Engine changes, driver changes and mystery injuries - Thursday's news recap

29-08-2019 22:00
by Joseph Tyrrell
F1 News
Engine changes, driver changes and mystery injuries - Thursday's news recap

Thursday was one of the busiest days the world of motorsport has seen this year. Breaking news after breaking news, there's a high chance amongst all the updates you missed some pretty big stories so here's a roundup of the day's biggest news.

Ocon to replace Hulkenberg and Bottas signs new Mercedes deal

After weeks of rumours and speculation, the two worst kept secrets in Formula 1 were finally officially announced on Thursday with Esteban Ocon being unveiled as Daniel Ricciardo's partner at Renault for the 2020 season and Valtteri Bottas renewing his stay at Mercedes

The gossip column worked overtime during the summer break with Ocon being linked to Haas, Bottas' Mercedes seat before Renault got their French driver. Bottas meanwhile has been rewarded for his good form at the start of the season with a new deal for 2020. 

Nico Hulkenberg was the unfortunate driver in this case as he is now without an official drive for 2020. The German could line up for Haas if they change their lineup, or he could play the high-risk card and wait for a Red Bull seat. Either way many feel he's good enough and will be on the grid next season.

Read more on Ocon's deal here...

Read more on Bottas' deal here...

Read more on Hulkenberg's reaction here...

The 2020 calendar is confirmed!

Although this news broke earlier in the week it still required ratification from the FIA. The 2020 calendar has been confirmed with new dates and new races announced. 

As expected the Australian Grand Prix will open the season with the new for 2020 Vietnam Grand Prix set to feature third on the calendar. Max Verstappen's first home race at Zandvoort is set to open the European leg of the calendar. The second half of the season is largely unchanged with the exception of the German Grand Prix which will not feature next season.

The calendar will feature seven back to back races with the first being the opening two races of the season, in Melbourne and Bahrain. 

It was also revealed that with these changes there would be less testing days in season and pre-season. There will be six days of pre-season testing with one day from each week being cut from the schedule.

Read more on the confirmed calendar here...

Read more on the testing changes here...

Engine changes aplenty

Alex Albon will start his Red Bull debut from the back of the grid after he took Honda's new spec engine for the Belgian Grand Prix. Having replaced Pierre Gasly at Red Bull Albon takes up Gasly's spare part quota and subsequently takes the hit. 

He'll run the new Honda power unit alongside his former teammate, Daniil Kvyat. Gasly and Max Verstappen will pick up the setup from the Italian Grand Prix at Monza.

Read more on Albon's engine swap here...

Mercedes also announced they would be providing new engines for both of their drivers in Spa this weekend. This new-spec will be Mercedes third different power unit during the 2019 Formula 1 season. The W10 was fitted with new aero upgrades in the final races before the summer break. 

Read more on Mercedes' engine upgrade here...

And finally... Kimi Raikkonen an injury doubt for the Belgian Grand Prix

The day started with rumours swirling around who would drive for Alfa Romeo this weekend with Marcus Ericcson present for the team at Spa in Belgium. It was initially thought he'd replace Antonio Giovinazzi for the first race back after the summer break but the constructor swiftly denied it. 

It was later revealed that Kimi Raikkonen has a leg injury, throwing his place at the Belgian Grand Prix into doubt. The team assured fans that Kimi will be fine to drive at the weekend but it remains to be seen if he will. 

Read more on Kimi's mystery injury here...

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