Formula One's 'silly season' moves into overdrive

Fri Jul 17, 2015 11:58am EDT
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By Alan Baldwin

LONDON (Reuters) - Sizzling temperatures are forecast for next week's Hungarian Grand Prix, the halfway point in the season, and Formula One's 'silly season' of rumor and speculation is heating up accordingly.

Valtteri Bottas to Ferrari instead of fellow-Finn Kimi Raikkonen? Felipe Nasr to Williams? And what about Jenson Button?

"Man, what a morning! The heat wave has reached lots of countries especially Italy. Let's turn on the air conditioning and keep cool," Bottas's manager Didier Coton said in a Twitter post on Friday.

The Monaco-based Belgian, who once worked with double champion Mika Hakkinen, may simply have been referring to the ambient temperature in his part of the world.

But much more likely he was commenting on a report in Italy's Corriere dello Sport newspaper that Ferrari had reached a deal with Williams to replace one Finn with another in 2016.

It claimed that Williams would be paid some 12 million euros ($13.02 million) for releasing Bottas early from an option on his contract.

Ferrari and Williams refused to bite.

"We don't ever comment on our contracts of any description, and certainly not driver contracts," said a Williams spokeswoman.   Continued...