme with the team this season.

The Venezuelan driver has already taken part in the first free practice session at the Bahrain, Spanish and German Grands Prix, getting to grips with the MR02 car and completing development work to aid full-time race drivers Jules Bianchi and Max Chilton. Gonzalez is pleased to be getting more running following this week’s test at Silverstone.

“Once again I’ve been very happy to be back in the car as the more mileage and experience I can gather, the better,” he said in a team statement. “I’ll be running in FP1 again in Hungary so the work I have done here this week will benefit me for sure.”

Should Gonzalez make the step up to a full-time race seat in the near future, he would be the second Venezuelan in the sport, following in the footsteps of Pastor Maldonado who currently drives for Williams.

Marussia are yet to confirm who Gonzalez will replace in FP1 at the Hungaroring.

FIA returns Manor’s F1 entry fee for 2017

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Good news: Manor Grand Prix Racing Limited got a refund of an entry fee it paid to the FIA to run in this year’s F1 season.

Bad news: Manor still hasn’t run this year, and won’t be for the foreseeable future (especially as Manor’s former leadership staff is moving that team into FIA WEC’s new-look LMP1 class in addition to its LMP2 program).

Manor Group’s receivership outfit, Just Racing Services Limited, went into administration earlier this year. As there was no new buyer for the F1 team, Manor dropped from the 2017 grid before the season.

The FIA said it would return its entry fee to help Manor Group pay off outstanding debts.

It basically means nothing in the grand scheme of things since Manor missed out on 10th place in the constructor’s standings in 2016 and fell from the F1 grid as a result, but hey, it’s a goodwill gesture going into Thanksgiving this week.