Busy Spanish GP weekend ahead of Max Chilton

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Max Chilton is preparing for a busy Spanish Grand Prix weekend at the Circuit de Catalunya as he looks for a change in fortune following a quiet start to his F1 career.

The Marussia driver has found himself battling with Caterham’s Giedo van der Garde for the last classified position so far this season, but he is hoping that the upgrades brought to the race in Barcelona will aid his cause.

“It will be great to get back down to business in Spain, where there will be a lot to focus our attentions on,” Chilton said in a team statement. “We’ve learned a lot in the first four races and quite a lot since, with the technical team having been hard at it in the break.”

Marussia has made a good start to the season, with French starlet Jules Bianchi turning many heads in the paddock, and Chilton is hopeful that the efforts from the flyaway races will come to the fore in Spain.

“What we bring to the Circuit de Catalunya is the product of four races of evaluation coupled with the next step in our ongoing development path, so it will be interesting to see how we can progress from Bahrain.”

Chilton is also happy to be returning to one of his favorite tracks.

“On a personal level this is a track I enjoy and have raced at plenty of times, and that will also be useful as we work through a busy evaluation programme on Friday in particular. I’m looking forward to it.”

The next few races will be important for Chilton, for he needs to prove that he is capable of battling with teammate Jules Bianchi if he is to be touted as a star for the future.

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.