New Pirelli tires voted down by Formula One teams

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The eleven Formula One teams have voted against the introduction of the newly-designed Pirelli tires at the British Grand Prix after they failed to be evaluated last weekend in Canada.

Following a series of tire failures in the opening five rounds of the season and an unusually high number of pit stops, the teams lobbied for a new design to be introduced at some point during the year. Pirelli brought the compound to the Canadian Grand Prix for the teams to test during practice for the race, yet the wet weather conditions meant that the sufficient running was not completed, reasoning their decision.

“This decision is due to the fact that the new tires, which were brought to the Friday free practice sessions in Canada, could not be tested sufficiently due to rain – and that the teams failed to agree unanimously about introducing the changes,” the Italian tire supplier said in a statement.

“Instead a change in the tire production process should now ensure that the delamination issue has been addressed.”

Pirelli had always insisted that the changes would be made on safety grounds, but Ferrari and Lotus had led the charge to prevent any alterations believing that it was a case of adapting to the tires instead of expecting them to be perfect.

An improvement does appear to have been made, with the Canadian Grand Prix being won on two stops despite the track traditionally being very hard on tires.

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.