V8 engine era comes to a close in Brazil

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The era of V8 engines in Formula One has come to a close in Brazil as Sebastian Vettel handed Renault one final victory as an engine manufacturer using its current configuration of power unit.

Over the years, there has been an increasing push to cut costs and subsequently reduce the size of the engines, meaning that the V8s replace V10s back in 2006. However, next year will see the introduction of turbocharged V6 engines, meaning that the V8s have come to the end of their eight year life cycle in Formula One.

The era has been dominated by Renault who tasted championship success with its own works team in 2006 before an imperious run of form powering Red Bull as the team has developed from midfield runners to quadruple world champions. The French manufacturers ended the V8 era as they began it: by winning. Sebastian Vettel claimed his ninth straight win in today’s Brazilian Grand Prix with a fine display that saw him finish the season in style.

“Winning today seems a fitting end to the era – we’ve won a lot of races and learned a great deal,” deputy managing director Rob White explained. “The challenge facing the Viry team for 2014 cannot be underestimated. Success in the past is no guarantee of success in the future, but if we keep the same spirit and work ethic that have yielded results with the V8, it bodes well for next year and beyond.”

The V8 engine has certainly served Formula One well, and the new configuration of power unit in 2014 has a tough act to follow.

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.