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Hamilton: Hyper-soft best F1 tire Pirelli has produced

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Lewis Hamilton heaped praise on Pirelli’s hyper-soft Formula 1 tire after completing his first test on the new compound in Abu Dhabi earlier this week, calling it “the best tire that Pirelli has produced since returning to F1.”

Pirelli unveiled two new dry compounds for the 2018 season in Abu Dhabi last week, with the hyper-soft becoming the grippiest yet shortest-lasting compound in its range.

The pink-walled compound was given a first test in Abu Dhabi by all 10 teams earlier this week at the official test session, with Hamilton singing its praises.

“On early impression, the new hyper-soft is the best tire that Pirelli has produced since returning to F1,” Hamilton said.

“I found that the other compounds are still a bit too hard for my liking, but we’re moving in the right direction.”

Besides the hyper-soft, Pirelli has also released a new compound at the other end of its tire range called the ‘super-hard’ that is unlikely to be used frequently next year.

Hamilton featured in the Abu Dhabi test for Mercedes on Tuesday, finishing third-fastest as Kimi Raikkonen led the way for Ferrari.

Having wrapped up his fourth F1 world title this year, Hamilton is now set for an extended stint off racing, with his next in-car duties for Mercedes planned in February with the launch of its 2018 car before pre-season testing.

BREAKING: John Force taken to hospital after Phoenix eliminations crash

Photo courtesy NHRA
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16-time NHRA Funny Car champ John Force has been taken to a local hospital for evaluation and examination following a wicked crash with fellow Funny Car driver Johnnie Lindberg.

The crash occurred during the quarterfinals of Sunday’s final eliminations in the NHRA Arizona Nationals at Wild Horse Pass Motorsports Park in suburban Phoenix.

Force was headed for a win when the engine on his Peak Chevrolet Camaro blew up just as it crossed the finish line, destroying the body. Lindberg, meanwhile, lost traction about one-third of the way down-track, but then got back into the gas to try and catch Force.

Force appeared to lose control of the body-less car and went across from the left lane he was in to the right-hand lane, where he hit the retaining wall in front of Lindberg.

Lindberg tried to avoid Force, but couldn’t. To make matters worse, the body on Lindberg’s car then came off and Force’s and Lindberg’s cars got tangled up in Lindberg’s parachute, sending both chassis’ into the left retaining wall.

Lindberg emerged from his Funny Car under his own power and was checked at the medical center before heading back to his pit.

Force, meanwhile, was helped out of his mangled wreck by the NHRA Safety Safari and was transported by ambulance to the hospital due to the severity of the impact.

Even though Force will be credited with the round win, he obviously will not be able to continue for the remainder of the eliminations.

To add insult to injury, NHRA officials charged Force with oiling down the racetrack, his third of the season in just the first two races. That will cost him 15 points in the NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series standings and a fine of $4,000.

Here are several posts from social media, including video of the incident from NHRA:

This is the second time Force has had an engine explode and the body blew off in the last two weeks. He also wrecked during the qualifying Feb. 9 for the season-opening Lucas Oil NHRA Winternationals in Pomona, California. Here’s the video of that wreck:

MORE: John Force taken to hospital as a precaution after Funny Car motor explodes.

We’ll update Force’s condition when it becomes available.

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