Lewis Hamilton loving life with Mercedes

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The motives behind Lewis Hamilton’s move to Mercedes have been widely disputed, and quite whether it was the right move for the 2008 world champion has been subject to a range of opinions from the F1 elite. However, two weeks before his first race for the team, Hamilton has revealed in an interview that he is loving life with the Silver Arrows.

“I am absolutely loving it. I’m so happy working with the people I’m working with. They are just so enthusiastic and willing to improve, and they’re making a really huge effort at communicating with me and making sure we’re up to speed for the first race.”

Hamilton briefly spoke about the reasons behind his move. Having won one world championship and twenty-one races with McLaren, to switch to a team with just one win in the past three years may seem odd, but the British driver clearly believes that this move will help his personal development in Formula One.

“I definitely feel I can improve as a person and as a driver as whole. There are always areas for improvement and I am always trying to learn more – there are so many things that I can learn.”

The move has not been without its issues though. In Jerez, he suffered a heavy crash during his first outing in the W04, but he has since got to grips with his Mercedes.

“It’s a huge challenge as an individual to go somewhere new and have to rush – because I don’t have a lot of days in the car- so to grasp it and really maximize it is the challenge that I am really enjoying.”

Hamilton will return to the track in Barcelona tomorrow, before Nico Rosberg represents Mercedes on the final day of pre-season testing on Sunday.

NHRA: John Force-like motor explosions get contagious during Sunday’s Gatornationals

Photo and video courtesy NHRA
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John Force is rubbing off on others – but probably not the way they or he would like.

The 16-time NHRA Funny Car champion has had spectacular motor explosions in each of the first three races of the new NHRA season, including during Friday’s qualifying for this weekend’s Gatornationals.

During Sunday’s quarterfinals of eliminations, Force’s teammate (and son-in-law and president of John Force Racing) Robert Hight squared off with fellow Funny Car driver Matt Hagan.

As the duo closed in on the finish line, both cars experienced spectacular motor explosions of their own – virtually side-by-side and nearly at the same time.

Hight’s car was the first to explode, tossing its body high in the air. A split-second later, Hagan’s car exploded, also sending the body flying.

Check out the NHRA video:

Hight wound up losing the race.

Hagan, meanwhile, and his crack pit crew rolled their backup car off the hauler, put in a new motor and went on to race through the semifinals and into the finals, losing to race winner “Fast Jack” Beckman.

“We had a pretty great race day, to be honest,” Hagan said. “I’ve never been to the finals in Gainesville.

“We obviously had a huge blow up in the second round, then to watch these guys pull the other car back out and put it together in the amount of time they had, then turn a win light on against Capps (Don Schumacher Racing teammate Ron Capps in the semifinals), then to be able to go to a final, it was huge and it speaks for itself.”

As for Hight, here’s his take on what happened with the motor explosion:

“I couldn’t see (Hagan) over there and it wasn’t like it was hazing the tires or anything else. As it turns out it wasn’t spinning at all. It kicked two rods out when it blacked the bearings in the crank then it hit the valves and blew up.

“The thing gave me no indication at all before that. What really scared me was once I got it under control and I look over and see his body is off his car. I am thinking ‘Oh man, he got gathered up in me.’ Then I stood up and looked and his injector was sideways so I realized he had an explosion as well. We are just lucky we didn’t get into each other.”

As for the guy who has had so much trouble in the motor department, John Force, he lost in the first round of Sunday’s eliminations to daughter Courtney Force.

John Force planned on shutting the motor off on his car at around the 700-foot mark of the 1,000-foot dragstrip, not wanting to risk another motor explosion – even though it meant a likely loss to his daughter.

Now John Force and his entire four-car team, including Courtney Force, Robert Hight and daughter and Top Fuel driver Brittany Force, will be off for extensive testing to try and determine what’s been causing the motor explosions.

“We have to evaluate it and go test,” Force said. “We’ll figure it out.”

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