Formula 1 gossip: Hamilton, Stewart, Renault, Massa, Stroll

Lewis Hamilton
Lewis Hamilton won his fourth World Championship title in 2017

Sunday, 4 February

Mercedes boss Toto Wolff says not too many changes will be made to their cars ahead of the 2018 season, despite last year's being known as a "diva". (Express)

Three-time world champion Sir Jackie Stewart believes Formula 1's grid girls cannot be blamed for a lack of female drivers in the sport, saying teams would be "falling over themselves" if they secured a female racer. (F1i.com)

Renault team boss Cyril Abiteboul says they plan to beat Mercedes, Red Bull and Ferrari to the World Championship title with "85% of their capability and resources". (Motorsport.com)

Felipe Massa says he is "disappointed" by the lack of Brazilian drivers in this year's Formula 1 championship. Not since 1969 have there been no Brazilians on the grid. (PlanetF1.com)

Elsewhere, Massa said it was "better not to comment" after his former Williams team-mate Lance Stroll said he had received "no guidance" from the Brazilian during the 2017 season. (Autosport)

Felipe Massa tweet

Saturday, 3 February

Grid girls

Mercedes boss Niki Lauda has called F1 owners' decision to stop using 'grid girls' "stupid", and says he hopes "there is a way to reverse the decision". (Der Standard via Planet F1)

Daniel Ricciardo says current Red Bull team-mate Max Verstappen "is the first [team-mate] who can challenge me". Four-time world champion Sebastian Vettel is one of the Australian's former Red Bull colleagues. (Autosport)

Williams driver Lance Stroll says he will not miss having Felipe Massa as his team-mate because he received "no guidance whatsoever" from the Brazilian at the team last year. (Motorsport.com)

McLaren driver Fernando Alonso is taking up challenges away from F1 as "his team is going through a difficult period" and the Spaniard wants to prove "he remains one of the best in the world". (F1i.com)

Friday, 2 February

World champion Lewis Hamilton has yet to sign a new deal with Mercedes but talks are going well, says team principal Toto Wolff. (Mercedes)

Lewis Hamilton
Four-time world champion Lewis Hamilton has been at Mercedes since 2013

All Formula 1 races in 2018 will start at 10 minutes past the hour to improve the experience of television viewers. The French Grand Prix, returning to the calendar, will start at 15:10 BST on 24 June to avoid clashing with England's World Cup game against Panama (kick-off 13:00 BST). (Sky Sports)

Former F1 driver Rubens Barrichello is recovering in hospital following a health scare last weekend. The Brazilian complained of a severe headache before being taken in for checks. (Autosport)

Pirelli chief Mario Isola has said the Italian tyre manufacturer is "happy" in Formula 1 and "wants to continue" in the sport. (Planet F1)

Thursday, 1 February

Fernando Alonso
Two-time Formula 1 champion Fernando Alonso wants to win the 'triple crown' - a feat previously achieved only once, by Graham Hill

McLaren boss Zak Brown believes Fernando Alonso has the same qualities as Michael Schumacher and Ayrton Senna, in particular his attention to detail. Alonso has set his sights on completing the 'triple crown' of victories at the Monaco Grand Prix, the Indy 500 and the 24 Hours of Le Mans. (Express)

Series founder Alejandro Agag is confident Formula E will overtake Formula 1 as the biggest racing championship within the next 20 years, because it is more "connected to the industry". (City AM)

Former world champion Nigel Mansell believes there is "something wrong" with Formula 1 when manufacturers such as McLaren struggle to be competitive. Mansell - championship winner in 1992 - has also called for more teams to be added to the grid. (Sky Sports)

Circuit Paul Ricard boss Stephane Clair says he would welcome Formula 1's "interesting" proposal to delay the start of this year's French Grand Prix by two hours. In a bid to boost TV ratings, the start could be pushed back to avoid a clash with a key football World Cup match. (F1i.com)

Renault chassis technical director Nick Chester says recruiting Nico Hulkenberg and Carlos Sainz Jr has made a "massive" difference to the team. (Autosport)

Wednesday, 31 January

Valtteri Bottas says "overthinking" was to blame for his drop in form during his first Formula 1 season for Mercedes. While team-mate Lewis Hamilton took full control of the championship battle, Bottas fell off the pace with "unnatural" driving. (Motorsport.com)

Williams will launch its 2018 Formula 1 car at an event in London on 15 February. The new car - expected to be named the FW41 - will be unveiled a week before Mercedes, Ferrari and McLaren reveal their cars. (ESPN)

Ralf Schumacher says he is "very proud" as his 16-year-old son David enjoyed a promising start to his single-seater career, making his debut in the UAE Formula 4 series. Schumacher junior secured a quartet of podium finishes in the four-race event in Abu Dhabi - including three runner-up postings. (F1i.com)

Double F1 world champion Fernando Alonso has hailed the "impressive" pace of McLaren reserve driver Lando Norris at the 24 Hours of Daytona. The 18-year-old made his debut at the event, lining up alongside Alonso and Phil Hanson as they finished 38th. (Planet F1)

Nine-time grand prix winner Mark Webber has lead the tributes to former Australian Grand Prix boss Ron Walker, who died on Tuesday aged 78. Walker, who helped to bring the race to Melbourne in 1996, was diagnosed with cancer in 2011.

Mark Webber tweet

Monday, 29 January

Fernando Alonso says the switch to Renault engines has made McLaren "very confident" for the season ahead. McLaren has made the change with the aim of returning to the podium for the first time since 2014. (ESPN)

Pirelli racing manager Mario Isola believes there will be lots of track evolution during the first two days of pre-season testing in Barcelona. The circuit has undergone a resurfacing project to ensure its place on the 2018 MotoGP calendar. (Autosport)

Max Verstappen sees Red Bull Racing chief Helmut Marko as his second racing father. In addition to his own father - Jos, a veteran of more than 100 grands prix - Verstappen admits he also seeks the advice of Marko on race weekends. (Pitpass.com)

Force India's chief operating officer Otmar Szafnauer believes the stability of his team's foundation is one of its biggest assets. The team has made no major changes over the winter - something Szafnauer insists is a strength. (F1i.com)

Meanwhile, former Ferrari and Williams driver Felipe Massa is certainly taking advantage of his retirement with a spell on the slopes.

Felipe Massa

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