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F1 Raceweek: Hamilton parties and Bottas relaxes, but what next for Alonso?

The Belgian Grand Prix restarts the Formula One season this weekend and the drivers are well rested heading to Spa.

lewishamilton - cropped
Mercedes driver Lewis Hamilton

The mid-season break is over and Formula One's superstars have been sunning themselves across the world ahead of the final nine races, starting in Belgium this weekend.

Over three weeks since Sebastian Vettel's win in Hungary, attention turns to Spa, with the Ferrari driver 14 points clear of championship rival Lewis Hamilton.

Hamilton enjoyed his time off by partying in Barbados, driving a Maverick X3 off-road vehicle and taking to the water, while his team-mate Valtteri Bottas had a much quieter break.

F1 may have been on hiatus but that did not stop speculation about the future of a number of drivers, while Toro Rosso will not be getting a Honda engine next season.

Here we look at the F1 stories that emerged since Budapest, as the Belgian Grand Prix looms large.

 

HOLIDAY FUN FOR HAMILTON AND FRIENDS

Hamilton made the most of his three weeks off with a trip to the Crop Over Festival, while also taking time out on the sea.

Max Verstappen went quad biking, while Daniel Ricciardo enjoyed the sunshine of Los Angeles in an Aston Martin, and Jolyon Palmer climbed Mount Kilimanjaro.

For some there was less action, though, as Fernando Alonso relaxed in Mykonos and Bottas returned to the tranquil surroundings of the Finland countryside.

 

Crop over!!! @aura_experience

A post shared by Lewis Hamilton (@lewishamilton) on Aug 10, 2017 at 9:19am PDT

 

Kilimanjaro summit at 19,000 feet (5,900m) . Unbelievably tough but an incredible experience! #Kilimanjaro

A post shared by Jolyon Palmer (@jolyon_palmer) on Aug 13, 2017 at 4:41am PDT

 

WILL HE? WON'T HE? ALONSO FUTURE REMAINS UNCERTAIN

Alonso has already tasted life away from F1 during an appearance at the Indy500 this year, and, amid continued problems with his McLaren, the veteran's future is unclear.

The Spaniard's deal expires at the end of the season and he has he been linked with Mercedes and Ferrari, but a break from F1 altogether has also been mooted.

A lengthier spell in IndyCar has not been ruled out by the two-time champion, with a decision on his future expected after this weekend in Spa.

 

MAX ON THE MOVE?

Verstappen's stance that Red Bull must become more competitive if he is to stay has pricked up the ears of Mercedes and Ferrari.

It has been a frustrating time for the teenager in 2017 with five retirements and just 67 points.

The Dutchman is prepared to stay, but only if he can challenge for more wins… something few other teams will be able to offer him.

Another man potentially on the move is Sauber's Pascal Wehrlein, but a lot depends on whether Sergio Perez agrees a new deal with Force India.

 

NO DEAL!

Torro Rosso's custom engine has not delivered much in the way of competitiveness this year and reports had suggested Honda could come on board as power unit suppliers.

Talks have reportedly broken down, though, leaving an apparent deal with Renault as the most likely option.

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