Formula 1 gossip: Hamilton, Marko, Ferrari, McLaren

THURSDAY, 16 OCTOBER

Drivers' championship leader Lewis Hamilton will be given a new contract at the end of the year to keep him at Mercedes beyond 2015. (Daily Express) 

Mercedes are standing firm over a plan to block any attempt by their rivals to relax the engine freeze rules. (Planet F1) 

Lewis Hamilton

Hamilton currently leads the drivers' championship by 17 points from team-mate Nico Rosberg

Red Bull advisor Helmut Marko says the team lost driver Sebastian Vettel to the "myth" of Ferrari even though "much of it is about illusions". (Planet F1) 

Luca Di Montezemolo has hit back at suggestions he was ousted as Ferrari president because of the Italian team's struggles. (inautonews.com) 

Eric Boullier has defended McLaren's delay in deciding on their driver line-up for 2015, insisting they have to make the right call for the long-term success of the team. (Sky Sports) 

WEDNESDAY, 15 OCTOBER

Britain's Lewis Hamilton says the past two years have been the best of his life after concluding two days of celebrations with everyone at his Mercedes team after they won the constructors' championship. (Daily Mail) 

Newly-crowned Formula 3 champion Esteban Ocon, 18, of France will test a 2012 Lotus F1 car in Valencia next month. (GP Update) 

Ferrari team principal Marco Mattiacci says the team is seeing Kimi Raikkonen's pace improving even if the results are yet to follow. (Crash) 

Baku street circuit

F1 circuit architects Tilke have released images of the new street track in Baku, Azerbaijan which will host the 2016 European Grand Prix

Red Bull's motorsport consultant Helmut Marko says there are no bad feelings on either side in light of Sebastian Vettel's departure from the team. (Formula 1) 

Red Bull team principal Christian Horner says they are resigned to the likelihood that Vettel will pick up an engine penalty at the next race in Austin. (Sky Sports) 

New images from Formula 1 circuit architects Tilke reveal more details about the street track in Baku, Azerbaijan, which will host the 2016 European Grand Prix, with a narrow climb around the city's historic centre a defining feature. (F1 Fanatic) 

TUESDAY, 14 OCTOBER

Mercedes will pay every member of their 700-strong workforce, from the highest-paid engineer down to the catering staff and cleaners, a bonus of at least £10,000 each after the team won the constructors' world championship in Russia. (Guardian) 

Mercedes also boosted spending on Formula 1 by 17% to a record £325m last year in pursuit of the world title. (Independent) 

Britain's Jenson Button, the 2009 world champion, says the continued uncertainty over his future at McLaren is "actually getting funny". (Daily Mirror) 

Drivers unite in Sochi for Jules Bianchi ahead of the Russian Grand Prix

Jenson Button tweeted: "Drivers united in Sochi for a very special man."

Williams say they were caught out by Mercedes' tyre life in Valtteri Bottas and Nico Rosberg's Russian Grand Prix battle. (Autosport) 

Four-time world champion Alain Prost says he is livid with the circumstances surrounding Jules Bianchi's accident at the Japanese Grand Prix. (ESPN F1) 

Mercedes non-executive chairman Niki Lauda has described the double-points system to be used at the season-ending Abu Dhabi Grand Prix as "stupid". (Sky Sports) 

F1 cannot afford to remain with fully frozen engines if the sport is going to be more exciting in the future, says Red Bull boss Christian Horner. (Autosport) 

Former F1 driver Alex Zanardi finished just outside the top 10% at the Ironman World Championship using just the power of his arms. (ESPN F1) 

MONDAY, 13 OCTOBER

Fernando Alonso says a split with Ferrari is "just a rumour". It was widely assumed the Spaniard would be leaving the team at the end of this season, but he told reporters in Russia in Sunday that, "neither Ferrari nor I have said that we have ended my contract". (grandprix.com) 

Alonso has dropped a hint about his F1 future by saying his decision - when it is announced - will seem obvious and that he is unlikely to be driving for a Mercedes-powered team next year. (Daily Mail) 

Marussia look set to revert to a two-car operation following the Russian Grand Prix. In Sochi, Max Chilton was their sole driver, with the team sitting out the car of Jules Bianchi out of respect to the Frenchman, who remains in a critical condition in a Japanese hospital after his high-speed crash at Suzuka last Sunday. (Grandprix.com) 

F1 figures (left to right) Daniel Ricciardo, David Coulthard, Jenson Button, Adrian Sutil, Jean-Eric Vergne, Nico Rosberg and (Back row) Dudu Massa, Eddie Jordan, Felipe Massa

F1 figures relax following Russian GP

A host of F1 drivers, including Daniel Ricciardo, Jenson Button and Nico Rosberg, took the chance to relax on their flight back from the inaugural Russian GP and took time out to have a photo taken along with BBC F1 chief analyst Eddie Jordan. (Daily Mail) 

Red Bull team principal Christian Horner insists that using team orders in Russia never even crossed the minds of those on the pit wall, despite a battle early in the race between drivers Daniel Ricciardo and Sebastian Vettel. (Planet F1) 

Felipe Massa has criticised Pirelli's choice of 'hard' and 'medium' tyres for the forthcoming Brazilian Grand Prix, saying it may even be "dangerous". (Inautonews.com) 

After sealing victory in the constructors' championship in Sochi, Mercedes tweeted: "Home sweet home. Brackley is looking pretty good ;) #W05LDCHAMPIONS" (Mercedes) 

The Mercedes base in Brackley

Mercedes won the constructors' championship in Sochi