Australian F1 Grand Prix - Practice

Brawn defends use of team orders in Malaysia


Ross Brawn has defended his use of team orders at the Malaysian Grand Prix, preventing Nico Rosberg from passing Lewis Hamilton in the final stages of the race.

Hamilton was forced to save fuel, but Brawn told the faster Rosberg to hold position behind the British driver to not put the team result at risk. Both drivers were disappointed with the result, and Hamilton admitted that he did not deserve the podium finish. However, Brawn still believes that he made the right decision.

“I don’t like having to take those decisions, but from a technical perspective we would have looked very foolish if we had run both cars out of fuel,” he told Sky Sports.

“I think what wasn’t fully appreciated at the time is that we had a situation develop on both cars with fuel. We weren’t comfortable with either car and I could see a scenario with both drivers competing against each other, in a strong way, it is difficult to marry managing the fuel with a full blown fight with your team-mate.”

Brawn did come under fire from Mercedes managers Niki Lauda and Toto Wolff, but the team principal is happy to have made the call.

“I had all the information, I had all the facts. I had what I feel was all the information to make that decision and they didn’t and I think they both recognized after the event that it was the correct decision.”

There is a great deal of movement behind the scenes at Mercedes, with Paddy Lowe set to join the team for next season. Brawn has previously said that he would not remain at the team if Lowe joined, and this latest debacle could only increase the pressure on the former team owner.

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