Hamilton backtracks over Vettel comments

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Lewis Hamilton tried to put some distance between himself and comments he made following the Korean Grand Prix claiming Sebastian Vettel’s domination has made F1 a turn-off for viewers.

In a series of Twitter posts on Tuesday Hamilton said he’d “read some of the stories/reports of my comments on Seb” and wanted “to clarify my thoughts”.

“Seb is great champion!” he began, calling his rival “a great human being who is funny and humble” and “deserves all the success he is having”.

“I admire his dedication and ability to consistently perform without mistakes,” Hamilton continued, “this is the mark of a true champion”.

Alluding to his previous comments about the performance of the Red Bull RB9, Hamilton added: “Regardless of what you and I may think about his car at the end of the day he’s doing the perfect job”.

“I’m just grateful I get to drive in an era with so many great drivers like him,” he concluded.

Following the Korean race Hamilton likened Vettel’s success to Michael Schumacher’s domination of the early 2000s. “I remember watching when Michael Schumacher was winning,” he said. “I remember watching the start, going to sleep, then waking up when it ended because I already knew what would happen.”

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.