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WEEKEND WARM-UP: We round up all the paddock chatter from Thursday at the Belgian GP

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There was a ‘back to school’ vibe in the paddock for the 2021 Belgian Grand Prix, as the drivers prepared for the second half of what’s turning out to be a fascinating season.

Fernando Alonso got his Thursday off to a great start by announcing that he was set to stay on with Alpine for the 2022 season, as F1 enters an exciting new era of regulations.

Alas, that was as far as driver announcements got, with George Russell and Valtteri Bottas demurring when asked whether a decision about their respective futures – namely which of them would be racing at Mercedes next year alongside Lewis Hamilton – had been made yet.

READ MORE: ‘No news to share yet’ – Russell and Bottas tight-lipped over 2022 plans as they vie for Mercedes seat

That still left plenty of other topics to discuss as F1’s drivers came back from their summer breaks, however – so join Will Buxton, Rosanna Tennant and Lawrence Barretto as they round up all the paddock chatter ahead of the start of the second half of the season’s action at Spa-Francorchamps.

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