Bottas pleased with progress in 2017 F1 seat talks

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Valtteri Bottas says he is pleased with how talks regarding a 2017 Formula 1 race seat are progressing despite remaining coy about who he could be racing for.

Bottas is out of contract with Williams at the end of the 2016 season, putting him in the mix for ‘silly season’ as a number of drivers are linked with moves.

Bottas’ teammate, Felipe Massa, announced over the Italian Grand Prix that he would be retiring from F1 at the end of the year, freeing up at least one seat with Williams.

Speaking to the official F1 website, Bottas said there was little to add regarding his future, but that things were moving along well.

“To be honest, I can’t say that much at this stage. These are all pretty confidential discussions with the teams,” Bottas said.

“Funnily enough, though, yes it takes time, but I am pretty pleased with how things are developing. But there is still nothing to be announced yet.

“Only when the team that I will be racing for is sure about both drivers, and so on and so forth.”

Bottas was asked whether his options boiled down to just Williams and Force India, to which he replied: “Not exactly, actually. But I can’t say more.”

Force India will retain Nico Hulkenberg for 2017, while Sergio Perez is widely expected to remain with the team despite being linked with a move to either Williams or Renault.

Williams is known to be weighing up a handful of drivers for at least one of its seats for 2017, presumably alongside Bottas, including rising F3 star Lance Stroll and current Sauber F1 driver Felipe Nasr.

Ken Roczen signs with HEP Progressive Ecstar Suzuki for 2023

Roczen Progressive Ecstar Suzuki
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ANAHEIM, California – Ken Roczen will make the move from HRC Honda to H.E.P. Motorsports with the Progressive Ecstar Suzuki team, ending a long and eventful offseason that saw his split from his longstanding team after he committed to running World Supercross (WSX).

“H.E.P. Motorsports is thrilled to announce that the team has signed Ken Roczen as its premier rider for the 2023 season,” the team announced on Instagram. “Former AMA Motocross champion Roczen will be aboard a Suzuki RM-Z450. Roczen, who won his most recent championship on a Suzuki, will be reunited with the brand and bring his exciting style, determination, and grit back to the RM Army.

“Ken Roczen will compete in the upcoming 2023 Supercross and Motocross Championship series which is set to start on January 7 at Anaheim Stadium in Southern California.”

For Roczen, it is a return to the bike of his youth and on which he had some of his greatest professional success.

“This thing has been going on for weeks and weeks and weeks in the making, but there was so much uncertainty,” Roczen told NBC Sports during Monster Energy Supercross Media Sessions. “It was a very unique situation. I just finally signed two nights ago, so it’s really only legit once the ink hits the paper. It’s been in the works for a long time, but there were just a lot of questions and a lot of input from a lot of other teams too.

“Good things take time, and I’m okay with that. I grew up riding Suzuki. Ot’s like a homecoming. It’s a special feeling”

Roczen won the 2016 Lucas Oil Pro Motocross Championship on a Suzuki before making the move to Honda. That year he won nine of 12 Nationals and finished no worse than second as he easily outpaced Eli Tomac by 86 points. He finished third in his next Pro Motocross outing in 2018 after sitting out the outdoor season in 2017.

“I am beyond excited to reconnect with Suzuki for the 3rd time in my career. We’ve had a lot of success in the past and I’m looking forward to seeing what we can accomplish together in our future.” Roczen said in the Instagram post.