FIA China Thursday Press Conference

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Mark Webber (Red Bull Racing) will take the headlines for obvious reasons in the wake of the team’s “Multi 21” controversy at Malaysia, but the Australian was not alone in the official FIA Press Conference on the Thursday of the Chinese Grand Prix.

Both Nicos (Rosberg, Mercedes and Hulkenberg, Sauber), Lotus’ Romain Grosjean, McLaren’s Sergio Perez and Force India’s Adrian Sutil also joined the driver lineup for the press conference.

Rosberg, who’s been quiet about his and Mercedes’ repeat chances, remained realistic rather than overly optimistic given the new Pirelli tire compounds this weekend.

“Things evolve so quickly – the different tires we have this year bring us into a whole new situation,” he said. “So you can’t really compare, you need to take it as it comes and adapt to what you have this weekend. And so, that will be crucial, working through Friday and Saturday morning to try to optimize everything in order to have a great weekend.”

Rosberg also addressed Mercedes’ own team orders plan in Malaysia, which saw the German finish behind Lewis Hamilton.

“At the end of the race, I didn’t have that thought (to overtake),” he said. “I had decided well before to fully respect the instructions that Ross (Brawn) had given me.

“The difficulty was that we hadn’t really discussed them beforehand, y’know?” he explained. “And so that was the mistake that we did. So, important going forward is that everything is discussed and then whichever way it goes, if I’m in front and Lewis is behind then he will respect it and vice versa. Then it’s OK. As long as one is prepared for it and it’s discussed well and understood, that’s the important thing and that’s the main mistake we did as a team.”

Steve Torrence takes NHRA points lead with Gatornationals victory

NHRA Gainesville Steve Torrence
Jeff Robinson/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images
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GAINESVILLE, Fla. — Two-time defending NHRA Top Fuel champion Steve Torrence took the points lead Sunday in the AMALIE Motor Oil Gatornationals, beating his father, Billy, in the final round at Gainesville Raceway.

Torrence had a 3.809-second run at 322.11 mph to win for the third time this year and 39th overall. He is now on track for another championship despite missing the season opener.

“We’ve got some good momentum and to be in the points lead, it’s a testament to how hard these guys work,” Steve Torrence said after the NHRA Gainesville victory. “We’ve just got to stay focused and concentrate on what the task at hand is, and that’s trying to win a championship. These guys give me an unbelievable race car and you just try not to screw it up.”

Ron Capps won in Funny Car, Alex Laughlin in Pro Stock and Matt Smith in Pro Stock Motorcycle.

Capps raced to his second win this year and 66th overall, beating Tim Wilkerson with a 3.937 at 323.12 in a Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat.

Laughlin topped Aaron Stanfield with a 7.068 at 204.76 in a Chevrolet Camaro for his first win this season and fourth in his career. Smith rode to his first victory in 2020 and 25th overall, topping Andrew Hines with a 6.843 at 196.99 on an EBR.