Used to keeping her eye on the behind the scenes wheeling and dealing that makes Formula One a political melodrama, Kate Walker looks at all the 'silly season' rumours and continues to piece together the 2014 F1 line-up...
The Italian Grand Prix
may have marked the end of Kimi Raikkonen's world championship hopes, but the Monza weekend was also a new beginning for the popular Finnish racer.
As was the case in 2012, much of the summer intrigue has been given over to the identity of the second Ferrari
driver, but unlike last year Felipe Massa's Formula One career will not be granted a stay of execution.
While an official announcement is still some days away – with a statement expected on Wednesday, Friday, or during the Singapore Grand Prix
weekend, depending on your source – on Sunday evening in the Monza paddock there was only one conversation taking place, in English, Italian, Finnish, Spanish, and Portuguese.
'Have you heard? It's done. They're telling Felipe on Wednesday, and announcing Kimi on [insert day here].'
Phones buzzed with incoming messages, gossips huddled in small groups, and the news spread like wildfire. But one of the biggest indicators that the rumour was more than just idle chatter came via the body language in the press room. The Finnish media were walking slightly taller, springs in their steps and smiles on their faces as they looked forward to seeing one of their drivers back in the ultimate Formula One team.
It was a marked contrast to the Brazilian press corps, who huddled together as they poured over Felipe Nasr's results, trying to determine whether they would see one of their countrymen in any of the seats on the 2014 grid. For when the last driver of a nationality disappears, so too do many of the journalists from that country. With no local hero comes no local interest.
As a driver with both talent and backing, Nasr looks like a safe bet for a 2015 Formula One drive. But the Brazilian racer is confident that he will make the step up in 2014, most likely with a team in the mid-field (or below) seeking that tantalising mix of promise and payment.
As for Massa, who knows what the future holds? In 2012, the little fuchsia man (as he is known in the paddock) said that for him it was Ferrari
or bust. But this year the Paulista has revised his expectations downwards, telling the media that he would happily race for a competitive mid-field team.