We don’t know if Joe Gibbs Racing will be expanding to a fourth car next season for Carl Edwards or any other potential addition.
But what we do know is that one of the team’s top sponsors, candy giant M&M’s/Mars, Inc., will be keeping its M&M’s brand with Kyle Busch.
Earlier this week, a Motorsport.com report that cited unnamed sources said that Edwards would pick up the M&M’s sponsorship if he chose to move from Roush Fenway Racing to JGR over the off-season. It also said that Busch would likely have Monster Energy step up to be his new primary backer.
But this morning at Sonoma, team president J.D. Gibbs told Fox Sports’ Tom Jensen that M&M’s would stay with Busch’s No. 18 Toyota. Additionally, Gibbs said that any announcement regarding a fourth JGR car would have to wait until at least September.
Edwards, along with fellow Roush racer Greg Biffle, has been at the center of ongoing rumors about his future. However, he has remained tight-lipped about his contract status.
As for Biffle, he has told the Associated Press this weekend that while he’s made contact with other teams about acquiring his services, he is currently talking with Roush about staying there beyond this season.
“My deal is definitely not done,” he said. “I’m trying to negotiate an extension. Nothing has changed.”
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.”