It's that time of year again, folks. We've got three races left, and for the bulk of the grid, engines are getting old and tired.
So it was no surprise to see a couple of engines give up the ghost this morning. At this point in the season, the only engines in use on a Friday morning can best be described as haggard but serviceable.
Both Fernando Alonso and Pastor Maldonado were sidelined by engine issues this morning, with the Williams' driver' FP1 disappearing in a literal puff of smoke.
But there are no reliability concerns this weekend for either Williams or Ferrari. Both of the engines in question were reaching the end of their shelf-life, and were due to be swapped for newer models in time for qualifying on Saturday.
With the FIA's ever-tightening engine regulations, the tail-end of the season sees masterful planning from the teams and their engine partners as they work out which of their remaining units are best suited to which parts of a race weekend.
While there has yet to be an official release from the team, Williams chairman Adam Parr today confirmed that Mike Coughlan had been promoted to the role of technical director.
"The new technical team consists of Mike Coughlan, who we have just confirmed as our new technical director," Parr said during the senior team personnel press conference in the Noida paddock on Friday afternoon. "Mike joined us in June."
Coughlan joined Williams in the summer after a period of paddock exile that followed his involvement in 2007's Spygate affair.
Even Coughlan's return to the paddock involved some controversy, with former employers Michael Waltrip Racing suing for breach of employment contract. Williams, Coughlan, and MWR came to an undisclosed out of court settlement last week.
So a dog - possibly two dogs, possibly the same dog twice - caused a bit of a ruckus at the Buddh International Circuit, mucking about on track and red-flagging FP1 and a support race.
I'd love to show footage of the dog, but it's all FOM copyright, so here's a clip of another very naughty dog.
So Lewis Hamilton is going through some personal issues that are none of our business. Good to learn that XIX are breaking the habit of a season and have turned up to the Indian Grand Prix to support their star driver in person.
But it's not just any old agent, oh no. None other than Simon Fuller, Victoria Beckham's Svengali, will be representing XIX in Greater Noida.
While some team bosses and engineering directors appear to have their knickers in a twist about 2012 changes to the diffuser regulations, McLaren's Paddy Lowe says there are no such concerns in Woking.
“I'm not in fear over it,” Lowe told reporters during a Vodafone McLaren Mercedes Phone-in. “I don't quite understand when technical directors say they fear stuff like that. What is their fear of? The clue's in the name: Formula 1. It's a formula - a set of constraints - that we define in the regulations. And once they're set we'll go and work as hard as we can to do as much as we can to make the car quick within those limitations.
“We had a bit of a crisis in Silverstone this year with the exhaust blowing situation and reached some agreement in terms of intent next year,” he added. “The teams have since worked on a range of limits to reduce the amount at which exhausts can be used to create downforce, but it's never been expected that it would eliminate the effect of exhausts on downforce.
“That would be unrealistic. No regulation we've ever written has eliminated an in-car effect. There will be a finite effect. The simple point is that pointing an exhaust out the back will give you a large degree of thrust. That is an aerodynamic fact, but we all know that we can get a lot more than that. And the teams went into that with eyes wide open.
“So I do find it a bit odd when people claim that they fear that people will generate performance from exhausts. Well of course they will," the McLaren technical director concluded. "That's what we have to do. It's just that some very extreme limits have been put in place to reduce that drastically from where it was.”
So the outcome might be a little predictable. But Infiniti have put together an amusing video of Sebastian Vettel and Mark Webber pitting petrol against hybrid round the Nordschliefe. Let's face it - watching a cabbage roll around the Nordschliefe would probably be amusing to watch.
In a few hours' time, a press conference on the eastern coast of the United States is widely expected to confirm the addition of a New Jersey Grand Prix to the 2013 Formula One calendar.
On Friday, talk of a second US race, to be held on the banks of the Hudson River, suddenly got serious. Reports of a New Jersey race first began to circulate in August, but in the past few days have seen possibility become near certainty.
And the proposed New Jersey race certainly ticks all the right boxes. It's on the US east coast, meaning it's still TV-friendly for Europe while opening up North and South America to a fourth race in their time zones.
It's perfectly positioned to have the Manhattan skyline as a backdrop, an instant hit of glamour that will help the race organisers achieve their Monaco ambitions.
The proposal has the support of local government - namely the mayors of the towns of Weehawken and West New York - but crucially doesn't require any of its cash, thanks to a group of private investors headed up by local media mogul Leo Hindery Jr.
Finally, the bulk of land needed is owned by a single businessman.
The concept of a race in New Jersey has a lot of upsides.
Fans can choose to stay within the state, or they can easily travel in from the bright lights of Manhattan or its boroughs.
F1 personnel will find nothing to complain about when it comes to sourcing luxe bars, hotels, and restaurants for their after-hours fun.
There are more international airports than you can shake a stick at within easy race of the proposed track, and twinning the race with Montreal in June will allow for a few days' break between grands prix..
They say there's no smoke without fire, and if that's the case then Kimi Raikkonen may have already signed a deal to return to Formula 1 with Williams.
It always seemed an unlikely story; the Finn's high price tag and the British team's squeezed budget not the most convincing of partners.
But currently doing the rounds is the rumour that Williams have brought a new sponsor on board, in the form of the Qatar National Bank. Should the stories be true, the Grove based outfit will be in the position to offer Raikkonen a salary in line with his expectations, although it's unlikely to match his previous earnings at Ferrari.