Drivers put the brakes on silly season reports

Lewis Hamilton at Red Bull Ring

Lewis Hamilton at Red Bull Ring

Formula 1′s notorious silly season is yet to get into gear for 2014, as two early protagonists, namely Kimi Raikkonen and Lewis Hamilton, spent time ahead of the Austrian Grand Prix weekend dismissing the growing speculation about their respective futures.

Wild reports in Canada suggested that Raikkonen might be ousted by Ferrari due to his poor performance since returning to the Italian team this year.

“The media says what it wants, but they don’t tend to know what’s really going on,” the Finn is quoted by the Finnish broadcaster MTV3 at the Red Bull Ring.

Mercedes driver Hamilton, meanwhile, was reported to have visited Ferrari’s Maranello headquarters in the gap between Canada and Austria. But the Briton told Bild newspaper on Thursday: “It’s not true. I spent the whole week in Canada.”

Elsewhere, Sport Bild reports that Nico Hulkenberg’s management has made an approach to McLaren, in the hope the Woking team is looking for a driver for 2015. The answer, reported correspondents Ralf Bach and Bianca Garloff, is “No”.

At Sauber, Adrian Sutil insists that he has no regrets about switching from Force India over the winter, even though his old team is much more competitive than him in 2014.

Asked if he will still be with the struggling Swiss team in 2015, he told Formula 1′s official website: “Yes of course. I have a contract with this team.”

It’s a similar story at Williams, who appear happy with team newcomer Felipe Massa alongside Finn Valtteri Bottas.

“I am happy at Williams,” said Bottas. “They gave me the opportunity to come to Formula 1 so I can’t see any reasons to look anywhere else – especially as I think this team is going in the right direction. For me no ‘silly season’!” (GMM)