F1 Grand Prix of Malaysia

Vettel apologizes to Red Bull team members


Sebastian Vettel has apologized to the entire Red Bull team, according to team principal Christian Horner.

After overtaking teammate Mark Webber against team orders during the Malaysian Grand Prix, Vettel has been criticized by many members of the paddock for making the move. During the race, Horner said that the move was “silly”, but the result stood as Vettel led Webber home for a Red Bull 1-2.

“He’s said he can’t turn back the clock but he’s accepted what he did was wrong,” Horner is quoted as saying by Reuters.

“He’s apologized to the team and to every single member of staff for his actions, because he recognizes the team is vitally important and being part of the team is a crucial aspect to being able to challenge for those championships.”

Despite apologizing, Vettel’s critics are still adamant that the Red Bull driver was well aware of what he was doing, even if the triple-champion claims that the move was not deliberate.

Mark Webber’s future with the team and in the sport has also been questioned, but Horner insists that he has no worries about the Australian driver seeing out the season with Red Bull.

“He’s big enough to know that there was no malice, no intent from the team to create any situation like that. I’ve got no doubt that Mark will see out the season with us,” Horner told Sky Sports.

The fall-out from Malaysia will take a while to die down, but in a recent interview, Sebastian Vettel stated that some of his most memorable overtakes happened “quite recently.” If the move was indeed intentional, Vettel’s reputation could be damaged heavily as he looks to claim a fourth consecutive championship in 2013.

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

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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.

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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

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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