Monthly Archives: April 2022

McLaren ‘investigating employee’ after abusive posts allegedly directed at Lewis Hamilton deemed ‘at odds with values and culture’

Formula 1 constructor McLaren are investigating one of their employees after a string of abusive posts allegedly aimed at Lewis Hamilton were unearthed.

The seven-time title winner had numerous posts on social media directed towards him over innocuous moments in his career.

Hamilton has previosuly been subjected to racist abuse on social media


The staff member’s accounts have, according to the Daily Mail, now been deleted as the inquiry begins.

A post in December 2020 reportedly read: ‘What a f****** w***** he truly is! Couldn’t stand seeing someone do well!’

They also allegedly replied to a post from the official Formula 1 Twitter account, with Hamilton tagged in it, with ‘f***ing p****’.

Hamilton recieved a knighthood last year and the same employee wrote, ‘Oh f*** off! For having the fastest car on the grid. What a w*****.’

And when the British star, who won the 2008 title with McLaren, was disqualified from qualifying at the Brazilian Grand Prix in November last year, the staff member wrote: ‘F***ing get in!!! F*** off you p****.’

The official McLaren F1 account responded to the posts coming to light.

McLaren are looking into the social media posts


Tarran Mackenzie: The British Superbike champion trying to overcome 150mph crash, live up to father’s record and join Lewis Hamilton in motorsport royalty

British Superbike champion Tarran Mackenzie says he’s ‘been through the wars’ this year – and that’s certainly one way to put it. 

With two crashes, the last of which occurred at 150mph, a dislocated shoulder and a pair of broken ankles – most people would be more dramatic. 

Mackenzie has motorsport greatness in his sights


But those people would be in the wrong sport.

Racing is in Mackenzie’s blood. With a three-time British Superbike champion for a father, he was able to run when most could barely walk. And that’s literally what he’s trying to do right now. 

Despite having two plates inserted in his left ankle earlier this month, Mackenzie is trying to get back on the bike little more than two weeks later.

The 26-year-old Scotsman told “I’ve been through the wars a bit. I’ve had two injuries this year, but I’m getting there.

“I’d never really crashed my bike, but in January I crashed, dislocated my shoulder and broke my right ankle. 

“That was two months of recovery. I came back and had the biggest crash of my life: over 150mph – which broke my left ankle.

Bike racing is not for the faint-hearted


“I just came off the Silverstone track and broke both sides of my ankle, so I’ve got two plates in there at the moment.

“If you’re into Formula One, you’ll probably remember Max Verstappen crashing at Turn 1 [in 2021], when Lewis put him in the barrier, that’s the corner after I crashed.

“I’ve got a race this weekend that I’m going to try and ride at. That probably won’t happen. I was told six weeks’ recovery and I’m two weeks in, so maybe I’m a bit ambitious.

“I’m still learning to use my foot and walk again.”

To the novice, motorcycle racing is terrifying. Its fatality rate is higher than most sports and Mackenzie is living proof of the potential for serious injury. 

Tackling corners just inches from the ground, traveling parallel to the surface at ridiculous speed – Mackenzie doesn’t even try to pretend it’s not scary. 

The McAMS Yamaha rider sealed his first British Superbike title in 2021


“When you go at those speeds, you get a bit of adrenaline, you get in a zone, you’re not really thinking about the danger element of it,” he added. 

“When you do come off, you’ve still got adrenaline in your body, so you can’t really comprehend what’s just happened.

“It’s a scary sport at the end of the day and you can get hurt. That’s the part of racing you try and block out.

“You can never predict when you’re going to crash. You go race-by-race hoping you’ll be OK and don’t injure yourself.”

So why the urgency to get back on the track? Because time is of the essence.

Tipped to join the likes of Jonathan Rea and Lewis Hamilton in British motorsporting immortality, injury denied him of the chance to make a WorldSBK debut earlier this month – and delayed the start of his British title defence.

After last year’s glory, 2022 has not gone to plan for Mackenzie


This is a man who deals in high speed and he knows it’s time to up the pace.

Mackenzie is hoping to take the world stage by storm in his two wildcard events this season, before potentially moving on from the British Superbike Championship.

He added: “The world debut was a big thing for me this year so to miss that was quite annoying. Normally when I’m injured, I get by OK and I can get back on a bike pretty soon, but this one I’ve had to take a bit of time. I’m doing everything I can to get back sooner.

“I’d really like to [move to WorldSBK]. It’s a big step for what I’m doing at the moment. Being British Superbike Champion last year was a good box ticked, the natural progression is to do what I’m doing all over the world.

“I have a really good team and base in the UK so another year here won’t do any harm. I’ve not had the best start this year, getting injured twice, trying to push myself onto the world stage for next year.

“But there’s still plenty of time left and when I’m back fit, I’d love to push on and make that happen for 2023.”

His father, three-in-a-row champion Niall Mackenzie, will certainly be happy to see his son depart the domestic scene and leave his record unharmed.   

Tarran’s father, Niall, is a bit of a legend in the sport


“I’m not so motivated to try and be three-time British Superbike champion,” Mackenzie added. “If I don’t get to the world stage next year and I win again this year, then there would be good potential to match it at least.

“He [Niall] wants me to push onto the world stage more than anyone, so it’s probably to stop me getting his records! It’s a nice thing to happen in the family.

“People have won three championships, but never three-in-a-row like Dad has, so to match that would be pretty cool.”

Tarran’s brother, Taylor, was also a prominent motorcycle racer until his retirement in late 2021.

But despite the family’s inescapable racing background, a career on the track wasn’t always Mackenzie’s dream. 

He added: “It was never set in stone when we were kids, I always wanted to be a professional footballer like every kid! When that couldn’t happen, I turned to bikes.

Mackenzie was more interested in football as a kid


“Having a dad that’s been there and done it all, it’s easy to skip a few steps. A lot of parents have to go through being new to it.

“He definitely fast-tracked us through when we were younger, but it got to a stage when he’d done his bit and it was up to me.”

Rather than his own dad, Mackenzie will take aim at another one of his heroes when he eventually joins the global scene.

Six-time world champion and fellow Brit Rea is the most successful superbike rider in history, but was once a humble domestic competitor himself. 

“Rea is one of my big heroes,” Mackenzie continued. “He’s come through a similar route to what I’m on at the moment. 

“He’s been very dominant the last few years and I get to race him this year in July – which is really cool.

Rea is still going strong at 35


“I’ve looked up to him for a very long time and he’s set the benchmark for British riders in the WorldSBK – and he’s still going. He’s in the form of his life at the moment.

“It will be hard to match Jonathan in the future but to be associated with his name will be amazing.

“Hamilton is probably the best and biggest British motorsport athlete of all-time. To have my name up there in the future would be amazing.”

When it comes to motorsport in the UK, it’s hardly controversial to suggest Hamilton’s name is more recognisable to the average sport fan than Rea’s. 

For a multitude of reasons, Formula One has blown up in recent years, while its sister sport remains relatively small in comparison. 

But Mackenzie hopes that will change moving forward. He said: “I’m a big fan of Drive to Survive. I think that’s really given people a behind-the-scenes insight into F1 rather than just watching the cars go around the track. 

Hamilton is British motorsport’s household name


“If you’re not into motorsport, you don’t really know what’s going on. MotoGP have just brought out their series on Amazon Prime and that’s a very similar thing.

“A lot of my friends watch and support me because they’re friends and not because they’re into motorsport, but they’ve watched the series and now they’re into the sport.

“Bike racing isn’t the most popular sport in the UK, but in Spain and Italy, these guys are in the news every week. It’s definitely going in the right direction in the UK.”

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Former Wimbledon champion Boris Becker jailed for two and half years after hiding millions of pounds following 2017 bankruptcy

Three-time Wimbledon champion Boris Becker has been jailed for two-and-a-half years for hiding £2.5 million worth of assets and loans to avoid paying his debts.

The former world number one, 54, was declared bankrupt on June 21 2017, owing creditors almost £50 million, over an unpaid loan of more than £3 million on his estate in Mallorca, Spain.

Boris Becker has been jailed for two-and-a-half-years


BBC commentator Becker transferred almost 427,000 euros (around £390,000) from his business account to others, including those of his ex-wife Barbara and estranged wife Sharlely “Lilly” Becker.

The father-of-four also failed to declare his share in a £1 million property in his home town of Leimen, Germany, hid an 825,000 euro (almost £700,000) bank loan – worth £1.1 million with interest – and concealed 75,000 shares in a tech firm, valued at £66,000.

Becker, who was handed a two-year suspended sentence for tax evasion and attempted tax evasion worth 1.7 million euro (around £1.4 million) in Germany in 2002, was found guilty of four offences under the Insolvency Act between June 21 and October 3 2017 earlier this month.

Judge Deborah Taylor sentenced the six-time Grand Slam champion to two-and-a-half years imprisonment, of which he will serve half, at Southwark Crown Court on Friday.

Referring to his previous conviction, the judge said: “You did not heed the warning you were given and the chance you were given by the suspended sentence and that is a significant aggravating factor.”

She told Becker: “I take into account what has been described as your fall from grace.

French Open 2022 live stream: Date, UK start times, schedule and how to watch – Serena Williams to return and Novak Djokovic cleared to defend title at Roland Garros

The 2022 French Open will burst into life next month as tennis’ top stars take to the hard courts of Roland Garros eyeing major glory.

Novak Djokovic has been cleared to defend his title after the country announced they will relax their vaccine passport rules last month.

Djokovic has been cleared to defend his French Open title


The Serbian, who has opted against getting vaccinated for coronavirus, was prevented from competing in the Australian Open in January because of their COVID-19 rules.

But now Djokovic can compete in the second Grand Slam of the year as he looks to equal Rafael Nadal’s all-time record of 21 major titles.

Nadal has won at Roland Garros a staggering 13 times, however, the Spaniard did lose in last year’s semi-finals to the World number 1.

French Open 2022: Date and start time

The major is being held at the Stade Roland Garros in Paris and will run from Sunday, May 22 until Sunday, June 5.

The French Open remains the only Grand Slam to be still held on clay.

The men’s final will take place on Sunday, June 5 with the women’s final the day before.

GOAT Serena Williams is in line to make her return

Getty Images – Getty

French Open 2022: TV channel and live stream

This tournament will once again be shown live on Eurosport this year – it costs £6.99-a-month or £39.99 for the annual pass.

Eurosport customers can live stream this via the app using their mobile, tablet or computer devices.

Alternatively, you can watch the French Open on TV by adding Eurosport to your Sky or BT subscription.

The best of the action will also be live across the talkSPORT network throughout the week with regular updates on talkSPORT and talkSPORT 2.

To tune in to talkSPORT or talkSPORT 2, click  HERE for the live stream.

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Novak Djokovic free to defend Wimbledon title despite vaccination status as Russian and Belarusian player ban explained

Novak Djokovic will be allowed to defend his Wimbledon title in 2022 with players not requiring vaccinations to play.

Djokovic won three of the four Grand Slam titles in 2021, but his refusal to get vaccinated has caused huge problems this year.

Djokovic is a 20-time Grand Slam winner, six of those are Wimbledon titles


He was deported from Australia in a lengthy saga that saw him detained in an immigration facility for a number of days.

At one stage it looked as though he may not be able to play at all in 2022 due to travel restrictions around the globe caused by the coronavirus pandemic.

He has only played three tournaments in 2022, most recently losing in the final of the Serbia Open to Russian Andrey Rublev, but his schedule is looking a lot fuller in the coming months.

The 34-year-old will be able to defend the French Open and now it has been confirmed that Wimbledon will not be a problem.

Djokovic should be free to play a full schedule through the clay and grass-court stretches, although he is currently still unable to enter the USA.

Speaking at Wimbledon’s spring briefing, All England Club chief executive Sally Bolton said: “As you will be aware, the requirements set out by government to enter the UK do not include mandatory vaccination and, therefore, while of course it is encouraged, it will not be a conditional entry to compete at the Championships this year.”

Djokovic’s refusal to take the Covid vaccine has caused him some problems


Max Verstappen’s father ‘enjoyed’ seeing Lewis Hamilton get lapped by his son while Red Bull boss jokes ‘he should have retired last year’

Lewis Hamilton had a weekend to forget at the Emilia Romagna Grand Prix, but for rivals Red Bull, it turned out to be one to savour.

Hamilton had one of the worst races of his Formula 1 career as he finished 13th, and his 2021 title rivals found some enjoyment in his misfortune.

Hamilton had a weekend from hell in Italy


While things could have hardly gone better for Verstappen and Red Bull


Red Bull went on to collect maximum points in Sunday’s feature race, with reigning world champion Max Verstappen finishing ahead of teammate Sergio Perez.

It was a superb weekend for the Milton Keynes-based team, who saw their main title rivals, Ferrari, end up with both cars off the track, and championship leader Charles Leclerc could only climb back to sixth.

The title looked like it may be heading back to Italy for the first time since 2007 thanks to Leclerc’s rapid start and Verstappen’s two reliability-inforced retirements, but things have quickly changed.

And there was even more joy to be had in Christian Horner’s Red Bull garage, with last year’s title rival, Hamilton, humiliatingly lapped by Verstappen.

The two battled it out last season in one of the sport’s most astonishing title fights, but now the Mercedes is nowhere near the front-running cars.

This year’s aerodynamic rule changes have left Hamilton well off the pace, in a race where he couldn’t even get past Pierre Gasly’s AlphaTauri, the sister car to Red Bull’s challenger.

F1 Miami Grand Prix 2022 date: UK start time, qualification, standings, race schedule, live stream and how to follow as Verstappen chases Leclerc but Hamilton says title bid is over

Max Verstappen’s bid to defend his Formula One title will continue in earnest at the inaugural Miami Grand Prix next month.

The Red Bull driver returned to form at the Emilia Romagna track to take maximum points while championship rival Charles Leclerc finished sixth.

Formula One heads to America next after a thrilling start to the season


Lewis Hamilton, meanwhile, declared his title bid is over following one of his worst ever performances in F1 at Imola.

The seven-time world champion finished in a lowly 13th and, to add insult to injury, he was also lapped by former foe Verstappen.

Miami Grand Prix: Date and UK start time

The race weekend in Miami is scheduled for Friday, May 6 to Sunday, May 8.

After the drama surrounding the first sprint race of the season in Imola, F1 returns to the standard three practice sessions in America.

There will be two practices on the Friday starting from 7:30pm UK time with the third session at 6pm on the Saturday.

Qualifying is then set for 9pm later that evening while the race itself will get underway at 8:30pm UK time on the Sunday.

Hamilton had one of the worst weekends of his career in Italy


Miami Grand Prix: TV Channel and live stream

Coverage will again be on Sky Sports F1 throughout the weekend. Their coverage of Sunday’s race build-up begins at 7:30pm.

Sky Sports customers can live stream this via the app using their mobile, tablet or computer devices.

If not, you can purchase a Sky Sports Day Pass from NowTV for £9.99 while Channel Four will broadcast highlights later in the evening.

talkSPORT will have all of the best of the action from Italy throughout the week while will have a live blog for the race.

To tune in to talkSPORT or talkSPORT 2, click  HERE for the live stream.

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Emma Raducanu splits from coach Torben Beltz after just five months as US Open winner looks for fourth coach in a year

Emma Raducanu has split with her coach after just five months together.

The US Open champion had teamed up with Torben Beltz in November, with the German previously working with former Wimbledon champion Angelique Kerber.

Raducanu is making her way through her first full season on the WTA Tour


The 19-year-old has now gone through three coaches in the last year, starting with Nigel Sears.

Andrew Richardson then was in her camp when she won her Grand Slam title in September, before swiftly splitting from the Briton.

She said at the time she wanted a coach with more tour experience and got that in Beltz, but things have not quite worked out as hoped.

Now she is searching for her next permanent coach again after struggling to replicate her form that saw her blow away the competition in New York.

“I want to thank Torben for his coaching, professionalism and dedication over last half a year,” she said in a statement. 

“He has a huge heart and I have enjoyed our strong chemistry during the time together. I feel the best direction for my development is to transition to a new training model with the LTA supporting in the interim.”

Raducanu had only started working with Beltz in November


Lewis Hamilton backed to ‘come back incredibly strong’ by Mercedes teammate George Russell despite Formula 1 car that gives ‘back and chest pains’

George Russell has backed his teammate Lewis Hamilton to ‘come back so strong’ despite the pair suffering with a Mercedes car that is giving them ‘chest pains’.

Seven-time world champion Hamilton had another weekend to forget at the Emilia Romagna Grand Prix, leaving Italy having picked up zero points and conceding his bid to win a record-breaking eighth championship title.

Hamilton had one of the worst weekends of his career in Italy


With his Mercedes all over the place


The 37-year-old started Sunday’s feature race in 14th and made up only a single spot during a frustrating afternoon, behind the AlphaTauri of Pierre Gasly.

To compound the Brit’s miseries, his new teammate, 24-year-old Russell, managed to steer his W13 to an impressive fourth place finish – beating Hamilton for the third consecutive race weekend.

It was put to Russell that he was able to get more out of the Mercedes than his more experienced teammate, claims which he candidly dismissed.

“I think it’s just how things fall out sometimes in a race weekend,” he said.

“I made a very strong start. I don’t know what happened with him [Hamilton] at the start, but we are equally struggling, and when the car is so far out of bed, and it’s not in the right window, it doesn’t really feel like a proper racing car to drive.

“I expect him to come back so strong, and the way he’s pushing and motivating the team is inspiring.

Lewis Hamilton concedes title bid is over as Mercedes boss Toto Wolff says ‘we are not worthy’ and apologises for ‘undriveable’ car

Lewis Hamilton has declared his 2022 Formula 1 title bid is over while team boss Toto Wolff has called his ‘undrivable’ Mercedes ‘not worthy’ of a championship.

Hamilton had one of his worst ever performances in F1 at the Emilia Romagna Grand Prix, finishing in a lowly 13th, in a race where he was lapped by winner Max Verstappen.

Hamilton had a weekend from hell


And his boss was just as upset


The seven-time champion was only able to move up a single position from his starting spot of 14th, while teammate George Russell managed to secure an impressive fourth-place finish.

Hamilton spent much of the race stuck being the Alpha Tauri of Pierre Gasly in a Grand Prix that saw him concede his chances of picking up a record-breaking eighth world title.

“A weekend to forget for sure,” Hamilton said post-race. “I’m out the championship for sure, there’s no question about that.

“I’ll still keep working the hardest I can and try and somehow put it back together somehow.”

The 37-year-old left Italy without putting any points on the board, having also finished outside of the scoring positions in Saturday’s sprint race.

Hamilton currently sits seventh in the drivers’ standings ahead of the Miami Grand Prix on May 8, with reigning constructors’ champions Mercedes in third.

Hamilton spent most of the race being Gasly, unable to make a move