Fernando Alonso denies contact with other F1 teams

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Ferrari driver Fernando Alonso has denied speaking to any other team about a seat for 2015 as speculation about his future continues to circulate around the F1 paddock.

The Spaniard joined Ferrari back in 2010 in a deal that was expected to see both the driver and team waltz to the championships. Instead, Alonso has finished as the runner-up on three occasions to Sebastian Vettel, and neither the driver nor the team has won a race in the last twelve months.

With McLaren switching to Honda power for 2015, a move back to Woking is thought to be an option for Alonso. However, he denied speaking to any teams yesterday, and instead made light of the situation.

“It’s the same question every year in July,” he said. “From 2003 I start, so eleven years.

“I didn’t talk with any team, and it’s not my priority. We have to score some good points this weekend and some good results this year.”

Alonso was rumored to be holding talks with Ferrari president Luca di Montezemolo in Maranello last week about a new contract, but he explained that he was there to use the simulator and that contact with the senior management at Ferrari was nothing new.

“In Maranello, I’ve been for the simulator,” he said. “I talk with President and with Marco everyday, so it was no different last week.”

McLaren chief Ron Dennis has said that he would welcome Alonso back to the team despite a tumultuous year together back in 2007, that resulted in the Spaniard returning to Renault for 2008.

However, Ferrari teammate Kimi Raikkonen has fared even worse in 2014, and currently sits P12 in the drivers’ standings with just 19 points to his name – some 66 less than Alonso. The Finn is also unconcerned about his future with the team, saying that the focus lies with improving the F14 T car.

“I’m sure we can fix them,” Raikkonen said. “How fast? I hope quickly but it depends on many things.

“I have a contract so I’m not worried about that for the future.”

Both drivers will be hoping for a good result at this weekend’s German Grand Prix. Click here for full details on NBC Sports’ broadcasting schedule for the biggest weekend of racing in 2014.

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.”