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Haas suffers double DNF in Malaysia, fined for unsafe Gutierrez release

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The Haas Formula 1 Team endured a Sunday to forget at Sepang as both Romain Grosjean and Esteban Gutierrez retired from the Malaysian Grand Prix due to mechanical issues on their cars.

Haas had been hopeful of scoring its points since the middle of July after qualifying 12th and 13th, with Grosjean rising into the top 10 early on.

However, the Frenchman was sent careering into the barrier at the final corner after suffering a brake failure early on in the race.

“We really don’t know what happened yet, but the pedal just went straight to the floor and I had to avoid the car in front of me,” Grosjean said.

“Our data didn’t suggest anything beforehand. It’s a shame. We did a really good first lap and we were looking at points running inside the top-10. Things just didn’t go very well.

“I was racing with Fernando [Alonso]. He had power, so it was very difficult to keep him behind. I was then just trying to follow his pace. The plan was to try to keep the tires alive for quite a while. We just didn’t get to that point, though.”

Gutierrez had been caught up in the first corner fracas, leaving him running well down the order, but he failed to even finish the race after losing his front-left wheel when running down the main straight.

“Today we had a fantastic start. It was pretty good up to the first corner when, unfortunately, I got a puncture in my rear-right tire from Kevin [Magnussen] touching behind,” Gutierrez explained.

“I then had to come back to the pits. The floor was damaged and when I went back out on track I was fighting a lot, pushing to make up places, but the car wasn’t easy to drive.

“We had to retire after my second pit stop as we had a mechanical failure. Overall, a pretty disappointing weekend, but we have to keep our focus and keep the rhythm as we head to Japan.”

Haas was later hit with a €5,000 fine from the FIA for releasing Gutierrez’s car in an unsafe manner.

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

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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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