F1’s “silliest silly season in years got sillier still”.
That was how Telegraph correspondent Tom Cary summarised the rumours and comments doing the rounds at Spa on Thursday, as F1 awoke with a vengeance from its summer slumber.
The sport’s biggest names including Fernando Alonso and Kimi Raikkonen were already at the centre of the frenzied speculation, but yet another world champion joined the fun on Thursday.
Jenson Button. He hinted to British newspapers that he should also not be counted out of the running for Red Bull or Ferrari, as McLaren is yet to take up the 2014 option on his contract.
“I need to be asked first. Where is Martin (Whitmarsh)?” the 2009 world champion smiled.
“I want to win the world championship again, it’s not which team. If I thought it (moving) was the right option and I had the opportunity that would be great for me. But is it the right option for me?
“I think here (McLaren) is the right option for me.”
Button was obviously also talking about Ferrari, but even Red Bull team boss Christian Horner was leaving the door wide open for anyone — even though Raikkonen’s manager this week said talks with the champion team have ended.
“Has he (Raikkonen) signed for anyone else? Then there you go,” Horner said.
“I wouldn’t rule anything out at the moment. You would be surprised at the approaches we have had.
“There has been quite a lot of interest so we will take our time. It (the decision) won’t be much longer, by Monza or shortly after we should be clear,” added Horner.
Daniel Ricciardo, recently reported as having surely secured the seat alongside Sebastian Vettel for next year, told reporters at Spa he is not close to popping any champagne bottles to celebrate.
“Until something comes from that side,” said the young Australian, referring to Red Bull, “I’m not going to start getting my hopes up.”