Mercedes accepts Tribunal ruling, will not appeal

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Mercedes has accepted the penalty handed down by the FIA International Tribunal on Friday, and will not appeal.

Its lawyer had suggested Mercedes be banned from the upcoming young driver test, which was the penalty the FIA imposed.

The tough luck award in the proceedings go to Sam Bird, Mercedes’ reserve driver, who has lost his next chance at a go in the W04. Still, at least now Mercedes can head to Silverstone with this affair fully in the background.

The statement reads:

The MERCEDES AMG PETRONAS Formula One Team acknowledges and accepts the Decision of the FIA International Tribunal published today.

The Decision of the International Tribunal confirmed that the team acted in good faith regarding the Pirelli Tests, never intended to obtain any unfair sporting advantage and had no reason to believe that approval for the Pirelli Tests had not been given.

Mercedes accepts the proportionate penalties of a reprimand and suspension from the forthcoming Young Driver Test that have been decided upon by the Tribunal.

Mercedes would like to once again restate its firm belief in proper due process and commend the FIA for the principle of an independent disciplinary body.

The team would furthermore like to thank the International Tribunal and its President for the fair hearing it received yesterday.

In the best interests of the sport, the team does not intend to avail itself of any right to appeal the Decision.

Mercedes looks forward to working with the FIA and its fellow competitors to establish a more rigorous procedure for testing in the future, particularly to support the appointed tire supplier.

We now wish to bring this matter to a close and focus on the forthcoming British and German Grands Prix, both of which are important home races for the team.

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.