Monthly Archives: June 2019

Austrian Grand Prix: Late heartbreak for Charles Leclerc as Max Verstappen overtakes Ferrari driver with just two laps remaining to seal incredible comeback

Max Verstappen produced a sensational display in Sunday’s Austrian Grand Prix to deny Charles Leclerc a first win of his career – passing the young Ferrari driver with just two laps to go.

The victory will go down as one of the most incredible comebacks in Formula One history, with the Red Bull driver reigning triumphant in a sweltering Spielberg.

Max Verstappen celebrates his sensational victory as a crestfallen Charles Leclerc looks on

Getty Images – Getty

Just like in Saturday’s qualifying there was another controversial incident, with Verstappen’s winning move angering Leclerc – with the former stating it was merely ‘hard racing’.

“What the hell is that?” Leclerc yelled over the team radio following the Dutchman’s move. Verstappen protested his innocence.

“It is hard racing, otherwise we have to stay at home,” said Verstappen when informed he was under investigation.

“If those things are not allowed in racing, then what is the point in being in Formula One?”

Leclerc said: “I will let the stewards decide. I was on the outside of the corner the lap before.

“He left the space, but he didn’t on the next lap. I had to go wide and didn’t have a chance to come back at him.”

Verstappen is sprayed with champagne after his thrilling victory – where he overtook the Ferrari driver with just two laps remaining

Getty Images – Getty

After a prolonged period of deliberation the FIA upheld the the result with no penalty.

Verstappen began alongside Leclerc on the front row but dropped to seventh following a torrid start.

The Dutch driver was then running in fourth place with 20 laps to run, but passed Sebastian Vettel, Valtteri Bottas and finally Leclerc in a stunning end to the race.

Bottas finished third for Mercedes, while Vettel fought his way past Lewis Hamilton on the penultimate lap to take fourth.

Hamilton will head to his home race at Silverstone in a fortnight’s time, 31 points clear of Bottas in the championship.

British teenager Lando Norris finished sixth for McLaren, equalling his career best.

Verstappen had phenomenal support at the Austrian Grand Prix

Getty Images – Getty

Leclerc did not put a foot wrong, and his initial cause was aided by troubles for his rivals.

As Leclerc roared down to the first corner, Verstappen, who started alongside the Ferrari driver on the front row, staggered away from his marks, losing five places to seventh.

Vettel made up five spots, and was running in fourth when he made his first stop, but his Ferrari crew were not ready for him.

As the mechanics came running out from the garage with Vettel’s tyres, one almost got mowed down by Bottas’ Mercedes.

He stayed on his feet, but the stop took three times longer than it should have, and the German fell down the order to eighth.

The 21-year-old prepares to cross the line and take the chequered flag after a dramatic afternoon 

Getty Images – Getty

Then, with Hamilton mounting a charge, he ran off the road, damaging his wing.

That left Leclerc leading from Bottas, Vettel, Verstappen and Hamilton at the midway stage.

Verstappen, at Red Bull’s home race, then began to make amends for his slow getaway.

Turning on the style, he roared past Vettel on lap 50. Five laps later he dived underneath Bottas to take second place, with Leclerc five seconds up the road.

Surely, he couldn’t do the unthinkable?

Kimi Raikkonen gives Lewis Hamilton the middle finger after he is blocked during Austrian Grand Prix qualifying

An angry Kimi Raikkonen gave Lewis Hamilton the middle finger after he was blocked by the British driver during qualifying at the Austrian Grand Prix.

The Formula 1 world champion was penalised three grid places ahead of Sunday’s race at the Red Bull Ring for blocking the Alfa Romeo driver.

Hamilton blocked Raikkonen in qualifying and the latter showed his displeasure

Sky Sports

Hamilton should have been on the front row but has dropped down to fifth

He had just left the pits when Raikkonen, who was on a quick lap, came across the Briton’s slow Mercedes at the top of the hill on the approach to Turn 3.

Lewis Hamilton dropped down to fifth for Sunday’s race

Getty Images – Getty

Hamilton saw Raikkonen at the last minute, but in attempting to get out of the fast-approaching Finn’s way, instead crossed his path and thwarted his lap.

“Hamilton completely blocked me,” said an angry Raikkonen on the team radio after giving Hamilton the middle finger.

Hamilton was hauled in front of the stewards. After hearing from the world champion, and reviewing video evidence, they deemed he “unnecessarily impeded” Raikkonen, throwing him down the grid.

Lewis Hamilton’s dominance over Formula 1 since 2014 perfectly illustrated by incredible statistic

Lewis Hamilton has been in dominant form once again this season and leads the Formula 1 championship.

The British driver is looking for his third consecutive F1 title and if he does seal it again in 2019 then it will be five years out the last six.

Lewis Hamilton has won four of the last five F1 championships

Getty Images – Getty

The 34-year-old has won six of the eight races in 2019, while the other two have gone to Mercedes team-mate Valtteri Bottas.

Hamilton is looking for another win to add to his collection on Sunday at the Austrian Grand Prix but Charles Leclerc was on pole after qualifying.

The five-time world champion has been dominating F1 over the last six seasons.

Hamilton has been dominant once again this season

Getty Images – Getty

One stat that illustrates just how much better he has been than everyone else is his win percentage over those six years.

Hamilton has won 52.8 per cent of all the F1 races since 2014 while Mercedes have won more than 75 per cent of races during that time.

In the driver standings for 2019, the British driver is top on 187 points ahead of team-mate Bottas on 151.

Austrian Grand Prix: Charles Leclerc beats Lewis Hamilton to pole position – who faces three-place grid penalty for Kimi Raikkonen incident

Lewis Hamilton faces a three-place grid penalty at the Austrian Grand Prix after a qualifying incident with Kimi Raikkonen, while Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc will start on pole position for just the second time in his career.

Leclerc, 21, blew away the field at the Red Bull Ring with a superb display to leave the opposition trailing in his wake ahead of the next race.

Charles Leclerc is in pole position for just the second time in his career for the Austrian GP

Getty Images – Getty

Hamilton set the second fastest time, 0.205 seconds adrift of the young Ferrari driver, but will be hauled in front of the stewards for allegedly blocking Alfa Romeo driver Raikkonen.

Sebastian Vettel’s torrid time continued after a mechanical issue ruled him out of the pole shootout.

The German, already 72 points behind Hamilton in the championship race, did not set a lap, and is set to start from ninth.

Red Bull’s Max Verstappen qualified third ahead of Mercedes’ Valtteri Bottas, but both could be bumped up the grid if Hamilton is penalised.

The flashpoint arrived in the opening phase of qualifying here at the Red Bull Ring.

Raikkonen was on a quick lap when he came across a slow Hamilton at the top of the hill on the approach to Turn 3.

Lewis Hamilton could be handed a three-place grid penalty after a qualifying incident with Kimi Raikkonen

Getty Images – Getty

The British driver appeared to see Raikkonen at the last minute, and in attempting to get out of the fast-approaching Finn’s way, instead crossed his path.

“Hamilton completely blocked me,” said an angry Raikkonen after giving Hamilton the finger.

McLaren driver Carlos Sainz was handed a five-place grid penalty for a similar incident in Canada, blocking Alexander Albon.

The world champion has been called to see the stewards at 5pm.

“Charles has been quick all weekend,” said Hamilton, paying tribute to the young Monegasque. “We have not been able to keep up with them here.

“I am going to fight the young drivers tomorrow,” he added. “I am representing the old guys.

Wimbledon 2019 draw: Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer set up for potential semi-final, top seeds Novak Djokovic and Ashleigh Barty learn who they will face

The first round draw for this year’s Wimbledon has been made with defending champion Novak Djokovic set to face Philipp Kohlschreiber.

Djokovic is the top seed, with eight time winner Roger Federer in the second spot for the tournament that begins on July 1.

Novak Djokovic enters Wimbledon as the number one seed

Getty Images – Getty

French Open champion Rafael Nadal was named as the third seed, a decision the Spaniard was not overly happy with.

“It’s just Wimbledon that does it,” he said. “If everyone did it, I think it would be appropriate or correct.

“Either way, being second or third seed, I have to play at the best level to aspire to the things I aspire to.

“It is better to be second than third, but if they consider that I have to be third, I will accept.”

Rafael Nadal is seeded third despite being ranked as second in the world


In the women’s draw, Ashleigh Barty holds the No. 1 seed following her incredible French Open victory.

Noami Osaka takes second while seven time winner Serena Williams is 11th seed.

British hopefuls Kyle Edmund and Johanna Konta are seeded 30th and 19th in their respective draws.

Johanna Konta is seeded 19th in the women’s draw

Getty Images – Getty

Nadal faces a potential tough second round clash with Nick Kyrgios if he can get get past Japan’s Yuichi Sugita.

Meanwhile, Nadal and Federer could meet in the semi-final of the competition after both were drawn in the same half.

Andy Murray: From brink of retirement to doubles champion – victory at Queen’s was a remarkable effort

Cast your mind back to January where it looks as though Andy Murray was going to say goodbye to tennis once and for all following his first-round exit from the Australian Open.

In true Murray fashion, he pushed Roberto Bautista Agut but lost in a gruelling five-set encounter just days after the Scot admitted this year could be his last in the sport.

Murray broke down in tears when announcing he may be forced to retire ahead of the Australian Open

getty images – getty

A hip problem which had dogged him since Wimbledon 2017 is the reason why Murray’s future in tennis is still unclear and it looked like this would finally be the end.

But Murray is no ordinary player.

He’s a man who has managed to compete at the highest level and win three Grand Slams as well as back-to-back Olympic Gold medals in an era with three of the greatest men’s players of all time in Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic.

Following surgery on his hip at the end of January, Murray defied the odds once again.

On his competitive return to tennis, Murray won the men’s doubles title at Wimbledon’s annual curtain raiser Queen’s alongside doubles partner Feliciano Lopez.

It’s an outstanding effort when you consider what state Murray was in physically and mentally.

Murray won the men’s doubles title at Queen’s on his competitive return

getty images – getty

Murray, 32, did not look like a player who had been diagnosed with early onset arthritis and is in good condition ahead of the 2019 championships at the All England Club.

However, despite the early success of Murray’s hip surgeries there are risks that come with his return., in association with Betway, has taken a look at the risks involved for Murray that having an operation usually done on over-50s can have on his return to elite level tennis.

Surgery was a last resort for Murray but when you consider he was struggling to do basic day-to-day activities like play with his two daughters and even put on his own socks, it was an avenue you suspected he was always going to pursue.

“There’s no turning back from now,” Winston Kim, a hip surgeon from Manchester Hip and Knee Clinic told Betway.

“It was clearly a very carefully considered decision. He will have had an awareness of the intended benefits of resurfacing.

“If it fails, the next option would be a hip replacement. I’m sure he didn’t take the decision lightly – the vast majority of hip surgeons would be nervous about performing a hip resurfacing because of the potential risks, particularly in such a young, elite athlete.

‘If Lewis Hamilton wants to make Formula 1 less boring, bosses should listen’ – Damon Hill on talkSPORT

British motorsport legend Damon Hill has urged Formula 1 to listen to Lewis Hamilton, after the world champion called for bosses to make the sport more exciting.

Following his French Grand Prix victory – his sixth win in eight races this season – the Mercedes driver responded to the grumbles from F1 fans about his team’s domination.

The 34-year-old, widely expected to claim his third straight world championship title with the silver arrows, says neither he nor his team are to blame and instead pointed the finger at the sport’s bosses, particularly former chief Bernie Ecclestone.

Hamilton now leads the championship by a massive 36 points from team-mate Valtteri Bottas. Ferrari’s Sebastian Vettel is 76 points behind Hamilton in third.

Getty Images – Getty

“Don’t point fingers at the drivers, we don’t write the rules,” said Hamilton, whose team-mate Valtteri Bottas has won the other two races.

“We have nothing to do with money shifting, all that kind of stuff. You should put the pressure on the people at the head, who should be doing the job.

“This is a constant cycle of Formula 1 for years and years and years, even before I got to F1, and it’s because the way Bernie had it set up and the decisions they were making back then. It’s still the same.

“Until that management structure changes, it will continue to be the same, in my opinion. That’s not my job to do that. My job’s to come here and do the best I can as a driver.”

Andy Murray wins Queen’s doubles title with Feliciano Lopez to complete dream comeback

Andy Murray completed a remarkable winning return to tennis with victory in the doubles at Queen’s Club alongside Feliciano Lopez.

The Scot, who was close to retiring five months ago due to the hip injury which left him struggling to walk without pain, let alone play tennis, strolled off with the silverware at his first attempt back.

Murray and Lopez pose with the trophy after winning the doubles at Queens

Murray and Lopez – the latter ‘fresh’ from winning the singles title less than an hour earlier – beat Britain’s Joe Salisbury and Rajeev Ram of the United States 7-6 (6) 5-7 10-5 after a third-set match tie-break.

Murray had insisted after their first-round victory that winning was not his number one priority this week. After all, it was only five months ago that the former world number one tearfully announced that the Australian Open could be his last tournament.

Lewis Hamilton produces dominant display to win the French Grand Prix

Lewis Hamilton won the French Grand Prix with a dominant performance to continue his best ever start to a Formula One season.

Hamilton crossed the line a stunning 18 seconds clear of Valtteri Bottas in the sister Mercedes following an emphatic performance at the Circuit Paul Ricard.

No one could get near Hamilton

Getty Images – Getty

On a perfect afternoon, the five-time world champion extended his lead over Bottas, his closest title challenger, to 36 points.

Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc ran Bottas close in the final stages, but stayed in third ahead of the Red Bull driver Max Verstappen.

“I have been racing a long time but it never gets old,” said Hamilton.

“I couldn’t do it without the team. We are creating history together and I am so proud to be a part of it. I am happy.

“It wasn’t easy at all. There are always things happening and we are on the edge. This has been the best start to a year so we have got to enjoy it.”

French Grand Prix: Lewis Hamilton qualifies in pole position, Valtteri Bottas second and Charles Leclerc third

Lewis Hamilton is in a great position to extend his lead in the Formula 1 standings after qualifying in pole position at the French Grand Prix.

The reigning champions produced a one-lap masterclass to pip Mercedes team-mate Valtteri Bottas to top spot.

Hamilton will start at the top of the grid, with Bottas and Leclerc second and third respectively

Getty Images – Getty

Formula One’s all-conquering team proved the class of the field yet again to lock out the front row, with Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc a distant third, and Sebastian Vettel a miserable seventh.

British teenager Lando Norris finished an impressive fifth, the best qualifying result of his young career.

Hamilton, who is 29 points clear of Bottas in the race for his sixth world crown, has won five of the seven rounds staged this season.

And the 34-year-old British driver will be expected to add to that tally at the Circuit Paul Ricard on Sunday after claiming the 86th pole of his life – now 20 more than any other driver.

Hamilton produced when it mattered the most to get first place for Sundays race

Getty Images – Getty

Bottas had appeared to hold a slight edge over his team-mate this weekend but Hamilton pieced together a fine effort to finish 0.286 seconds clear, improving his laps as the pole shootout wore on.

“I was just chipping away, and the last two laps were the ones,” said Hamilton. “I am happy I got the potential out of the car.

“We are all working our butts off out there. Valtteri had the edge through Q1 and Q2 and I was still dialling in the car, but once I got to Q3 I knew where I had to find the time.

“The first lap was fantastic. I went out for the second run, and I was on for one of the best laps I have done for a long time – I was up four and a half tenths – but it is windy out there and I lost the back end through the penultimate corner.

“I am grateful to be where I am. It is going to be a close race.”

For Vettel, his underwhelming campaign hit a new low after he could manage only seventh.

The four-time world champion, already 62 points behind Hamilton in the standings, lost control of his Ferrari through the chicane and had to abort his opening flying lap.

He failed to hook up a second lap, and crossed the line an eye-watering 1.4 seconds slower than Hamilton, and behind both McLarens.

Norris has not been fazed by Formula One life, and the British teenager continued his encouraging start by putting his McLaren fifth on the grid.