Gutierrez to miss qualifying following crash in FP3

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Esteban Gutierrez will take no part in qualifying for the Canadian Grand Prix after a crash in the final practice session on Saturday morning forced Sauber to change his chassis.

The Mexican driver brought out the red flag in FP3, spinning at turn three and careering into the wall at the side of the track. The left-rear of his car hit the barrier with some force, and the damage has been severe enough to warrant a chassis change.

This is just the latest in a streak of problems for Sauber in 2014. The C33 car has not lived up to expectations, and the team currently lies 10th in the constructors’ championship behind Marussia with zero points.

In Monaco, Gutierrez did look set to finish inside the top ten in the race, but a silly mistake at La Rascasse meant that he had to retire. This came just 20 laps or so after his teammate, Adrian Sutil, had crashed on the exit of the tunnel.

You can watch a Gutierrez-less qualifying live on NBCSN from 1pm ET. Coverage is expected to continue until 2:30pm.

As a result, Gutierrez will start from the back of the grid tomorrow.

BREAKING: John Force taken to hospital after Phoenix eliminations crash

Photo courtesy NHRA
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16-time NHRA Funny Car champ John Force has been taken to a local hospital for evaluation and examination following a wicked crash with fellow Funny Car driver Johnnie Lindberg.

The crash occurred during the quarterfinals of Sunday’s final eliminations in the NHRA Arizona Nationals at Wild Horse Pass Motorsports Park in suburban Phoenix.

Force was headed for a win when the engine on his Peak Chevrolet Camaro blew up just as it crossed the finish line, destroying the body. Lindberg, meanwhile, lost traction about one-third of the way down-track, but then got back into the gas to try and catch Force.

Force appeared to lose control of the body-less car and went across from the left lane he was in to the right-hand lane, where he hit the retaining wall in front of Lindberg.

Lindberg tried to avoid Force, but couldn’t. To make matters worse, the body on Lindberg’s car then came off and Force’s and Lindberg’s cars got tangled up in Lindberg’s parachute, sending both chassis’ into the left retaining wall.

Lindberg emerged from his Funny Car under his own power and was checked at the medical center before heading back to his pit.

Force, meanwhile, was helped out of his mangled wreck by the NHRA Safety Safari and was transported by ambulance to the hospital due to the severity of the impact.

Even though Force will be credited with the round win, he obviously will not be able to continue for the remainder of the eliminations.

To add insult to injury, NHRA officials charged Force with oiling down the racetrack, his third of the season in just the first two races. That will cost him 15 points in the NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series standings and a fine of $4,000.

Here are several posts from social media, including video of the incident from NHRA:

This is the second time Force has had an engine explode and the body blew off in the last two weeks. He also wrecked during the qualifying Feb. 9 for the season-opening Lucas Oil NHRA Winternationals in Pomona, California. Here’s the video of that wreck:

MORE: John Force taken to hospital as a precaution after Funny Car motor explodes.

Force’s daughter, Top Fuel driver Brittany Force, suffered a hard wreck at Pomona, but recovered in time to race this weekend in Phoenix.

We’ll update Force’s condition when it becomes available.

Follow @JerryBonkowski