Hamilton stars in Germany to charge from 20th to the podium

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Lewis Hamilton has limited the damage of Nico Rosberg’s victory in today’s German Grand Prix by finishing third at Hockenheim, a result made all the more impressive by the fact that he started way down in 20th position.

The Briton suffered a high-speed crash during qualifying yesterday that meant he could not take part in either Q2 or Q3. Because of the damage inflicted by the shunt, he also had to change his gearbox, thus warranting a five place grid penalty.

However, from the very beginning of the race, Hamilton was a man on a mission. Although his overtaking moves were very aggressive, they were effective as he passed the likes of Fernando Alonso, Daniel Ricciardo, Kimi Raikkonen and Jenson Button with relative ease. He did have a slight run-in with Button that saw him lose his front wing endplate, but the performance of the car did not seem to be harmed too much by this.

In the end, Hamilton had to settle for third place after Valtteri Bottas managed to keep the Mercedes driver at bay with some great defensive driving, and he seemed slightly despondent on the podium despite his immense drive from the back of the grid.

With the deficit to Nico Rosberg at the top of the drivers’ championship back on the rise to 14 points, Lewis will be hoping to at least halve it at the Hungarian Grand Prix next weekend.

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

Photo: John Force Racing
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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.