Sutil not concerned about future with Sauber

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Adrian Sutil has said that he is not concerned about his future despite a poor start to the season that has seen Sauber fail to score any points.

The German driver was rumored to be in the firing line for Sauber, with reserve driver Giedo van der Garde set to replace him according to a story in the Swiss press. However, he explained to NBCSN’s Will Buxton that he has no idea where these stories came from.

“I haven’t read it, so I don’t really know,” Sutil said. “I’m still here, 119 grands prix, that’s it.”

He is instead focusing on the job at hand and trying to make the most of the troublesome C33 Sauber car.

“There’s always what you have to do in sports, you have to work on and never give up, try to improve and push,” he explained. “Don’t talk too much – deliver. Me as a driver, I have my job to do first, and that’s what I have to do right now.

“The car is probably not the best but I can’t change that for the moment so maximize what the car can do. This is the job I want to do and achieve this weekend, and then for the near future, I hope to have a better car to make this racing a bit more enjoyable which is definitely the case when you’re in the top ten or in the race for points.”

The rumors about Sutil’s future weren’t helped when he deleted his Twitter account earlier this week. However, the German explained that there was nothing sinister behind it.

“I had no time,” he said. “It’s too much work for me on the phone so I’m very sorry.”

Although Sutil’s seat does appear to be safe for now, until Sauber’s results begin to improve, there will always be question marks hanging over his head and that of teammate Esteban Gutierrez.

NHRA: John Force-like motor explosions get contagious during Sunday’s Gatornationals

Photo and video courtesy NHRA
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John Force is rubbing off on others – but probably not the way they or he would like.

The 16-time NHRA Funny Car champion has had spectacular motor explosions in each of the first three races of the new NHRA season, including during Friday’s qualifying for this weekend’s Gatornationals.

During Sunday’s quarterfinals of eliminations, Force’s teammate (and son-in-law and president of John Force Racing) Robert Hight squared off with fellow Funny Car driver Matt Hagan.

As the duo closed in on the finish line, both cars experienced spectacular motor explosions of their own – virtually side-by-side and nearly at the same time.

Hight’s car was the first to explode, tossing its body high in the air. A split-second later, Hagan’s car exploded, also sending the body flying.

Check out the NHRA video:

Hight wound up losing the race.

Hagan, meanwhile, and his crack pit crew rolled their backup car off the hauler, put in a new motor and went on to race through the semifinals and into the finals, losing to race winner “Fast Jack” Beckman.

“We had a pretty great race day, to be honest,” Hagan said. “I’ve never been to the finals in Gainesville.

“We obviously had a huge blow up in the second round, then to watch these guys pull the other car back out and put it together in the amount of time they had, then turn a win light on against Capps (Don Schumacher Racing teammate Ron Capps in the semifinals), then to be able to go to a final, it was huge and it speaks for itself.”

As for Hight, here’s his take on what happened with the motor explosion:

“I couldn’t see (Hagan) over there and it wasn’t like it was hazing the tires or anything else. As it turns out it wasn’t spinning at all. It kicked two rods out when it blacked the bearings in the crank then it hit the valves and blew up.

“The thing gave me no indication at all before that. What really scared me was once I got it under control and I look over and see his body is off his car. I am thinking ‘Oh man, he got gathered up in me.’ Then I stood up and looked and his injector was sideways so I realized he had an explosion as well. We are just lucky we didn’t get into each other.”

As for the guy who has had so much trouble in the motor department, John Force, he lost in the first round of Sunday’s eliminations to daughter Courtney Force.

John Force planned on shutting the motor off on his car at around the 700-foot mark of the 1,000-foot dragstrip, not wanting to risk another motor explosion – even though it meant a likely loss to his daughter.

Now John Force and his entire four-car team, including Courtney Force, Robert Hight and daughter and Top Fuel driver Brittany Force, will be off for extensive testing to try and determine what’s been causing the motor explosions.

“We have to evaluate it and go test,” Force said. “We’ll figure it out.”

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