Warwick defends reprimands over ‘taxi’ row

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Former F1 driver Derek Warwick, who was one of the stewards during the Singapore Grand Prix weekend, has defended the decision to hand Mark Webber and Fernando Alonso reprimands.

Webber and Alonso were censured after Webber rode back to the pits on Alonso’s car following the race.

Warwick, who started 162 races between 1981 and 1993, told The Telegraph stewards do want F1 to be entertaining and fun but that it must also be safe.

“We have become a bit sterile in many ways in Formula One. But we cannot put drivers at risk. If it had been done in a safer manner then it might have been viewed differently, but this was potentially very dangerous. You can’t have cars parked in the middle of a corner.”

Webber was accused of returning to the track without obtaining permission from a marshal, something he has since refuted. Alonso’s reprimand was for stopping on the racing line while he collected Webber, forcing other drivers to take avoiding action.

“A driver could easily have been hurt,” said Warwick. “I hope we’re not seen as killjoys. I want Formula One to be entertaining. I want it to be a spectacle.”

Webber’s reprimand was his third of the year, earning him an automatic ten-place grid penalty for the Korean Grand Prix next week.

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