Vettel: No reason to leave Red Bull for McLaren

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Sebastian Vettel has dismissed speculation suggesting that he may be set to walk away from Red Bull and join McLaren in the near future, saying that he has plenty of work to do with his current team.

The German driver has won all four of his world championships with Red Bull, and has established himself as one of the sport’s all-time greats.

However, the team has failed to carry its dominant form into the 2014 season, and Vettel has struggled to get to grips with the RB10 car. This has led to suggestions that he could be set to leave the team for a new challenge with McLaren upon the revival of its partnership with engine supplier Honda.

McLaren has made it known that it would like to sign Vettel upon the expiration of his current contract in 2016, but the German driver feels that he has plenty of challenges to be getting on with at Red Bull.

“There’s been a lot of talk. I heard on the Thursday that I signed for $150m for three years. I was asking where the pen was but nobody came back to me!” Vettel joked in a media session at Monza.

“I think it’s normal that you have a lot of talks, but it doesn’t change anything that we do or the normal or regular day basis. We’re not yet where we want to be, particularly on my side, so there’s a lot of work and thoughts going into that, which is my main attention.”

Many leading F1 pundits believe that Vettel must prove himself as a driver outside of the Red Bull setup, but he feels that the challenge of getting the world champions back ahead of Mercedes is his main focus.

“I think at the moment I have plenty of challenges if I’m honest,” he said. “There’s plenty of stuff to do. My situation hasn’t changed.

“I’m happy where I am, but you never know what’s happening in the future. As I said, right now, I don’t feel the need to do something different, so I think that case is fairly boring.

“It’s something I’m not talking to you guys about. I’m not planning to change that, for which I think I have my reasons.

“It’s not the first time I have been approached in the last couple of years which is nice, but not my style to share, sorry again!”

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.