- The main driver news coming out of Thursday at the Circuit of The Americas was confirmation that Sergio Perez has re-signed with Force India for the 2019 season. The expected news arrived one week earlier than anticipated, with an announcement thought to have been planned for the Mexican Grand Prix weekend.

- As a result, just three seats remain on the F1 grid for 2019: one at Williams, Toro Rosso and Force India apiece. Force India’s drive is expected to be taken by Lance Stroll, with the Toro Rosso and Williams drives still firmly up for grabs.



- Brendon Hartley was questioned about his future with Toro Rosso following reports Alexander Albon could be set to break from his Formula E contract with Nissan to take a drive alongside Daniil Kvyat next year. Hartley once again batted away questions, stressing he still has a valid contract for 2019 with the team.

- McLaren announced a new sponsorship deal with Coca-Cola ahead of this weekend’s race at COTA. Coca-Cola branding will appear on the side of the MCL33 car from now on.

- Toro Rosso is also sporting a new sponsor on the side of the car this weekend in the form of KFC. The brand has links to the team via Sean Gelael, who is set to feature in FP1 on Friday.

- F1 drivers have backed new rules for 2019 that will see a minimum weight introduced. From next season drivers will be ballasted up to a minimum weight of 80kg, with Haas' Romian Grosjean labelling the changes as a "great thing". Hamilton, Alonso and Ricciardo were other drivers who believe the rule tweaks will be positive, while Toro Rosso's Pierre Gasly reckons the new weight rules will make things "fairer".

- Despite the end of the season edging ever closer, the F1 development race shows no signs of stopping. In a bid to recover lost ground to rivals Mercedes, Ferrari is set to debut some aggressive bargeboard and floor tweaks, while McLaren's MCL33 will feature a new nose design and Toro Rosso has introduced a revised aero package, including a new front wing which Gelael will try out in FP1. 

- Formula 1 hosted its seconds Extreme Innovation Series event in collaboration with the MIT Sloan School on Thursday at COTA in the Paddock Club. Executives from all of the world met to learn about the art of building a winning platform, including how to use conflict as a tool to innovate. Williams head of vehicle performance Rob Smedley attended to give examples of his time from in F1, including talking about the infamous Hockenheim 2010 team orders debate.

- Inifiniti announced the latest winner of its USA engineering academy initiative, with 24-year-old Sabre Cook becoming one of seven regional winners around the world for 2018. Cook - who is also racing in Formula 4 this weekend at COTA - will enjoy a six-month placements with both Renault F1 and Infiniti’s road car development project in the UK.


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