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Barrichello comforts Massa following Ferrari exit


Former Formula One driver Rubens Barrichello has comforted Felipe Massa following the Brazilian’s exit from Ferrari, confirming that there is a future beyond the Italian team.

Massa confirmed on Monday that he will be leaving the team at the end of the season, set to be replaced by Lotus’ Kimi Raikkonen. Having also left the team at the end of 2005, Barrichello is well-positioned to advise his compatriot and friend regarding his next move, and he has assured Massa that there is life after Ferrari.

“I feel sorry for Felipe, but I know there is life after Ferrari,” Barrichello said in an interview with TotalRace. “I am a proof of that because of Brawn and everything that happened. Everything was really good, and there are some things that are even better after Ferrari.”

After leaving Ferrari in 2005, Barrichello moved to Honda which became Brawn in 2009. That year, the Brazilian driver won two races and finished an incredible third in the drivers’ championship in one of the greatest fairytales the sport has known as Brawn romped to both titles. Although Barrichello did acknowledge that Ferrari is the ultimate drive in F1, he also spoke about the benefits of leaving Maranello.

“Driving for Ferrari is the most sensational thing ever, but after Ferrari there is a release, with a little less pressure and careful interviews,” he said. There is a moment of pain, but there is life after it.”

Massa is thought to be in the running for Raikkonen’s seat at Lotus, but he faces stiff opposition in the form of Sauber’s Nico Hulkenberg who it transpires was close to being the Brazilian’s replacement.

NHRA: New book a celebration of life, love and drag racing

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The overpowering smell from nitromethane that powers Top Fuel dragsters and Funny Cars in the National Hot Rod Association oftentimes brings fans to tears after getting a whiff of the stuff.

Now there’s a new inspirational book that will also bring tears to the eyes of die-hard drag racing fans.

Veteran crew chief Jim Oberhofer has released “Top Fuel For Life, Life Lessons From A Crew Chief,” a touching homage to both his late wife and persevering and overcoming adversity in the highly competitive world of NHRA drag racing.

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Oberhofer wears a number of hats as vice president of one of the sport’s most veteran and successful teams, Kalitta Motorsports, including serving as crew chief for Top Fuel driver Doug Kalitta’s dragster.

Oberhofer relates a number of stories about overcoming adversity in the book, but none more touching than how he watched his beloved wife “Tammy O” lose a long and painful battle to stage 4 metastatic lung cancer.

While Oberhofer has spent his life using wrenches and tools working on 10,000-horsepower engines, his new book shows that he is also a very gifted writer.

Known in the sport as “Jim O,” Oberhofer describes the fight his wife went through in gritty and descriptive prose, but with a foundation built upon what the love of his life meant to him – and continues to mean to him more than two years since she passed away.

“When you take a long hard look at your life, I guarantee you that being a winner has little to do with crossing the finish line,” Oberhofer said. “After many mistakes and a whole lot of heartache, I learned that happiness comes from a deeper, simpler place. That’s the big win.”

“Top Fuel For Life” is available on Amazon for $19.95.

Follow @JerryBonkowski

Report: Ecclestone believes F1 could be sold by year’s end

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Formula One boss Bernie Ecclestone on Tuesday said the racing series is up for sale and has as many as three potential buyers.

Ecclestone told The Associated Press that a deal could still be struck by year’s end.

“I think so, maybe this year,” Ecclestone said. “There are three people mentioned to buy. So it’s a case of whether CVC or Mr. Mackenzie wants to sell.”

Ecclestone was referring to F1’s largest and controlling shareholder, CVC Capital Partners co-chairman Donald Mackenzie.

But even if F1 is sold, the 84-year-old Eccelstone doesn’t plan on going anywhere.

“The people that I’ve spoken to … have asked me if I would stay,” Ecclestone told AP.

Follow @JerryBonkowski