Report: Bowyer, MWR working on contract extension

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Clint Bowyer is the lone full season holdover at Michael Waltrip Racing for the 2014 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series season; Martin Truex Jr. has left for Furniture Row Racing and the No. 55 Aaron’s Toyota, which was shared by several drivers the last couple years, will have a single driver in Brian Vickers.

With that established, MWR is determined to keep Bowyer for 2015 and beyond, per team owner Rob Kauffman in a FOX Sports report.

“We working on it now, trying to get it renewed,” Kauffman told FOX’s Lee Spencer. “It’s time to perform and make sure we maintain that level of success so we can re-up these sponsors and get a contract signed. We should have something soon.”

The renewal process for Bowyer requires several steps. Getting the Emporia, Kan. driver under contract is step one; from there, the team can work on the commercial aspects of the deal.

Sponsor 5-Hour Energy renewed its support for 2014, but only after reviewing its involvement following the Chase-fixing controversy that rocked the sport last fall.

There was a bunch of movement this offseason that saw drivers shift to other teams, and created more potential Chase challengers. For MWR to stay in title-winning contention, it needs to wrap up Bowyer to ensure it stays in the top tier of the NASCAR grid.

Hamilton: Abu Dhabi ‘the last race with good-looking cars’ in F1

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Lewis Hamilton believes that this weekend’s Abu Dhabi Grand Prix will be remembered as the last race with good-looking Formula 1 cars ahead of the introduction of the ‘Halo’ cockpit protection for next year.

Officials from the FIA and F1 Strategy Group confirmed earlier this year that the Halo would be fitted to all cars from the 2018 season in a bid to improve safety standards, with the deaths of Justin Wilson and Jules Bianchi putting head protection high on the agenda for the series’ chiefs.

Hamilton has long made his opposition to the Halo clear, believing it will ruin the look of F1 cars, and echoed his thoughts ahead of the final Halo-less race in Abu Dhabi this weekend.

“It’s the last year of looking good I think in the cars. It’s the last race where the cars will look good,” Hamilton said.

“I think next year, it’s all downhill from there in terms of how they look.

“But safety will go up at least, and maybe it could be successful in some way.”

Hamilton’s F1 title rival Sebastian Vettel was less bothered about the change, believing the field will adjust and move on.

“The cars will look different next year. Everything I’ve seen so far looks different, but on the other hand it is something we all get used to,” Vettel said.

“But no doubt the cars look better now, but we’ll get used to it, and we’ll work on the aesthetics so it can be better. It is less of a big deal.”

Red Bull’s Daniel Ricciardo shared Vettel’s view, saying: “I don’t think it’s gonna be as dramatic as most people make it out to be.”