Albers remains tight-lipped on Caterham driver line-up

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Newly-appointed Caterham team principal Christijan Albers is remaining tight-lipped about his team’s driver line-up for the rest of the season, simply saying that “I want to see results.”

The team has endured a difficult start to the 2014 season, and remains rooted to the bottom of the constructors’ standings. After five seasons of trying, former owner Tony Fernandes threw in the towel last month and sold the outfit to a consortium made up of Swiss and Middle Eastern investors, with Albers becoming team principal.

There have been a number of changes in personnel over the past two weeks, and this was thought to possibly be extended to the current driver line-up of Kamui Kobayashi and Marcus Ericsson. When asked about their future with the team, Albers remained coy.

“I want to see results,” he said. “That’s very important for every Formula 1 team.

“To be honest today I think they did a good job. We had some bad luck in the second practice, but they are sharp and we know we need performance and also of course, with a team as Caterham F1, we also always need a little bit of budget.”

Kobayashi is not thought to be bringing a huge amount of finance to the team, with his experience being the main lure for Caterham when he was signed. Therefore, if the team is in need of a bigger budget, a number of drivers could fit the bill in more ways than one.

Red Bull junior Carlos Sainz Jr. was rumored to be in the running for a seat with the team, given that the F1 weekends do not clash with his World Series by Renault commitments. Albers confirmed that they had spoken, but not necessarily about a seat for 2014.

“I have seen a lot of rumors in the press as usual in Formula 1,” he said. “At this moment, of coruse, we have seen Carlos and we have spoken to him also, but at this moment there is nothing done.

“The drivers are performing now, I was happy today, that’s the situation.”

NHRA Gatornationals: John Force has another spectacular motor explosion

Photo courtesy NHRA
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Legendary NHRA Funny Car driver John Force endured yet another spectacular motor explosion – his third in the NHRA’s first three national event races – during Friday’s qualifying at the Amalie Motor Oil Gatornationals in Gainesville, Florida.

It’s the kind of consistency the 16-time NHRA Funny Car champ could do without.

The 68-year-old Force came to Gainesville hoping to break the jinx that saw him endure explosions in both the season-opening Winternationals and the second race of the season in Phoenix.

Both motor explosions sent Force to the hospital for examination before he returned to the race track.

Friday, even though the motor in his Chevrolet Camaro blew up again (in the second round of qualifying), at least this time, Force didn’t wind up in the hospital.

He did have his right hand bandaged from a cut suffered in the explosion, but did not have to go to the hospital this time.

He even joked about not having to add yet another ambulance bill to the nearest Gainesville hospital.

But the explosion still proved costly.

“That was another body and that hurts the financial (bottomline),” Force said. “I was out $500,000 to $600,000, and now we are probably out $800,000, going on a million. In drag racing, you have to be tough.”

He ended the day qualifying 14th, not a very comfortable position with two more rounds of qualifying set for Saturday.

Force continues to be mystified why the motors keep exploding.

“I really thought we had it, I thought we were there,” Force said. “In the first round we drove it 500 feet and shut it off. It looked great. We ran it again that run and I was only going to drive it 800 feet even if we didn’t make The Show.”

Force will attempt to improve his qualifying spot during Saturday’s final two rounds to make Sunday’s eliminations.

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