Williams set to re-introduce 2012 exhaust

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Williams could be set to revert back to their 2012 specification of exhaust following a poor start to the 2013 season.

Pastor Maldonado has two DNFs to his name, whilst Valtteri Bottas finished 14th in Australia and 11th in Malaysia.

The team was forced to change its exhaust design after it was deemed illegal by the FIA due to the presence of turning vanes in the coanda channel during testing. This setback, coupled with the late start for the FW35, has seen the team fail to score in the opening two races, causing this rethink.

“We’re of the opinion at the moment that a FW34-type of car would be faster,” technical director Mike Coughlan explained in an interview. “I don’t think we’ll go back to an FW34.

“We might go back to an FW34 style of exhaust system and treat Fridays as tests across cars.”

The move would hinder the development of the FW35, but due to the lack of changes in the regulations this season, using the 2012-spec exhaust is unlikely to see the team fall too far back. However, with the team having spent a great deal of time and money on the 2013 car, Williams will be disappointed to be contemplating such action just two races in to the new season.

BREAKING: John Force taken to hospital after Phoenix eliminations crash

Photo courtesy NHRA
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16-time NHRA Funny Car champ John Force has been taken to a local hospital for evaluation and examination following a wicked crash with fellow Funny Car driver Johnnie Lindberg.

The crash occurred during the quarterfinals of Sunday’s final eliminations in the NHRA Arizona Nationals at Wild Horse Pass Motorsports Park in suburban Phoenix.

Force was headed for a win when the engine on his Peak Chevrolet Camaro blew up just as it crossed the finish line, destroying the body. Lindberg, meanwhile, lost traction about one-third of the way down-track, but then got back into the gas to try and catch Force.

Force appeared to lose control of the body-less car and went across from the left lane he was in to the right-hand lane, where he hit the retaining wall in front of Lindberg.

Lindberg tried to avoid Force, but couldn’t. To make matters worse, the body on Lindberg’s car then came off and Force’s and Lindberg’s cars got tangled up in Lindberg’s parachute, sending both chassis’ into the left retaining wall.

Lindberg emerged from his Funny Car under his own power and was checked at the medical center before heading back to his pit.

Force, meanwhile, was helped out of his mangled wreck by the NHRA Safety Safari and was transported by ambulance to the hospital due to the severity of the impact.

Even though Force will be credited with the round win, he obviously will not be able to continue for the remainder of the eliminations.

To add insult to injury, NHRA officials charged Force with oiling down the racetrack, his third of the season in just the first two races. That will cost him 15 points in the NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series standings and a fine of $4,000.

Here are several posts from social media, including video of the incident from NHRA:

This is the second time Force has had an engine explode and the body blew off in the last two weeks. He also wrecked during the qualifying Feb. 9 for the season-opening Lucas Oil NHRA Winternationals in Pomona, California. Here’s the video of that wreck:

MORE: John Force taken to hospital as a precaution after Funny Car motor explodes.

We’ll update Force’s condition when it becomes available.

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