Telemetry upgrade set for Spanish GP

1 Comment

The FIA has encountered problem after problem with its new telemetry system in 2013, but all of the issues look set to be resolved for the Spanish Grand Prix at the Circuit de Catalunya in ten days time.

“We’ve been told they’ve got an upgrade which is going to Barcelona and then it’ll be working from there,” former F1 driver Derek Warwick explained to Reuters.

After switching supplier for the new season, race control has been unable to send any information to drivers during the sessions. Usually, warning lights would denote yellow flag areas, and cars would be slowed down during safety car periods.

However, the failure prevented such aids from working, causing many drivers to come under investigation in the Chinese GP. None of the drivers were penalized due to the telemetry failure, with Warwick explaining how the FIA knew that leniency was only fair.

“You can’t blame a driver if we’ve messed up in terms of the support package. The FIA has asked us to be lighter on fines for the drivers, but we still have the same tools available to us for other punishments.”

The problems have blighted the start to the 2013 season as drivers have relied upon their engineers for information, although many purists would question just whether the aids are truly necessary.

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

Photo: John Force Racing
Leave a comment

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.