Rosberg moving on from Hungary team orders debate

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Nico Rosberg has brought an end to the team orders debate at Mercedes that dominated much of the media in the aftermath of the Hungarian Grand Prix, saying that he has spoken to the team about the issue and is now moving on.

The German driver started on pole at the Hungaroring, but dropped back following a rain shower and early safety car period. He was soon battling for position with Hamilton, and was told that the Briton would allow him past as he was on a different strategy.

However, Hamilton did not follow the orders given to him by the team. He told his engineer that he would only let Rosberg past if he was in a position to overtake. As he did not get close enough, Rosberg was forced to sit behind Hamilton for the entirety of his stint.

Come the checkered flag, Rosberg was just half a second behind his teammate, meaning that his championship lead was cut by three points. After the race, he did not pass comment on the matter, but appeared to be frustrated. Speaking about it in Belgium ahead of this weekend’s race though, he says that he has moved on from it.

“I gather it was a bit of a mess [in the media] afterwards,” Rosberg explained. “So it’s best I don’t add too much I think and I continue to not give too many details.

“In general of course, we discussed it after the race, just because it’s important to review a situation like that and know how to move forward.

“Now we’re moving forward but of course, I have also learned various things from that race which I will try to adapt for the future.”

As the battle for the championship rages on, many saw this incident as the latest in a long line of intra-team tensions at Mercedes in 2014. However, with the summer break giving both drivers a chance to cool down and relax, they will be hoping to settle their scores in the second half of the season.

NHRA Gatornationals: John Force qualifies 15th with no motor explosion, says ‘I need to race smart’ Sunday

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There’s good news and bad news for John Force fans.

The good news is the 16-time NHRA Funny Car champ did not suffer yet another motor explosion after enduring his third in three races during Friday’s qualifying session at Gainesville (Florida) Raceway.

In fact, Force intentionally feathered the gas pedal on his Chevrolet Camaro Funny Car to make sure it wasn’t again overtaxed, qualifying 15th with a run of 4.281 seconds at 222.88 mph.

Now for the bad news.

When Sunday’s final eliminations begin at 11 a.m. ET, Force will be matched against daughter and No. 2 qualifier, Courtney Force (3.914 seconds at 332.18 mph).

“It is a little bit of a bummer that I have to race him in the first round,” Courtney Force said of her father. “Tomorrow is a new day and we will have all our stuff ready and we will put on our game faces to go for that win.”

Courtney Force is seeking her second consecutive win, having also won two weeks ago at the second national event of the season in suburban Phoenix.

“I want to have a good side-by-side safe race tomorrow in round one,” Force said. “Our goal is to take my dad down and have a long day at the track winning rounds.

“We want to move the momentum over from Phoenix. I feel like my guys have a good handle on this Advance Auto Parts Camaro.”

But don’t count out dear old dad, an eight-time Funny Car winner at Gainesville.

“I am the kind of guy that, when it is qualifying day, I run it to the edge.,” John Force said. “I run it even if I know it will hurt itself.

“(With his three motor explosions this season) I am rethinking all that. What I am looking is the long haul. To go out here and say I have to win this race or I have to qualify low after as much stuff as we have put on the ground in Pomona and Phoenix and then to come here and do it again is bad. … We want to fix this problem and move on.

“Tomorrow I am going to have to play the odds game. I am going to run it to 700 or 800 feet and hope (Courtney) gets in trouble. I need to race smart.”

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