Massa, Button and Chilton keen on staying put

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Felipe Massa, Jenson Button and Max Chilton have all expressed a desire to remain with their respective teams for 2014 despite none of the trio having a secure contract for next season.

Following Red Bull’s confirmation that Daniel Ricciardo will be driving for the team next season, the 2014 driver market is beginning to fall into place. For Massa, speculation surrounding his future is something of a yearly occurrence, and the Brazilian driver is fully focused on upping his game and securing some strong results in the second half of the season.

“Good results are always important, so I’ll just concentrate on that,” Massa said. “There is a big opportunity to carry on with Ferrari, so I just need to concentrate, trying to do the best we can over the car and that’s what I’m looking for.”

In Button’s case, the signing of a new contract appears to be a formality. However, he did concede that he had felt uncomfortable following McLaren’s poor performance so far this season.

“Yes, I’m very happy to stay where I am,” the Briton confirmed. “I think it’s very easy, when times are difficult, to look elsewhere but when you’re in a team like McLaren that has been fighting at the front for so many years it’s definitely the wrong move to move elsewhere.”

For backmarker Max Chilton, it is simply a case of seeing where he and Marussia stand at the end of the season, but he is confident that the team is keen to retain him alongside Frenchman Jules Bianchi.

“My situation is the same as it’s been all year,” Chilton said. “I’ve got a one-year contract. Obviously I’m a rookie and so is Jules and we’re here to learn as much as we can.

“All I know is the team are happy to keep both of us and I’ll just keep trying to do the best job I can.”

Ricciardo’s confirmation should allow for the final few pieces of the driver market to slot into place over the next few weeks and months. However, with former world champion Kimi Raikkonen also thought to be considering a move away from Lotus, new sagas may be set to begin in the near future.

Click here to read NBC’s analysis of the 2014 driver market.

Williams confirms Kubica and Sirotkin for Abu Dhabi F1 test

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Williams has confirmed that Robert Kubica will enjoy his third Formula 1 test outing with the team at the end-of-season running in Abu Dhabi next week as rumors grow regarding a possible race seat for 2018.

Almost seven years after his last F1 start, Kubica’s remarkable return from severe injuries sustained in a rally accident saw him enjoy two private tests with Renault before completing running with the team in a 2017-spec car in Hungary over the summer.

Reservations over Kubica’s capabilities prompted Renault to pass on giving him a seat, instead opting to hire Carlos Sainz Jr. for next year, only for Williams to become an alternative for the Pole.

Kubica tested a 2014-spec Williams at both Silverstone and the Hungaroring in recent months, and will now sample a 2017 car when he tests at Abu Dhabi’s Yas Marina Circuit next Tuesday and Wednesday.

Kubica will share track time with regular Williams racer Lance Stroll and Russian youngster Sergey Sirotkin, who has worked with Renault over the past two years but also missed out on a 2018 seat.

“Williams Martini Racing is pleased to confirm it will run Robert Kubica and Sergey Sirotkin for the Abu Dhabi Pirelli tire test, alongside current race driver Lance Stroll,” a statement from the team reads.

“The Pirelli tire test will take place over two days at the Yas Marina circuit during the week following the 2017 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix.

“On day one Robert Kubica will drive the FW40 in the morning session, before Lance Stroll takes over in the afternoon.

“On day two Sergey Sirotkin will drive in the morning and afternoon sessions before handing over to Robert in the late afternoon.

“The test is aimed at evaluating 2018 candidate tires on behalf of the Formula 1 tire supplier Pirelli.

“Williams is excited to have this opportunity to assess the new tyres across such an interesting range of drivers: Lance, as confirmed race driver for 2018, Robert with his huge experience, and Sergey as a very promising young talent in Formula 1.”

Williams denied earlier this week it has signed Kubica to partner Stroll for 2018, but indications are the deal looks very likely to go ahead, subject to the relevant paperwork and contracts being finalized.