Vettel absent from Webber’s leaving party


The relationship between Sebastian Vettel and Mark Webber has been far from friendly over the past three years, with the two drivers clashing on more than one occasion despite being teammates. However, it appears that their feud is not a thing of the past with German publication Bild today reporting that Vettel was absent from Webber’s leaving party.

Webber has taken the decision to retire from Formula One at the end of the season, favoring a move to Porsche’s new LMP1 programme that will see him race in the 24 Hours of Le Mans next year. Therefore, at his final grand prix in Europe, the Australian driver decided the hold a small gathering on the upper level of the Red Bull Energy Station at Monza. F1 drivers and team bosses were all invited along, with the likes of Ross Brawn, Lewis Hamilton and Fernando Alonso all attending.

However, Vettel was spotted by NBC Sports’ pit reporter Will Buxton sitting alone, with Bild reporting that the German driver stayed on the lower level of the Energy Station playing on his phone instead of joining the festivities.

It is worth noting that this is not the first time Vettel has not attending an event for Webber, choosing not to join the small party held for the Australian driver’s 200th grand prix earlier on in the season along with team advisor Dr. Helmut Marko.

NHRA Gatornationals: John Force has another spectacular motor explosion

Photo courtesy NHRA
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Legendary NHRA Funny Car driver John Force endured yet another spectacular motor explosion – his third in the NHRA’s first three national event races – during Friday’s qualifying at the Amalie Motor Oil Gatornationals in Gainesville, Florida.

It’s the kind of consistency the 16-time NHRA Funny Car champ could do without.

The 68-year-old Force came to Gainesville hoping to break the jinx that saw him endure explosions in both the season-opening Winternationals and the second race of the season in Phoenix.

Both motor explosions sent Force to the hospital for examination before he returned to the race track.

Friday, even though the motor in his Chevrolet Camaro blew up again (in the second round of qualifying), at least this time, Force didn’t wind up in the hospital.

He did have his right hand bandaged from a cut suffered in the explosion, but did not have to go to the hospital this time.

He even joked about not having to add yet another ambulance bill to the nearest Gainesville hospital.

But the explosion still proved costly.

“That was another body and that hurts the financial (bottomline),” Force said. “I was out $500,000 to $600,000, and now we are probably out $800,000, going on a million. In drag racing, you have to be tough.”

He ended the day qualifying 14th, not a very comfortable position with two more rounds of qualifying set for Saturday.

Force continues to be mystified why the motors keep exploding.

“I really thought we had it, I thought we were there,” Force said. “In the first round we drove it 500 feet and shut it off. It looked great. We ran it again that run and I was only going to drive it 800 feet even if we didn’t make The Show.”

Force will attempt to improve his qualifying spot during Saturday’s final two rounds to make Sunday’s eliminations.

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