Tag Archives: dethrone

Max Verstappen and Red Bull need 'perfect season' to dethrone Lewis Hamilton and Mercedes

Max Verstappen and Red Bull have what it takes to beat Lewis Hamilton and Mercedes this season, but they’ll need to produce a “perfect season” to do it.

That’s the view of former F1 world champion Jenson Button, who gave his assessment on the current season, and the rivalry that dominates the sharp end of the F1 grid.

While Mercedes have had it mostly their own way in recent years, Red Bull took to the track at the start of the 2021/22 season looking much closer to the German team, both in terms of speed and consistency.

Indeed, Verstappen is the only driver to achieve podium finishes in each of the five Grands Prix so far this season.

The flying Dutchman’s victories at Imola and Monaco, combined with his three second-place finishes at Bahrain, Portimao and Barcelona, mean that he holds a one-point lead in the Drivers’ Championship heading to the Azerbaijan Grand Prix in Baku next weekend.

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“But those are the rules, you’ve got to stay within the white lines and they’ve just pushed it a bit too far. 

“But I’m hoping it’s going to be a close season.

“Obviously Lewis has won the last couple but Max has been his biggest competitor and he’s been close to him. 

“I do think they can challenge him, but it literally needs to be the perfect season for Red Bull, it really does.”

Despite the tough task ahead of Verstappen and Red Bull, Button said the combination of the Dutchman’s racing talent and Red Bull’s drive and determination as a team offers a potentially winning formula that, by the end of the season, could prevail.

“To go up against Lewis and Mercedes, the powerhouse, they’ve been around for a long time fighting for championships, they don’t really put a foot wrong,” he admitted.

“So it’s tough for them, but if anyone can do it, Red Bull and Max can do it.”

Button also hailed Hamilton for how he has used his platform as one of the biggest stars in sport to become a big voice for social change.

“He has come a long way, he really has,” he explained. 

“He had a lot of insecurities in the past with racing, I remember the time he thought I’d unfollowed him on social media when we were team-mates – ‘Oh, I thought we were better friends than this. Jenson has just unfollowed me’ – and then he posted again saying ‘Sorry, Jenson never actually followed me.’

“But I’m actually really impressed with how far Lewis has come, he’s got a massive following, he’s going to have a massive following, he’s a seven-time world champion and is going to achieve more than possibly any F1 driver has this year in F1, and he’s using it for good, and I like to see that. 

“Whether other people have pushed him in this direction I don’t know, but I really like what he’s doing and he seems this year to be a very different Lewis to what we’ve seen before.

“I still think there were insecurities but this year he seems so much more relaxed and it’s great to see. He has really used his voice for good.”

This post originally appeared on Daily Express :: Sport Feed

‘Khabib’s a big inspiration’: Aljamain Sterling says he plans on harnessing Khabib’s dominant style to dethrone Petr Yan (VIDEO)

Presented by RT.com

UFC title challenger Aljamain Sterling says that he will look to implement his own version of Khabib Nurmagomedov’s suffocating grappling style when he attempts to prize the 135lbs world title from Petr Yan’s grasp at UFC 259.

After a run of seven wins in his last eight, New York’s Sterling finally gets his opportunity at UFC gold in less than a week’s time where he will be tasked with quashing bantamweight champion Yan’s impressive winning streak, and realizing his own championship aspirations in the process.

Also on rt.com ‘It’s not going to round five’: UFC champ Petr Yan vows to finish Aljamain Sterling inside the distance as both amp up trash-talk

Few could deny Sterling – a 14-fight UFC veteran – the opportunity but the man he faces inside the cage in Las Vegas next weekend appears to have all but dismissed the American’s chances.

Yan, whose sole career defeat came in 2016, has engaged in a social media back-and-forth with Sterling in which he has, among several other forecasts, predicted that he will finish the fight inside the distance.

As far as Yan is concerned though, these are just empty promises.

I think he’s just trying to intimidate everybody,” Sterling told RT Sport of the man he faces at UFC 259. “I always find it weird when fighters try to intimidate fighters. We fight for a living, so you’re doing all those antics outside the cage, I don’t really get it. Unless you’re actually going to swing for the person, it becomes a whole different game, then it’s defend at all costs.”

As the well-worn cliche dictates, the time for talking is almost at an end and Sterling says that he is under no illusions as to the task which awaits him in the Nevada desert.

He’s tough, he’s got serious skills, he hits hard, he’s a tough dude, he’s been around for a while now, he’s had a bunch of fights, he’s had some boxing fights,” Sterling said. “I’m just excited to get in there with him and see who the best guy is.

I always have to find my place of intensity,” he says of his own approach to the fight. “I used to compete like that, just angry all the time. But now I compete more, it’s still intense, but not with the same amount of anger… it’s a little bit more controlled anger, more controlled chaos.

If there is one other fighter whose style could be similarly described, that might well be Khabib Nurmagomedov. The (still reigning) UFC lightweight champion is about as oppressive a grappler as mixed martial arts has ever seen and Sterling, whose own style is predicated on a similar foundation, says that Yan’s compatriot has been an inspiration to him.

Oh yeah, I look up to Khabib,” he said. “Khabib’s a big inspiration to my style and helping me understand that, yeah, a fight can be on the feet, but when you’re good at something, stick to what you’re good at.

I look at Khabib, and that style is relentless pressure, it’s really hard to stop a guy like that. Wrestling is a grinding mentality. If you don’t know how to deal with that grind, it can wear on you, it’s uncomfortable and it keeps you guessing and it dictates the pace of the fight and the tempo.

If he’s not putting you away, eventually you’re going to grab that guy down. Especially if you’re a good grappler, like Khabib or myself. I pride myself on that.”

Also on rt.com Russian bantamweight champ Yan reveals reasons for scrapped UFC 256 title fight with Sterling

But whatever the method he employs to get there, Sterling says the destination will be the same – and it involves him lifting UFC gold aloft inside the Octagon late next Saturday night. While the irony of taking a leaf from Khabib’s book to help defeat the UFC’s other Russian champion would be significant, he plans on taking whichever route to victory presents itself first.

I’m not looking to get any style points,” he explained. “I corner him, he throws something, leaves himself open, allows me to get inside for an attack, I drag him down, he defends it, that’s fine, drag him down again, get on his back and end the fight.”

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“After other people have done their work, we’ll see how it goes on track. So yes I hope we’ll be back in command soon.”

Ferrari team principal Mattia Binotto is also hopeful that Ferrari can begin to turn things around this season with Carlos Sainz teaming up with Leclerc.

“I think last year the main issue was the speed on the straight line, not only the power but also drag,” said Binotto.

“We’ve worked a lot, both on the power unit and the car aerodynamics, to reduce the drag of the car.

Daily Express :: Sport Feed