Connect with us

Sports

Verstappen wins season-closing Abu Dhabi Grand Prix

Published

on



ABU DHABI:

Two-time world champion Max Verstappen claimed a record-extending 15th win this year with a “sublime” performance for Red Bull in Sunday’s tight and strategic Abu Dhabi Grand Prix as Sebastian Vettel headed into retirement with a point.

The 25-year-old Verstappen dominated from start to finish, but he was unable to assist his Red Bull team-mate Sergio Perez in his bid to beat Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc and take second place behind him in the drivers’ title championship.

Advertisement

Leclerc, driving with great precision and awareness, made his one-stop strategy succeed by resisting Perez, on fresher tyres after two stops, in the closing laps to confirm Ferrari finished second in the constructors’ contest as he did in the drivers’.

Carlos Sainz came home fourth in the second Ferrari ahead of Mercedes’ George Russell, Lando Norris of McLaren, Esteban Ocon of Alpine and Lance Stroll of Aston Martin.

Daniel Ricciarcdo finished ninth in the second McLaren and retirement-bound four-time champion Vettel was 10th in his final race, for Aston Martin.

“I wish it would have been a couple more points,” said the retiring German driver.

“A big day, thank you for all the support and the smiling faces. I’m sure I’m going to miss more than I can imagine,” added Vettel who heads into F1’s sunset with four drivers’ world titles, 53 race wins, 57 pole positions and a chorus of tributes ringing in his ears.

Advertisement

Seven-time champion Lewis Hamilton, who ran in third despite struggling with his Mercedes for much of the race, retired in the closing laps with hydraulics problems.

Hamilton, who lost out on an eighth world title in last year’s controversial climax on this track, has ended a season for the first time without a win.

Verstappen’s win was a third in succession in Abu Dhabi and the 35th of his career. His engineer came over the team radio telling the Dutch driver his twilight drive at the Yas Marina circuit had been “sublime”.

But it was Leclerc who cried with relief as he crossed the line. “Yes, baby, we got it,” he said. “Good job guys, really good race.”

After another hot day, the contest began with temperatures falling from 28 degrees as Alpha Tauri gave the departing Pierre Gasly a guard of honour as Aston Martin offered Vettel a cake ahead of his final race.

Advertisement

Verstappen made a clean start to lead from a thrusting Perez.

Hamilton struggled to shake off Sainz and, as the Spaniard forced his way by, took to a run-off area to avoid a collision, moving up to fourth. The stewards cleared Sainz of any misdemeanour, leaving the Briton to give the place back.

By lap five, Hamilton had found his way back and passed Sainz in the chicane, but again struggled to pull clear, complaining his car was damaged as he rode the kerbs on the opening lap.

Russell, sixth behind Sainz, told the team that “Lewis needs to pick up the pace…. We can beat the Ferraris” but it was a forlorn plea as Sainz passed Hamilton again at Turn Nine on lap eight.

“You’re free to race,” Russell’s engineer responded when asked and he swiftly passed his team-mate for fifth. Hamilton was clearly struggling for speed on the straights.

Advertisement

By lap 15, Verstappen led by 5.7 ahead of Perez, who was 1.3 clear of Leclerc as the first round of pit stops began.

Russell’s stop was delayed by three seconds and he swerved out across Norris’s McLaren, a reckless move that cost him a five-second penalty for an unsafe release.

By lap 32, the leaders were back in team order with Verstappen ahead of Perez, Leclerc and Sainz with Russell fifth ahead of a recovering Hamilton.

Fernando Alonso, meanwhile, in his last outing with Alpine before succeeding old friend and rival Vettel at Aston Martin, was called in to retire on lap 25 with a mechanical problem, not his first this year.

As Perez, Sainz and Russell pitted again Verstappen continued to dominate from Leclerc and Hamilton, all three on ageing rubber before Perez fought through to regain third on lap 46.

Advertisement

With ten laps to go, he was nine seconds adrift of Leclerc, setting up a tense finale as he sought to stay ahead of the charging Mexican on worn tyres as Hamilton slowed and retired with a hydraulics problem.





Source link

Continue Reading
Advertisement
Click to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Sports

Uruguay held by South Korea in goalless stalemate

Published

on



DOHA:

Uruguay faltered in their World Cup opener against a lively and energetic South Korea after they were held to a 0-0 draw in Group H on Thursday in a contest where both teams struggled to find the clinical edge.

Clear-cut chances were rare for either side at the Education City Stadium and although Uruguay created more goalscoring opportunities, neither team were able to register a shot on target.

Advertisement

Uruguay captain Diego Godin was denied by the woodwork while South Korea forward Hwang Ui-jo blasted over the bar with the goal at his mercy, leaving both teams to rue missed chances before group rivals Portugal and Ghana meet later on in the day.

Uruguay’s first sight of goal came in the 19th minute through Federico Valverde, who connected with Jose Maria Gimenez’s pass and took a touch before firing a half-volley towards goal, but his ambitious attempt went just over the bar.

The South Americans had begun to find their footing when South Korea, having been patient so far, disrupted their rhythm and launched a counter-attack from a Uruguay corner before the half-hour mark. Son Heung-min picked up the ball on the left flank and cut inside, skipping past two Uruguay defenders before curling a right-footed effort towards goal, but left back Mathias Olivera was able to clear it away. South Korea should have taken the lead in the 34th minute when Moon-hwan Kim fizzed the ball into the penalty area and into the path of Hwang in front of goal, but the forward could not keep his composure and sent it over the crossbar.

The closest Uruguay came to scoring in the first half was just before the break, when centre back Godin rose highest to power a header from Valverde’s corner but it bounced off the left post and away from goal. Gimenez made a crucial tackle to deny Son five minutes after the restart after a flowing move from South Korea, while Jung Woo-young blocked midfielder Rodrigo Bentancur’s powerful strike at the other end. Uruguay saw more of the ball but found few chances to break through the South Korean defence until the closing stages, when Valverde unleashed a thunderbolt in the final minute of regulation time that struck the top of the post.





Source link

Advertisement

Continue Reading

Sports

World Cup fans in Qatar introduced to Islam

Published

on



DOHA:

The Katara Cultural Village Mosque in Qatar’s capital of Doha has become the focus of attention for World Cup fans who want to get to know about Islam.

Multilingual male and female preachers at the mosque explain the religion and tolerance of Islam to tourists.

Advertisement

Electronic boards about Islam in more than 30 languages at the door are positioned to allow visitors to view them on their phones. And booklets introducing Islam in different languages ​​are distributed to those who want them.

The Ministry of Awqaf and Islamic Affairs in Qatar also launched a pavilion to introduce Islam and its teachings during the World Cup 2022.

Also read: Batshuayi fires Belgium to World Cup

World Cup fans encounter hadiths — words, actions or habits of Prophet Muhammad — on the walls of streets, describing the importance of good deeds.

The opening ceremony of the FIFA World Cup 2022 was last Sunday at the Al Bayt Stadium in Al Khor.

Advertisement

The tournament’s official mascot, La’eeb, whose name is an Arabic word that means super-skilled player, along with the flags of all 32 participating nations were waving on the field.





Source link

Continue Reading

Sports

Ronaldo and Brazil enter World Cup fray after Swiss win

Published

on



DOHA:

Cristiano Ronaldo will aim to put his painful Manchester United divorce behind him at the World Cup on Thursday as Brazil also make their bow following a win for Switzerland in the early kick-off.

Ronaldo’s preparations for what is likely to be his last World Cup have been overshadowed by his sudden departure from Old Trafford this week after he lambasted the club in a TV interview.

Advertisement

The Portugal superstar’s form this season has been poor but he is still hoping for a final shot at glory in Qatar after leading his team to the Euro 2016 title.

The 37-year-old, whose club future is uncertain, is aiming to become the first player in history to score at five World Cups.

Portugal coach Fernando Santos said his men were entirely focused on their opening Group H match against Ghana despite the distractions of the media circus surrounding their captain.

“The players are absolutely focused, with a great spirit, convinced about what they have to do, what their objectives are and realistic about the challenges they are facing,” he said.

“Winning a competition of this magnitude is difficult.”

Advertisement

World Cup favourites Brazil launch their bid for a record-extending sixth global crown against a dangerous Serbia side.

Brazil boast a frightening array of attacking talent including Paris Saint-German forward Neymar and Real Madrid pair Vinicius Junior and Rodrygo.

Coach Tite will be wary of his Group G opponents after witnessing shock defeats for Argentina and Germany already in Qatar.

“In my opinion these players (attackers) will help Neymar because they can divide up the responsibility and create space for him,” said veteran Brazil skipper Thiago Silva.

“The atmosphere in the squad is super-healthy,” he added. “The mixture of young players and more experienced ones creates a great connection.”

Advertisement

Serbia appear a more dangerous proposition than four years ago, when they also faced Brazil in the group stage but lost 2-0 and exited in the first round.

“We are afraid of nobody in the world, not even Brazil,” said Serbia coach Dragan Stojkovic, who hopes prolific Fulham striker Aleksandar Mitrovic will be fit for the match at the Lusail Stadium.

Switzerland and Cameroon, also in Brazil’s group, kicked off Thursday’s action in Qatar, with the Swiss winning 1-0 courtesy of a goal from Cameroon-born Breel Embolo.

The forward struck three minutes into the second half at Al Janoub Stadium as Switzerland secured a vital three points.

Granit Xhaka and Remo Freuler worked the ball out wide on the right to Xherdan Shaqiri, whose low cross into the area was swept home by an unmarked Embolo, who chose not to celebrate against his birth country.

Advertisement

“It’s quite special for him because of his links to Cameroon — I’m very happy he’s playing for us,” said Swiss goalkeeper Yann Sommer. “He’s always right there when you need him.”

Defeat condemned Cameroon to their eighth straight loss at World Cups — a miserable run stretching all the way back to 2002.

Son Heung-min was named in the starting line-up for South Korea’s Group H opener against Uruguay at 1300 GMT even though he was wearing a mask after suffering a fracture around his left eye earlier this month.

Uruguay coach Diego Alonso selected Luis Suarez up front, with fellow veteran Edinson Cavani on the bench.

Germany coach Hansi Flick said no member of his team was safe after their shock 2-1 defeat against Japan on Wednesday.

Advertisement

The four-time champions, who next face Spain, are facing a nightmare scenario of a second consecutive group-stage exit after their early departure in Russia in 2018.

“You can understand that we are discussing every matter of personnel and every position,” Flick said.





Source link

Advertisement
Continue Reading

Trending

Copyright © 2017 ShayanXtreme