GP2: Rossi, Dillmann on the move for Hockenheim

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The news Alexander Rossi is leaving Caterham, announced Wednesday morning, also had an immediate effect on his GP2 season with the Caterham Racing squad.

As my MotorSportsTalk colleague Luke Smith explained over the weekend, the Caterham name situation is a complex labyrinth. The F1 Team has been sold, but Caterham Racing still exists in GP2 and is still run by Tony Fernandes.

Rossi’s GP2 season will continue after all, as he’ll shift from Caterham Racing to Campos Racing for this weekend’s German round of the championship. Rossi replaces Japanese driver Kimiya Sato in the No. 27 entry; Sato had yet to score in the opening five weekends of the season. Campos lead driver Arthur Pic currently ranks eighth in points with 41.

Meanwhile Tom Dillmann, a talented French driver, returns to the series for the second time this year after finishing eighth and third in a one-off weekend appearance for Arden International at Spain. Dillmann replaces Rossi at Caterham, alongside Rio Haryanto.

You can see Rossi, fellow American Conor Daly, Dillmann, points leader Jolyon Palmer and the rest of the GP2 field in action from Hockenheim at 7 p.m. ET on Sunday night, July 20, on NBCSN.

F1 2017 driver review: Max Verstappen

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Max Verstappen

Team: Red Bull Racing
Car No.: 33
Races: 20
Wins: 2
Podiums (excluding wins): 2
Pole Positions: 0
Fastest Laps: 1
Points: 168
Laps Led: 133
Championship Position: 6th

Max Verstappen rise as a once-in-a-generation talent continued through the 2017 Formula 1 season, even if reliability issues meant we were made to wait for his best form to arrive.

Verstappen stole the show in a wet-dry Chinese Grand Prix by charging from 16th to seventh in the opening lap before ultimately finishing third for Red Bull, yet he would not grace the podium again until the Malaysian Grand Prix at the start of October.

A combination of power unit problems and on-track clashes saw Verstappen retire from seven of the 12 races in the intermittent period, with incidents in Spain and Austria being avoidable.

Perhaps most embarrassing of all was his stoppage due to a power unit failure in front of a grandstand swathed in orange at the Belgian Grand Prix, a race tens of thousands of Dutch fans had attended to cheer Verstappen on.

But when Verstappen got things right, it was – as he frequently quoted – simply, simply lovely. There was plenty left in the tank, as proven by his sheer domination of the races in Malaysia and Mexico as he took the second and third wins of his career.

Perhaps even more impressive was Verstappen’s victory over Red Bull teammate Daniel Ricciardo in the qualifying head-to-head battle this year, an area the Australian has traditionally been strong in. Verstappen outqualifed his teammate 13-7 – it wasn’t even close…

All in all, Verstappen once again proved that on his day, he is one of the finest talents to grace F1 in recent years. With the right car underneath him next year, a title fight is certainly possible and will be the target – but there is always room for improvement.

And that is the scary part: Verstappen is only going to get better and better.

Season High: Dominating in Malaysia after an early pass on Lewis Hamilton.

Season Low: Crashing out on Lap 1 in Austria.