F1’s five rookies for 2013: What you need to know

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There are just 22 seats to be had in Formula One this year and three of them have gone to up-and-coming talents who are eager to make names for themselves.

Here’s a quick guide to the five new faces in the F1 field in 2013.

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Esteban Gutierrez – Sauber

  • Like fellow Mexican Sergio Perez he is backed by Escuderia Telmex which enjoys funding from the world’s richest man, Carlos Slim
  • Won two F1 support series in their inaugural years: Formula BMW Europe in 2008 and GP3 in 2010
  • Covered 1,720 miles in pre-season testing – more than any other driver

Valtteri Bottas – Williams

  • A protégé of fellow Finn and two-times world champion Mika Hakkinen
  • Appeared in 15 practice sessions for Williams last year
  • Hasn’t started a race since the Macau Formula Three Grand Prix in November 2011

Giedo van der Garde – Caterham

  • At 27 years of age he’s the oldest of F1’s new intake for 2013
  • F1’s first Dutch driver since Christijan Albers started the 2007 British Grand Prix
  • Was team mate to future F1 drivers Sebastian Vettel, Paul di Resta and Kamui Kobayashi at the ASM team in the 2006 F3 Euro Series
  • Won the 2008 Formula Renault 3.5 championship, then spent four years in top F1 feeder series GP2

Max Chilton – Marussia

  • Started his single-seater career at such a young age he required a special dispensation to compete in the British Formula Three championship
  • Hasn’t won a championship in any of the junior categories he raced in
  • Ended last year’s GP2 championship strongly with victory at Singapore lifting him to fourth overall

Jules Bianchi (pictured) – Marussia

  • Has been a Ferrari Development Driver since 2009 and has extensive experience in their cars
  • Drove in nine practice sessions for Force India last year
  • Narrowly missed out on winning the 2012 Formula Renault 3.5 championship following a controversial collision with title rival Robin Frijns
  • Was passed over for the Force India race seat but landed the Marussia drive vacated by Luiz Razia

After eating just one chip, NHRA drag racer says: ‘I seriously thought I was going to die’

Alex Laughlin official Instagram page
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Editor’s note: Due to rain, Sunday’s final eliminations of the NHRA Carolina Nationals have been postponed to Monday morning at 10 a.m. ET. In the meantime, check out this rather unusual tale:

Remember the old Lays Potato Chips commercial from back in the 1980s that bragged “No one can eat just one”?

Well, ask NHRA Pro Stock driver Alex Laughlin and a few members of his team, and they’ll tell you they learned a very valuable lesson that there indeed IS a chip that you can only eat one of.

According to NHRA’s National Dragster, Laughlin and Elite Motorsports crew members Chase Freeman, Kelly Murphy and Brian Cunningham took part Friday night in the Paqui One Chip Challenge.

If you haven’t heard of the Challenge, Paqui Chips has produced a tortilla chip that the company boldly claims is the hottest chip ever made anywhere in the world. The secret is the “Carolina Reaper” pepper, considered the hottest chili pepper in the world, with a rating of 1.9 million Scoville units, according to PuckerButt Pepper Company.

How hot is 1.9 million Scoville units? Let’s put it this way: the Devil might even have a hard time taking this kind of heat. By comparison, a Jalapeno pepper only reaches 10,000 units on the Scoville rating. 

So while they were enjoying some downtime Friday night after the first two rounds of qualifying for the NHRA Carolina Nationals at zMAX Dragway in Concord, North Carolina (suburban Charlotte), Laughlin and Co. paid $30 for one chip – you read that right, $30 for one chip, it’s THAT hot – and thought they could take the heat.

They thought wrong.

“This is the hottest chip in the world,” Laughlin said on an Instagram post that documented the entire experience, adding a warning, “What to expect: Mouth on fire, short-term loss of speech, impaired vision from tears, extreme profanity — or death.”

View this post on Instagram

Never. Ever. Again.

A post shared by Alex Laughlin (@alexlaughlin40) on

 

Laughlin’s post also includes several reader comments that Laughlin and his crew should have had milk on hand instead of water to try and cool things down because milk has a natural antidote to cool your mouth down after eating hot food.

Sunday morning, with his mouth and throat still a bit sore, Laughlin recalled the red-hot episode to National Dragster’s Kevin McKenna:

Never again. Never. Ever. Ever,” Laughlin told McKenna. “It was definitely not the smartest thing I’ve ever done.

One of our guys showed me a You Tube video and it looked like it wasn’t going to be too bad. I like spicy food and it’s usually never a problem. I’ve been to those places with hot wings where you have to sign a waiver before you eat them and that’s never been a problem.

But this? This is on a whole different level. I thought it might last ten minutes. Fourteen hours later, I was still in bad shape. I woke up at 3 a.m. and Googled “internal bleeding.” I seriously thought I was going to die. We all did.”

So if the heat from the chip was off the hotness Richter scale, where did the stunt rank on Laughlin’s own personal Richter scale?

I’ve done some dumb things, but this is right up there.

Well, I really didn’t think it would be that bad,” Laughlin told McKenna with a shrug. “I mean, it’s just one tortilla chip. Like I said, I can usually eat stuff that other people won’t eat, but I had no idea what I was in for.

“I’ve done some dumb things, but this is right up there.”

If you’re up for another challenge in the future that involves eating hot food, Alex, here’s a suggestion: Even though it’s a few years old now, maybe you should try the Ice Bucket Challenge (but fill it with milk) to cool down quick. Just a thought.

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