Rosberg praises Mercedes tire management after special victory

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Monaco Grand Prix winner Nico Rosberg has praised the improvement that Mercedes have made since the Spanish Grand Prix, allowing him to claim his first win of the season.

The win was particularly special for Rosberg as his father, Keke, won the race thirty years ago, and Nico has spent most of his life in Monaco.

“Yeah, amazing,” Rosberg began in the post-race press conference. “This is my home, I grew up here, I went to school here, I’ve lived here all my life so it’s a very special day for me.”

Rosberg was able to hang on to the lead heading into the first corner, but he revealed after the race that his start was poor.

“The whole weekend went perfectly. The start was very close, terrible start, so close to Sebastian and with Lewis also, but then that worked out well.

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“After that, I was just able to control the pace and the car was really good, you know, the tires held on okay so that was really the key to the victory today. Massive thanks to the team, firmly improved from Barcelona, and I’m just ecstatic.”

Rosberg’s victory was certainly a long time in the making, with the team failing to convert any of its previous three pole positions into a win in 2013. However, it was fourth time lucky for the German team, and Rosberg will be delighted to have won in such fashion, even with the cloud of a protest from Red Bull hanging over the team’s head.

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.