F1 Grand Prix of Austria - Qualifying

Starting grid for the 2014 Austrian Grand Prix

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2003 may not be a year that many remember with a particular fondness, but it does hold a great deal of relevance this weekend in Austria.

It was the year that the last race in Spielberg was held at the old A1-Ring, and it was also the year that Williams last locked out the front row in qualifying in Formula 1.

Eleven years later, all of that has changed. We’re back in Austria at the revamped and renamed Red Bull Ring, and Williams is back on top. Despite Mercedes dominating proceedings so far this season, both Nico Rosberg and Lewis Hamilton came unstuck during Q3 on Saturday, allowing Felipe Massa to secure pole position for the first time in five years. Finnish teammate Valtteri Bottas will join him on the front row of the grid, with Rosberg in third place and Hamilton down in ninth.


  • Sergio Perez has carried over a five place grid penalty for causing the accident at the end of the Canadian Grand Prix with Felipe Massa.
  • Marussia’s Max Chilton received a three place grid penalty for crashing into teammate Jules Bianchi in Montreal two weeks ago.
  • The stewards were busy deleting times during qualifying for drivers running wide at turn eight. In total, fourteen times were deleted.
  • Race director Charlie Whiting has written to the drivers explicitly warning them against running wide at turn eight. The letter reads: “Any driver leaving the track on the exit of turn eight who appears to have gained a clear and lasting advantage by doing so, will be reported to the stewards. We would not, for example, expect a driver who left the track on the exit of turn eight to attempt to pass a driver in front of him into turn one.”
  • The stewards have also reminded the teams about the fuel flow limit rule, having done the same ahead of the Canadian GP.
  • 0700 ET – Romain Grosjean will start from the pit lane after the team broke parc ferme rules to change his gearbox and his rear aerodynamic setting.


1. Felipe Massa Williams
2. Valtteri Bottas Williams
3. Nico Rosberg Mercedes
4. Fernando Alonso Ferrari
5. Daniel Ricciardo Red Bull
6. Kevin Magnussen McLaren
7. Daniil Kvyat Toro Rosso
8. Kimi Raikkonen Ferrari
9. Lewis Hamilton Mercedes
10. Nico Hulkenberg Force India
11. Jenson Button McLaren
12. Sebastian Vettel Red Bull
13. Pastor Maldonado Lotus
14. Jean-Eric Vergne Toro Rosso
15. Sergio Perez Force India
16. Adrian Sutil Sauber
17. Esteban Gutierrez Sauber
18. Jules Bianchi Marussia
19. Kamui Kobayashi Caterham
20. Marcus Ericsson Caterham
21. Max Chilton Marussia

Pit Lane: Romain Grosjean Lotus

The Austrian Grand Prix is live on NBCSN and Live Extra from 7:30am ET. For live streaming options, click here.

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

F1 Grand Prix of Germany
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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