Red Bull’s Horner: Reliability is the top priority

Leave a comment

Until they are knocked off their perch, four-time defending World Champions Red Bull Racing should be considered the team to beat in Formula One.

However, with the new turbo V6 engines and energy-recovery systems making their debut in 2014, they know that they’ll need reliability from its equipment in order to stretch their dominance into a fifth consecutive season.

“Reliability is the number one challenge,” team principal Christian Horner recently told Finnish newspaper Turun Sanomat. “But of course, we also want a lot of performance from the car from the very start in Australia. It means the amount of work in front of us [this winter] is phenomenal.”

Horner’s team certainly had a phenomenal finish to the championship this past season as Sebastian Vettel closed out his fourth consecutive drivers’ title with a season-ending streak of nine wins in a row.

But even after that impressive display, Horner realizes there’s room to improve for the Milton Keynes-based group.

“We did a good job in 2013 but it wasn’t perfect, and that motivates us to improve on those areas in which we did not meet our targets,” he told the Finnish paper.

“That doesn’t mean that we expect to win next season. We want to win, but the competition is very hard, and we know how quickly everything can change at the top in F1. Nothing can be taken for granted.”

And something tells us everyone else at Red Bull besides Horner and Vettel is thinking the same way.

NHRA: Brittany Force cleared to race this weekend in Phoenix after bad wreck 2 weeks ago

Photo: John Force Racing
Leave a comment

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.