Another Russian driver moves closer to an F1 seat

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The prospects of Russian drivers having a presence in F1 again is improving ahead of the country’s inaugural race next year.

Yesterday Sauber announced it was bringing Sergey Sirotkin into its Young Driver Program and suggested he could race for the team as early as next year.

Now Toro Rosso have announced they are giving a test to another young Russian racer: Daniil Kvyat, who is part of Red Bull’s young driver program.

Kvyat, a 19-year-old from the Republic of Bashkortostan who speaks four languages, is racing in the F1-supporting GP3 championship and the FIA’s European Formula Three series this year. Last year he won the Formula Renault 2.0 ALPS championship and finished as runner-up to McLaren young driver Stoffel Vandoorne in the European series.

Kvyat will drive the STR8 on Friday afternoon. Another Red Bull junior team member, Carlos Sainz Jnr, will also have a run in the car, as will Venezuelan GP2 driver Johnny Cecotto Jnr. The team’s race drivers Daniel Ricciardo and Jean-Eric Vergne will also be on hand to test Pirelli’s new tires for the next race.

Sainz will also test for Red Bull as well as another of their young test drivers, Antonio Felix da Costa.

Meanwhile Force India have announced they will give a test to British GP2 driver James Calado as well as running both their race drivers.

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.