A Caterham Formula One team member inspects Pirelli tires near the pits at the Suzuka circuit

Hembery: Pirelli needs new F1 deal soon

Leave a comment

Pirelli’s three-year contract with Formula 1 expires at the end of the year, and it’s in the company’s best interest to get a new deal sorted shortly.

Pirelli Motorsport Director Paul Hembery spoke to the media assembled at Barcelona, site of the last series test, to give a synopsis on where Pirelli is at.

“You can imagine we do employ quite a lot of people in our Formula One project and we do need to know as a company at some point what we are meant to be doing,” Hembery said.

“Talks are ongoing, making some progress; don’t have any final solutions yet. But that has to happen sooner rather than later, for sure.”

Pirelli has been both praised and scrutinized for the type of rubber it has brought to races since it re-entered the championship for 2011. After some 2012 races featured a more conservative choice of compounds, there’s been plenty of discussion about how long the newer compounds will last this year.

Some races featured a marked difference between the two compounds while others, such as the first U.S. Grand Prix in Austin, saw the two fairly close together for a one-stop strategy. Cold temperatures and a lack of grip in the new surface made it difficult for the drivers to bring the harder compounds up to temps at that race.


NHRA: New book a celebration of life, love and drag racing

jim oberhofer horizontal
Leave a comment

The overpowering smell from nitromethane that powers Top Fuel dragsters and Funny Cars in the National Hot Rod Association oftentimes brings fans to tears after getting a whiff of the stuff.

Now there’s a new inspirational book that will also bring tears to the eyes of die-hard drag racing fans.

Veteran crew chief Jim Oberhofer has released “Top Fuel For Life, Life Lessons From A Crew Chief,” a touching homage to both his late wife and persevering and overcoming adversity in the highly competitive world of NHRA drag racing.

oberhofer 2

Oberhofer wears a number of hats as vice president of one of the sport’s most veteran and successful teams, Kalitta Motorsports, including serving as crew chief for Top Fuel driver Doug Kalitta’s dragster.

Oberhofer relates a number of stories about overcoming adversity in the book, but none more touching than how he watched his beloved wife “Tammy O” lose a long and painful battle to stage 4 metastatic lung cancer.

While Oberhofer has spent his life using wrenches and tools working on 10,000-horsepower engines, his new book shows that he is also a very gifted writer.

Known in the sport as “Jim O,” Oberhofer describes the fight his wife went through in gritty and descriptive prose, but with a foundation built upon what the love of his life meant to him – and continues to mean to him more than two years since she passed away.

“When you take a long hard look at your life, I guarantee you that being a winner has little to do with crossing the finish line,” Oberhofer said. “After many mistakes and a whole lot of heartache, I learned that happiness comes from a deeper, simpler place. That’s the big win.”

“Top Fuel For Life” is available on Amazon for $19.95.

Follow @JerryBonkowski

Report: Ecclestone believes F1 could be sold by year’s end

F1 Grand Prix of Germany
(Getty Images)
Leave a comment

Formula One boss Bernie Ecclestone on Tuesday said the racing series is up for sale and has as many as three potential buyers.

Ecclestone told The Associated Press that a deal could still be struck by year’s end.

“I think so, maybe this year,” Ecclestone said. “There are three people mentioned to buy. So it’s a case of whether CVC or Mr. Mackenzie wants to sell.”

Ecclestone was referring to F1’s largest and controlling shareholder, CVC Capital Partners co-chairman Donald Mackenzie.

But even if F1 is sold, the 84-year-old Eccelstone doesn’t plan on going anywhere.

“The people that I’ve spoken to … have asked me if I would stay,” Ecclestone told AP.

Follow @JerryBonkowski