Alonso sees Mercedes as favorites for Monaco

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Mercedes are the favorites to win next week’s prestigious Monaco Grand Prix according to Fernando Alonso.

“They will arrive as favorites. They’ve been on pole the last three races,” said the Spanish Grand Prix winner.

“It’s more difficult to overtake in Monaco so maybe they can keep good positions for longer.”

In addition to setting pole position in the last three races Mercedes have set the fastest single lap by a team in each of the last four Grand Prix weekends, underlining their status as the team to beat in qualifying.

That has previously been the key to winning in Monaco, where the narrow circuit makes overtaking virtually impossible.

But as this year’s tires wear out more quickly than last year’s, it may not be the case next weekend. Pirelli have allocated their softest tires for next week’s race – the soft and super-soft tires.

Nico Rosberg and Lewis Hamilton started first and second for Sunday’s race but slipped to sixth and twelfth respectively by the chequered flag.

Mercedes set the fastest time during qualifying for last year’s Monaco Grand Prix but Michael Schumacher was moved back to sixth on the grid for a penalty incurred in the previous race.

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.