Recapping the additional news and notes from Thursday's media calls at the Red Bull Ring in Austria, F1 Editor Luke Smith brings you his paddock notebook.

- The addition of the third DRS zone for this weekend's race was confirmed by the FIA in its publication of the pre-race circuit map. There will be a DRS zone on the main straight, from Turn 1 to Turn 3 and Turn 3 to Turn 4. There were mixed views from drivers about what it would do for the racing. Lewis Hamilton said it could allow drivers to pass and re-pass, while Sergio Perez had doubts it would make any difference. Hamilton said it would be worth around half a second in terms of lap time, though, edging the lap closer towards the one-minute mark.

- Race director Charlie Whiting confirmed in his pre-race notes to drivers that some changes had been made to both Turn 3 and Turn 4 at the Red Bull Ring: "The verge on the left approaching turn 3 has been widened at the request of MotoGP. [...] The opening in the corner of the run-off area at turn 4 has been closed and a new one created further around the run-off."



- Sergio Perez confirmed that Force India has brought some of the updates it had planned to introduce in France to Austria, but said it was not the full package, having revealed at the last race that the team's ongoing financial struggles were holding back its planned development path. Perez also confirmed that the water leak which sidelined him in France has not made Force India take another power unit element for this weekend.

- Mercedes' car was spotted in the pit lane with a number of new updates to the car applied, including a revised sidepod design and tweaks to the rear wing. Hamilton said he thought it was the first "serious" upgrade package the team had brought to the car so far this season.

- Amid Williams' ongoing struggles, Sergey Sirotkin said the team is bringing a number of updates for its FW41 car in the next few weeks as the Russian looks to break his score-less run to date in F1: "I don’t want to be too optimistic, but we all have high hopes for those bits."

- The driver market was a big talking throughout Thursday's media calls, particularly in the press conference where Kimi Raikkonen, Daniel Ricciardo and Kevin Magnussen were all grilled on their futures. Raikkonen - in a somewhat cheeky mood - dismissed the "nonsense" that comes up on an annual basis about his future, following a report earlier this week linking him to McLaren, while Ricciardo once again stressed he wants a deal sorted by the summer break. Magnussen revaeled that Haas has an option on him for next year, adding that he doubted there was much chance of him going elsewhere.

- Pierre Gasly said he is not paying much attention to the driver market at the moment despite being a potential candidate to take Daniel Ricciardo's seat should he leave Red Bull. The Frenchman did admit that his early season successes - finishing fourth in Bahrain and seventh in Monaco - have certainly helped his standing in F1.

- Fernando Alonso was in a feisty mood during his media session, hitting back at suggestions McLaren was slipping back in the fight to lead the midfield after its poor showing at Paul Ricard. Alonso said the team had to accept its performance would vary from track to track, but remained confident it could beat its midfield rivals: "All the other teams that are doing a perfect season, they are behind us, so maybe they are not so perfect and we are not so bad..."

- Alonso also stressed that a possible clash between the World Endurance Championship race at Sebring and the F1 2019 season-opener in Australia next March would not impact his future. Were Alonso to remain in F1 next year, he would have to miss Australia if he wanted to stand a chance of still winning the WEC title, given Toyota teammates Kazuki Nakajima and Sebastien Buemi would score points without him if he did not enter the race. "The decision next year will not be dependent on any clash," he said.

- Renault's MGU-K update for this weekend is set to not only offer a performance boost, but also help save some weight on the car, something Nico Hulkenberg claimed has been an issue of late. "The positive news is that there is quite a bit of weight saving from that," he said. "Recently I’ve been quite a bit overweight especially in qualifying, which does cost performance."

- Friday looks set to be a washout in Austria, with rain forecast from 9am until 6pm. FP1 kicks off at 11am local time, with FP2 then taking place at 3pm, meaning the first dry running may not come until FP3 on Saturday.

- Red Bull welcomed the paddock to its new 'Holzhaus' home in the Austrian GP paddock, with the wood-designed structure (literally translating as 'wood house') replacing its regular Energy Station motorhome for the weekend. This has also allowed the team to transport its Energy Station directly to Silverstone amid the pressures of the triple header. Williams has brought its testing motorhome to Austria for the weekend, with its regular motorhome going to Silverstone.

- Finally, in non-F1 news, Lewis Hamilton once again dodged a question about his rumoured appearance on Christina Aguilera's new song 'Pipe' as featured artist "XNDA". Hamilton has been open about wishing to pursue a music career after his time in F1 is over, but refused to be drawn on if it was him who appeared on the record. "My sole goal and focus right now is Formula 1," he said. "In the last race, I said it’s not something I want to speak about. I’m here to focus solely on trying to win this championship."


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