Report: Ecclestone says no to standing restarts in 2015

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While standing restarts for 2015 had been confirmed a few weeks ago, Bernie Ecclestone has now said he’d like to see that change scrapped before it even enters Formula One.

Speaking to the German Auto Motor und Sport on a host of topics post-the Hungarian Grand Prix (article is in German but can be translated), Ecclestone said these won’t enter the regulations.

“There will be no standing start after a safety car phase,” Ecclestone said. “What we have seen in Budapest, was good enough.”

Although there’s been talk at the moment of reforming F1 further beyond the raft of changes that have entered the sport in 2014 – rumors persisted over the weekend that disgraced ex-Renault boss Flavio Briatore would be brought in to help improve the show – Ecclestone said the sport rather needs a bit of fine tuning.

“We just want to operate fine tuning. All the stupid and unnecessary rules that have been added in recent years, it should be no more,” he said.

He also praised the race organizers in Hungary, who didn’t need to call a single penalty during the wet-dry race.

Bernie’s not the only one suggesting common sense, it seems. NBC Sports Group F1 pit reporter and insider Will Buxton wrote a blog piece Monday – titled “New Coke” – noting that F1 is trying to fix problems that don’t currently exist and whereby could have the adverse effects of damaging the brand, much like New Coke did in the mid-1980s.

Both the AMUS and Buxton blogs are worth a read. The question now here is whether Ecclestone’s wishes can be overruled and the standing restarts overturned before they are set to be introduced next season.

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.