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Formula One CEO Bernie Ecclestone has mentioned Las Vegas as a possibility for a new Formula One race in the United States. “Vegas say they are ready to go and it would be on The Strip for sure,” the 83-year-old F1 boss recently told The Independent’s Christian Sylt.

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Just before the Japanese Grand Prix, Red Bull announced that Sebastian Vettel—winner of the last four world championships—would be leaving the team at the end of the year. Speculation began immediately that he was headed to Ferrari, with leading figures on the Red Bull team talking as if it were a done deal.

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At times, Formula One seems to lurch from one self-made mini-controversy to the next, with barely enough space in between to actually hold the races. One week, there is an argument about tyre compounds, the next, it is regarding a clampdown on the use of team radios or the stewards’ application of a particular rule.

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It’s been a busy couple of weeks as I’m getting ready to head to Austin for the U.S. Grand Prix next weekend and working on some other writing, in addition to my regular pieces for Bleacher Report. Therefore, I haven’t been updating the blog as often as I should. Time to catch up.

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All week, the chatter coming out of the Suzuka paddock had been about the rain. Specifically, Typhoon Phanfone was making its way across the Pacific Ocean on a crash course with the Japanese archipelago.

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Japan has had more drivers start a Formula One grand prix than Australia, Austria, Canada, Spain, Finland and New Zealand (and plenty of other countries). In fact, there are only 10 countries in the world with more F1 drivers than Japan.

Despite those numbers, the countries listed above have something that Japan does not have: at least one F1 world champion.

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Max Verstappen is set to make his Formula One debut for Toro Rosso during the first free practice session at the Japanese Grand Prix on Friday. He also turned 17 on Tuesday. So it’s kind of a big week for the Dutch teenager who is already confirmed for a Toro Rosso race seat in 2015.

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