Monaco win “very unlikely” admits Alonso

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Fernando Alonso has written off his chances of winning the Monaco Grand Prix after qualifying 6th for the race tomorrow, struggling to match the pace of pole-sitter Nico Rosberg.

“The chances of a win? Of course in Formula 1 nothing is impossible, but it’s very unlikely I think that we fight for the victory starting sixth in Monaco,” Alonso said in an interview. “Our second target is to finish ahead of our competitors in the championship – which is Kimi and Sebastian at this moment.

“But we will see. We saw the GP2 start and we know a safety car is possible here any lap. So there are many factors that might go wrong, the same as today. It was a very different qualifying, very difficult to interpret which tires to put on.”

Alonso, who won the race in 2006, was caught out by a highly-competitive field, being outqualified by Rosberg, Hamilton, Vettel, Webber and Raikkonen on Saturday.

“We know Mercedes, Lotus, Red Bull, McLaren and Ferrari were competitive. Also Force India and we saw Di Resta out of Q1 in a very competitive weekend. We saw Grosjean out of Q2 in a very competitive weekend.”

Considering his practice performance, Alonso admitted that Ferrari have work to do if they are to win for a third time this season.

“We need to understand it. We were both cars in the podium in Barcelona and this morning before the qualifying we were P9 and P11 so definitely we today we were not at our best.”

Furthermore, Alonso was given a €1,000 fine for breaking the speed limit in the pit lane during Q1.

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.