Horner: No change to Red Bull driver equality

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Christian Horner says both Red Bull drivers will continue to receive equal treatment by the team this year.

Sebastian Vettel has won the drivers’ championship for the last three years running but Horner indicated he would not receive any special status as a result:

“I expect them to push each other very hard as they have for the last few years and to do their best for the team,” he said.

“We’ll be giving both of them equal opportunity, they’ve always enjoyed that whilst they’ve raced together.”

Mark Webber is set to reach his landmark 200th race during the season and Horner praised his contribution to the team: “He obviously joined Red Bull Racing fairly early on and has contributed a great deal to the team.

“He’s won nine Grands Prix for us and all of his podiums bar one have come in a Red Bull Racing car. So it’s been great that we’ve been able to provide Mark with a car to demonstrate his talents and it’s been a relationship that’s worked well during his time with us.”

Horner expects challenges from several teams in the upcoming season: “I think there’s going to be some big opponents: Fernando Alonso in the Ferrari, Felipe Massa was fast at the end of last year.

“Jenson Button in the McLaren, Lewis [Hamilton] in his new environment at Mercedes is going to be a factor and, of course, the Lotuses are a dark horse. So it’s not just about our two guys it’s about the competitors they’re racing against as well.”

See more from Horner in the video below:

NHRA: Brittany Force cleared to race this weekend in Phoenix after bad wreck 2 weeks ago

Photo: John Force Racing
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Drag racing is a Force family tradition. So, too, is not keeping a Force family member down.

Just 12 days after the most serious wreck of her six-year drag racing career, Brittany Force and John Force Racing announced late Thursday afternoon that the defending 2017 NHRA Top Fuel champion has been medically cleared and will indeed race in this weekend’s NHRA Arizona Nationals at Wild Horse Pass Motorsports Park in suburban Phoenix, Arizona.

“I flew into Phoenix early this (Thursday) morning and headed straight out to the race track to meet up with my team,” Force said. “I suited up and got belted back into my car that I ran all last season.

“It honestly felt good to be strapped back in and I was surprised how comfortable I was. I’m looking forward to getting back in my car tomorrow (Friday’s first two rounds of qualifying) and getting back in the swing of things with my guys.”

The 31-year-old Force, one of four daughters of 16-time NHRA Funny Car champ John Force, suffered a concussion and bruising after the hard crash she was involved in on February 11 in the first round of eliminations of the season-opening NHRA Lucas Oil Winternationals in Pomona, California.

Shortly after leaving the starting line in a race vs. Terry Haddock, Force’s dragster crossed from the right to left lanes, impacted the retaining wall with a very hard lateral crash, bounced off, spun, went on its side and briefly caught fire after crossing the finish line wheels-up.

While she is still recovering from the bruising, Force feels strong enough to get back behind the wheel. Getting back in the race car could be the best medicine of all, since she has three runner-up finishes in Phoenix, including back-to-back second-place showings in both the 2016 and 2017 national events.

The three-day event kicks off Friday with qualifying rounds at 4 and 6:30 p.m. ET, the same times as Saturday’s qualifying. Final eliminations begin at 1 p.m. ET Sunday.