Tag Archives: wins

Lewis Hamilton 'very happy' but admits Mercedes worry after Max Verstappen wins French GP

Seven-time world champion Lewis Hamilton had to settle for second place after Max Verstappen triamphed in Paul Ricard to extend his lead at the top of the driver standings by 12 points over the Briton.

Hamilton had initially swept past the Dutchman after he locked up his tyres going into turn two, but found himself behind the 23-year-old during the first pit stop window.

Red Bull blinked first and pitted Verstappen before Mercedes could try and perform the undercut, with Hamilton diving in a lap later – yet the Dutchman produced a blistering out-lap, with the seven-time world champion rejoining behind the championship leader.

Mercedes were then caught napping after Red Bull took the bold approach to pit Verstappen for a second time in France, which ultimately paid off.

Verstappen emerged in fourth, but on fresher tyres carved his way up the pack, before lunging past Hamilton on the penultimate lap, denying the reining champion the win, and the chance to take back the lead of the standings.

JUST IN:
Max Verstappen hails ‘very rewarding’ French GP win 

Qualifying second coming into the race, Hamilton however felt they did the best they could under tough conditions.

“Congrats to Max, he did a great job today,” Hamilton said firstly. “They just had the better strength all weekend.

“Considering we had such a difficult Friday, I’m really happy with today’s result.

“Of course we didn’t win and we were in the lead but I had no tyres left at the end and unfortunately lost the position. But still a good race.

The championship heated up in France, at a track that has traditionally suited Mercedes in the past, with the two title protagonists going wheel-to-wheel for the win.

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Mercedes boss Toto Wolff perplexed after French GP qualifying

A victory for Verstappen and a podium for Sergio Perez means Red Bull now lead the team standings by 37 points.

And the seven-time world champion admitted they have a lot of work to do, if they are to take back the lead of the standings.

“We’ve got to find some pace, that’s for sure,” he added.

“You have seen most of the time we lost today was on the straights. So we’ve got to dig deep, figure out where that is, whether it’s power or drag.

“We’ve still got a good package, I’m not really sure how we lost position today [at the first stop].

“We didn’t know how strong that was going be or not [the undercut].

“What was really surprising was the run out of that front tyre so early on.

“But obviously they had a good strategy and it worked really well for them.”

And when asked what he thought when Red Bull pitted Verstappen for a second time, Hamilton responded, “Well, he was already quite far ahead, so really the only option I really had was to stay out.”

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This post originally appeared on Daily Express :: Sport Feed

Dressel, Ledecky romp to wins at US Olympic swim trials

Ledecky locked up her fourth event Saturday night with a dominant win in the 800-meter freestyle.

OMAHA, Neb. — The stars shined brightly on the next-to-last night of the U.S. Olympic swimming trials.

Caeleb Dressel added another event to his Tokyo program, powering to a dominating victory in the 100-meter butterfly Saturday.

Katie Ledecky blew away the field in the 800 freestyle, winning by more than 5 seconds in a race where the runner-up spot provided the only drama.

Ledecky locked up her fourth individual race at the Olympics with a time of 8 minutes, 14.62, adding to her victories in the 200, 400 and 1,500 free.

Fifteen-year-old Katie Grimes outraced veteran Haley Anderson for the expected second spot at the Olympics, knocking more than 11 seconds off her personal best to touch second in 8:20.36.

Anderson, who already made the team in marathon swimming, just missed out on a race at the Olympic pool. She finished third, 15-hundredths of a second behind the youngster.

No one was even close to Dressel as he finished the fly in 49.87 — just off his world record of 49.50 set two years ago at the world championships in Gwangju, South Korea.

Tom Shields claimed the expected second spot on the U.S. team by touching next in 51.19. Shields was an Olympian in 2016, taking gold as part of the 4×100 medley relay.

Dressel, who already made the Olympic team with a victory in the 100 freestyle, made it 2-for-2 on the night when he returned a short time later to win his heat in the semifinals of the 50 free.

Dressel is hoping to swim three individuals events in Tokyo and perhaps all four relays, giving him a chance to join Michael Phelps, Mark Spitz and Matt Biondi as the only swimmers to win seven swimming medals at the Olympics.

At the last world championships, Dressel became only the second swimmer after Phelps to win eight medals at a major international competition.

The 24-year-old Floridian captured six gold medals and two silvers, though two of those were in non-Olympic events.

With Phelps now retired, Dressel and Ledecky are expected to join ie Ledecky as the biggest American swimming stars at the Olympics.

There was a surprise in the women’s 200 backstroke. Favorite Regan Smith, who has already won the 100 back, faded to third in the longer race to miss out on a second individual event in Tokyo.

Rhyan White took the victory in 2:05.73, with Phoebe Bacon claiming the likely second spot in 2:06.46.

Smith finished third in 2:06.79, more than 3 seconds off her personal best.

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This post originally appeared on CBS8 – Sports

2 for 2: Ledecky wins her shortest, longest races at trials

An hour after winning the 200-meter freestyle, Katie Ledecky — as usual — destroyed her competition in the grueling 1,500.

OMAHA, Neb. — Katie Ledecky’s most grueling night at the U.S. Olympic swimming trials resulted in two more victories. She didn’t seem bothered at all to have to swim her shortest and longest events about 70 minutes apart.

The 24-year-old from the nation’s capital won the 200-meter freestyle first. She rushed off to the practice pool to warm down as best she could, then it was back to the arena for the 1,500 free — roughly the equivalent of a mile and a new event for the women at the upcoming Olympics.

It was a totally different race, stressing endurance over speed, but it looked just the same.

Ledecky touched the wall far ahead of everyone else, giving her a third individual race at the pandemic-delayed Tokyo Olympics. Her winning time was 15 minutes, 40.50 seconds, well off her 2018 world record (15:20.48) but fastest in the world this year.

Ledecky has already pondered the significance of the inaugural women’s 1,500 free.

About time, she said.

“The men have had the mile in the Olympics since 1908,” Ledecky pointed out. “It’s 2021, and we finally got one.”

Erica Sullivan was nearly a half-lap behind, but she knocked more than 4 seconds off her personal best to take the expected second Olympic berth in 15:51.18.

The 200 free was one of four gold medals that Ledecky won at the Rio Games. She’ll get a chance to defend that title after winning in 1:55.11, a full body length ahead of the field.

Allison Schmitt, who won the event at the 2012 London Games, is headed to her fourth Olympics at age 31 after holding off Paige Madden by one-hundredth of a second for the runner-up spot behind Ledecky.

Schmitt’s time was 1:56.79, which gives her a likely individual event in Tokyo as well as a spot on the 4×200 free relay. Madden and Katie McLaughlin, who was fourth in 1:57.16, will also be going to the Olympics as relay swimmers.

“I knew it was going to be close,” Schmitt said. “I didn’t know how close it was until I got out of the water and saw one-hundredth on the board.”

As Schmitt crossed the deck, her longtime teammate and good friend Michael Phelps raced down from the stands to give her a long embrace. Both swimmers have disclosed their struggles with depression even while performing brilliantly in the pool.

“I don’t even know how to put it into words,” Schmitt said. “He’s been a brother inside the pool and outside the pool. It helped me so much. Even now, when he’s not swimming, he’s a huge part of it.”

Ledecky already won the 400 free, though she wasn’t as fast as expected. She’s also heavily favored in the 800 free, another race she won at Rio, which means she could swim as many as four individual events and perhaps a couple of relays at the Tokyo games.

“Katie is amazing,” Schmitt said. “As her teammate and her friend, I’m going to be right there along the way cheering her on.”

Zach Harting earned his first trip to the Olympics with a victory in the men’s 200-meter butterfly.

Harting, a 23-year-old from Huntsville, Alabama, won with a time of 1:55.06 after a restless night.

“I couldn’t sleep last night, woke up before my alarm, heart pounding out of my chest, crazy adrenaline,” he said. “I wanted to puke all through warm-up, still kind of want to do that. I don’t think I really handled it well, but I knew I was going to win so that kind of gave me a little bit of peace.”

Harting is already making plans to get the customary Olympic rings tattoo.

“Coming in here and not making the team was not an option,” he said. “I don’t know if I could have handled it, so the easiest thing to do was make the team and that’s what I did.”

Gunnar Bentz, who was among the swimmers involved in Ryan Lochte’s infamous night in Rio five years ago, touched after Harting in 1:55.34 and will get the expected second spot in the event.

Alex Walsh won a thrilling race in the women’s 200 individual medley, with only four-hundredths of a second separating the top three.

The winner touched in 2:09.30, followed by Kate Douglass at 2:09.32 and Madisyn Cox in 2:09.34. Douglass will get the expected second spot on the Olympic team, while Cox endured another heartbreak after finishing fourth in two events at the 2016 trials.

Walsh and Douglass give the American team two more first-time Olympians.

“I’m in shock,” Walsh said.

Eighteen-year-old Torri Huske, who already made the team in the 100 butterfly, got off a blistering start in her signature stroke but couldn’t hold on. She faded to fourth in 2:10.38.

Ledecky is one of at least two swimmers the Americans are counting on to be big stars at these Olympics, the first since 1996 that won’t include Phelps. He retired after Rio with a record 23 gold medals and 28 medals overall.

The other is Caeleb Dressel, who was top qualifier in the semifinals of the 100 free with a time of 47.77.

Nathan Adrian, an eight-time Olympic medalist who won the 100 free at the 2012 Olympics and captured a bronze in Rio, failed to even qualify for the final after finishing sixth in his heat and 13th overall at 48.92.

“Goodness,” Dressel said when asked about Adrian failing to advance. “When we have six guys under 48 (seconds) heading into this (final), there’s real talent here. It’s real deep. It’s great for the sport, but it’s tough to get your hand on the wall first.”

Adrian, who overcame testicular cancer and is now married with an infant daughter, conceded that it was hard to maintain the sort of focus he needed at age 32.

“When I had a bad practice before, it was a little bit of a dagger in the heart. I would be very, very affected by that,” he said. “Now, I just want to go home and immediately give my wife and baby a hug and a kiss.

“In so many indescribable ways, this is such an all-in sport. Unfortunately, I wasn’t able to stick two good swims out there.”

The other is Caeleb Dressel, who was top qualifier in the semifinals of the 100 free with a time of 47.77.

Nathan Adrian, an eight-time Olympic medalist who won the 100 free at the 2012 Olympics and captured a bronze in Rio, failed to even qualify for the final after finishing sixth in his heat and 13th overall at 48.92.

His last chance to make it back to another Olympics at age 32 will be in the 50 free.

“Goodness,” Dressel said when asked about Adrian failing to advance. “When we have six guys under 48 (seconds) heading into this (final), there’s real talent here. It’s real deep. It’s great for the sport, but it’s tough to get your hand on the wall first.”

Adrian, who overcame testicular cancer and is now married with an infant daughter, conceded that it was hard to maintain the sort of focus he needed at age 32.

“When I had a bad practice before, it was a little bit of a dagger in the heart. I would be very, very affected by that,” he said. “Now, I just want to go home and immediately give my wife and baby a hug and a kiss.

“In so many indescribable ways, this is such an all-in sport. Unfortunately, I wasn’t able to stick two good swims out there.”

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This post originally appeared on CBS8 – Sports

Wasabi the Pekingese wins Westminster dog show

TARRYTOWN, N.Y. — The flavor of the year at the Westminster Kennel Club dog show: Wasabi.

A Pekingese named Wasabi won best in show Sunday night, notching a fifth-ever win for the unmistakable toy breed. A whippet named Bourbon repeated as runner-up.

Waddling through a small-but-mighty turn in the ring, Wasabi nabbed U.S. dogdom’s most prestigious prize after winning the big American Kennel Club National Championship in 2019.

“He has showmanship. He fits the breed standard. He has that little extra something, that sparkle, that sets a dog apart,” said Wasabi’s handler, breeder and co-owner, David Fitzpatrick. Show judge Patricia Trotter said simply: “What’s not to like about this dog? … He stood there as though he was a lion.”

Fitzpatrick, of East Berlin, Pennsylvania, guided the Peke’s grandfather Malachy to the Westminster title in 2012. Still, he said, “I just don’t always think lightning is going to strike twice.”

How will Wasabi celebrate?

“He can have a filet mignon. And I’ll have Champagne,” Fitzpatrick said with a laugh.

The 3-year-old Pekingese, meanwhile, was “pretty nonchalant about the whole thing,” his handler said. Indeed, Wasabi laid down on the dais, occasionally looking up as if to see what the fuss was all about, as Fitzpatrick spoke before a cluster of reporters and cameras.

It was a poignant win that came after one of his co-owners, archaeologist Iris Love, died last year of COVID-19. Besides Fitzpatrick, the dog is also co-owned by Sandra Middlebrooks and Peggy Steinman.

Wasabi – the name derives from his mother, Sushi – came out on top of a finalist pack that also included Mathew the French bulldog, Connor the old English sheepdog, Jade the German shorthaired pointer, Striker the Samoyed, and a West Highland white terrier named Boy. Altogether, 2,500 champion dogs entered the show.

It underwent big changes this year because of the coronavirus pandemic, moving out of New York City for the first time since the show’s 1877 founding. This year’s show was held outdoors at an estate in suburban Tarrytown, about 25 miles north of where the top ribbon is usually presented at Madison Square Garden, and it happened in June instead of February.

In a sign of the pandemic times, some handlers wore masks – though vaccinated people were allowed to go without – and the show was closed to the public.

“It’s a miracle that they even had this show,” Fitzpatrick said.

Striker went into the show as the top-ranked U.S. dog, with more than 40 best in show wins since January 2020. And Bourbon had also won the AKC National Championship.

The show was bittersweet for Jade’s handler and co-owner, Valerie Nunes-Atkinson. She guided Jade’s father, CJ, to a 2016 Westminster best in show win – and lost him last September, when the 7-year-old died unexpectedly of a fungal infection.

“The good part about it is: He’s left an incredible legacy,” said Nunes-Atkinson, of Temecula, California. She said Jade “had my heart” from birth.

Boy had come a long way to Westminster – all the way from Thailand, where one of his owners was watching from Bangkok, according to handler Rebecca Cross.

“He always makes us laugh,” said Cross, of Gettysburg, Pennsylvania.

For many dog owners, just making it to Westminster is a thrill – even for baseball’s all-time home run leader, Barry Bonds, who was cheering on a miniature schnauzer he owns with sister Cheryl Dugan.

The dog, Rocky, didn’t win his breed, but the slugger said he was proud of Rocky simply for qualifying for the champions-only show.

“We won because we got here. That’s all that matters,” Bonds told Fox Sports. “I’ve been to a lot of playoffs, and I’ve been to the World Series, and I’ve never won. But for 22 years, I kept trying.”

The 56-year-old Bonds holds baseball’s career home run record with 762, though his feat was clouded by allegations of steroid use – he denied knowingly taking them.

While semifinal and final rounds were held in a climate-controlled tent, earlier parts of the competition unfolded on the grass at an estate called Lyndhurst.

Douglas Tighe, who handled a Brittany named Pennie second place in the sporting group, says he just goes with it if his dogs get distracted by birds and other attractions in the great outdoors.

“Let them have fun,” said Tighe, of Hope, New Jersey. “That’s what it’s all about.”

That’s what it’s about to Kole Brown, too. At age 9, he showed a bull terrier named Riley on Sunday alongside his parents, Kurtis Brown and U.S. Air Force Capt. Samantha Brown, and some of the family’s other bull terriers.

“I have a lot of fun with this sport,” said Kole, of San Antonio, Texas. “Every single time I go into the ring, I have a smile on my face.

Copyright © 2021 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.

Author: AP

This post originally appeared on ABC13 RSS Feed

Kyle Larson wins 2nd NASCAR All-Star race, this time in Texas

Kyle Larson is now only the eighth NASCAR driver to be a two-time All-Star race winner.

FORT WORTH, Texas — Kyle Larson was back in the NASCAR All-Star race, and got another $ 1 million by winning it again.

Larson held off a hard-charging Brad Keselowski during the final 10-lap shootout at Texas on Sunday night, after a slippery three-wide pass to get back in front and push Hendrick Motorsports to its second consecutive win, and 10th overall, in the annual non-points race with the seven-figure prize.

Defending All-Star winner and reigning Cup champion Chase Elliott, who started the sixth and final segment out front, didn’t stay there long. Larson pushed his teammate, then got in front on the outside through the fourth turn. They were three-wide while Keselowski pulled ahead briefly at the line before Larson finally got ahead to stay for the last eight laps.

There were no points on the line, but Larson went to Victory Lane for the third weekend in a row.

Larson was with Chip Ganassi Racing when he won the 2019 All-Star race, but missed last year’s big event while serving a six-month suspension after using a racial slur during the livestream of a virtual race during the pandemic. That nearly cost him his career, but Hendrick gave him an opportunity this season to get back into the Cup Series.

Second in points with 10 races to go before the playoffs, Larson now only the eighth driver to be a two-time All-Star race winner.

Elliott finished third with Joey Logano fourth, ahead of Ryan Blaney and Alex Bowman.

Hendrick drivers Elliott, Byron and Larson started the final segment 1-2-3. Elliott had moved from third to first during the 30-lap fifth segment that included a required four-tire stop and $ 100,000 prize for his crew that had the fastest stop.

Byron won the fourth segment, and had the lowest cumulative finish through the first four 15-lap segments. Kyle Larson, Ryan Blaney and Alex Bowman finished in front for the first three segments.

Larson, who won the last two Cup races, was on the pole by a random draw and was still in front at the end of the first segment. After a random inversion of the top 12 finishers in that first stage, Blaney was moved from 12th to first to start the next 15 laps.

Blaney stayed in front, even holding on after wiggling because of contact from behind by Ross Chastain, one of three drivers who advanced to the main event from the earlier open qualifying race.

After a full-field inversion going to the third stage, Aric Almirola, who also got in through the qualifying race, went from last to first, but it was Bowman — after getting pushed up from 17th to fifth — in the lead after that 15 laps.

On a hot night deep in the heart of Texas, drivers emerged through the saloon doors on a huge facade during prerace introductions while their cars were rolled through a corral gate. Drivers did their warmup laps while Sammy Hagar performed “I Can’t Drive 55” from the stands, ending right at the green flag.

It was 97 degrees with the sun still shining when the race started, with a heat index of 106 Fahrenheit. The track temperature had been in the mid-140s during the earlier open qualifying race, though there were some areas of shade by time the main event started.

Texas is the third different track in three years for the All-Star race. It was held last summer at Bristol, where it was moved from Charlotte, which hosted 34 of the first 35 All-Star races, because of COVID-19 restrictions in North Carolina.

The All-Star race at Texas served as a sendoff and full-circle finish for old-school NASCAR promotor Eddie Gossage, the Texas Motor Speedway president working his last day for Speedway Motorsports.

Gossage, now 62, had considering stepping down for at least two years. He was chosen by Speedway Motorsports founder Bruton Smith to oversee the 1,500-acre complex since its groundbreaking in 1995, two years before the first Cup race at the track that included a big crash in the first turn of the first lap.

He was a young public relations director at Charlotte Motor Speedway in 1992 when, during a news conference to promote NASCAR’s first nighttime All-Star race, one of his stunts literally set Smith’s hair on fire. When Smith threw the giant light switch rigged by Gossage to highlight the Charlotte speedway’s new lighting system, sparks flew.

Three decades after he thought he was headed for the unemployed line, Gossage is going out on his own terms. He planned to spend Monday at the pool with his three grandchildren.

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This post originally appeared on CBS8 – Sports

Carrie wins over Jill Biden thanks to Wilfred cameo – new special relationship

Carrie and Boris Johnson’s son Wilfred also made an appearance as he was pictured playing on the beach with Mrs Johnson and Dr Biden. The two women were pictured dipping their feet in the sea.

Mrs Johnson wore a red mid-length dress, which appeared to be a £325 gown by London-based designer L.K.Bennett, for the walk.

Dr Biden wore a black and white polka-dot dress with a black blazer.

The First Lady’s blazer, which carried the word “love” on the back in studs, appeared to be by French brand Zadig and Voltaire.

After having tea with Mrs Johnson this afternoon, Dr Biden told reporters: “It’s really nice to be here in Cornwall. It’s my first time.

“Obviously it’s beautiful for those of you who have been here before.”

She said that she and her husband were looking forward to meeting the Queen as part of their visit.

Dr Biden added that the couple hoped to focus on education in their discussions with the royals.

She said: “We’ve looked forward to this for weeks and now it’s finally here. It’s a beautiful beginning.”

READ MORE: Calls for MP to resign after his ‘extremist’ comments about travellers

“I’m not going to disagree with you there or indeed on anything else, I think highly likely.”

The two leaders and their wives admired the view near the luxury hotel, with Mr Biden saying: “It’s gorgeous.

“I don’t want to go home.”

It came ahead of a potentially tricky meeting between the two leaders.

Mr Biden expected to use the meeting to warn Mr Johnson not to let the row over Northern Ireland’s Brexit arrangements put the Good Friday Agreement at risk.

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This post originally appeared on Daily Express :: UK Feed

Sergio Perez wins after Hamilton mistake and Verstappen crash

Sergio Perez wins after Hamilton mistakeAzerbaijan Grand Prix LIVE (Image: GETTY)

Azerbaijan Grand Prix RECAP

– Sergio Perez wins his first race with Red Bull after late Lewis Hamilton mistake costs Briton

– Hamilton ended 15th despite having excellent chance of winning race

– Max Verstappen was in control of race but suffered big 200mph crash due to tyre failure
– Red flags had to be brought out after the incident – read more here

– Sebastian Vettel ends in second for Aston Martin, AlphaTauri’s Pierre Gasly third

4pm: Have you got your breath back yet? Me neither.

That’s all we’ve got time for today – thanks for joining Express Sport for this afternoon’s race.

Stick around for all the best reaction including quotes from Hamilton and Verstappen and more. Cheers!

3.40pm: Read more about that incredible end to the Azerbaijan Grand Prix here.

3.35pm: Words from race-winner Perez: “Normally Baku is pretty crazy. I have to say sorry to Max, it would have been incredible to get that one-two for the team.

“But at the end, it was a fantastic day for us. We were close to retiring the car but luckily we managed to finish the race.

“This is definitely a strong boost of confidence for myself.”

An unforgettable moment for the Mexican, while Vettel labels himself “over the moon” to come second for Aston Martin having also been fifth in Monaco following a great drive.

3.25pm: Perez has to stop on track with a mechanical failure – he’ll be very thankful that issue has come now the race has finished rather than before he reached the finish line.

That’s just his second ever Formula One race win after his Sakhir Grand Prix triumph last year. What a crazy last hour.

That of course means Red Bull remain top of both the Drivers’ and Constructors’ standings.

Perez is on 69 points with Verstappen out in front on 105, ahead of Hamilton on 101. Red Bull’s Constructors’ lead is now 174 points to Mercedes’ 148.

3.20pm: Steam was pouring out of Hamilton’s brakes before the race restart and what a mistake from the Briton.

It’s a rare one but one that has cost him at the very least a podium and perhaps even the full 25 points. He had a great chance of victory but instead he ends up 15th and it’s Perez who steals victory.

Vettel finishes second with Gasly third to complete the podium. Elsewhere, Leclerc ends fourth with Norris fifth, Alonso sixth, Tsunoda eighth and Ricciardo ninth.

Azerbaijan Grand Prix LIVE

Azerbaijan Grand Prix LIVE (Image: GETTY)

SERGIO PEREZ WINS THE AZERBAIJAN GRAND PRIX!

Lap 51: Incredible last-lap drama as Gasly and Leclerc battle for third spot.

Lap 50: LEWIS HAMILTON MISTAKE! Wow. Hamilton got past Perez into the first corner but locked up and goes into the run-off area at turn one.

“I’m so sorry guys,” he tells the team radio. He recovers to get back on track but it’s Perez who leads after a great restart.

3pm: The race will get back underway at 10 minutes past the hour. This could be very exciting. Can Mercedes snatch a race win?

This could be a massive moment in the Drivers’ and Constructors’ Championship battles.

2.55pm: While we wait for the race restart, here’s the current order of the cars…

1) Sergio Perez, Red Bull
2) Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes
3) Sebastian Vettel, Aston Martin
4) Pierre Gasly, AlphaTauri
5) Charles Leclerc, Ferrari
6) Yuki Tsunoda, AlphaTauri
7) Lando Norris, McLaren
8) Carlos Sainz, Ferrari
9) Daniel Ricciardo, McLaren
10) Valtteri Bottas, Mercedes
11) Kimi Raikkonen, Alfa Romeo
12) Antonio Giovinazzi, Alfa Romeo
13) Nicholas Latifi, Williams
14) Valtteri Bottas, Mercedes
15) George Russell, Williams
16) Mick Schumacher, Haas
17) Nikita Mazepin, Haas
OUT: Max Verstappen, Red Bull
OUT: Lance Stroll, Aston Martin
OUT: Esteban Ocon, Alpine

2.45pm: Red Bull spoke to race director Michael Masi after Verstappen’s collision and explained they’d had no warning of the tyre failure and asked for a red flag to be brought out.

“Michael I know you’re busy, but we got zero warning of that failure. So consider a red flag,” they said.

That’s why we’re at a standstill. Worrying that the Milton Keynes-based outfit had nothing in their data that suggested the tyre would blow up as it did.

Azerbaijan Grand Prix LIVE

Azerbaijan Grand Prix LIVE (Image: GETTY)

2.40pm: We’re expecting the race still to be restarted. The red flags are merely out to clear the debris on the track, not to signal the end of racing.

Looks like cars will be changing to new tyres while they’re in the pits too.

Meanwhile Red Bull boss Christian Horner is heard saying of Verstappen’s crash: “I think it’s a tyre failure. They’re at the end of their life. It’s exactly the same tyred that failed on Stroll, so I think it’s a tyre issue.”

THE RED FLAGS ARE OUT AT THE AZERBAIJAN GRAND PRIX 

Lap 48: Tragic for Verstappen, who had driven so well all afternoon. He’s deeply frustrated as he walks back to the pits. He’s OK, but mentally that is a big blow.

The Red Bull garage look just as devastated after that 200mph crash. Red Bull’s first one-two in a long, long time has been taken from them.

Lap 47: MAX VERSTAPPEN CRASHES OUT! Incredible drama. His left rear failed just like Stroll’s.

He was coming down the main straight but then his tyre went and he couldn’t do anything but spin off into the right-hand side.

Lap 41: Verstappen is clear out in front but his Red Bull team-mate is under pressure because Hamilton is hot on Perez’s heels.

The Briton has just managed a new fastest lap but sees Verstappen immediately takes the extra point back. At this rate, the Dutchman will end the weekend 15 points ahead in the Drivers’ Championship standings.

Lap 37: We’re back racing! Hamilton has got a tow on Perez but can’t get past him on the first lap after the restart.

Vettel gets past Leclerc into fifth and the Ferrari driver is lucky not to shunt into the back of the German a couple of corners later after a lock-up.

Aston Martin’s Vettel then gets beyond Pierre Gasly and is up into fourth. Could he catch Hamilton? His compounds are seven laps fresher.

Bottas was ninth but he’s now down to 13th. A grim weekend for the Finn in Baku.

Lap 36: Schumacher is forced to stop at the of the pitlane, before crossing the white line, and is rolled back into Haas’ box after an unsafe release. He’s still in the race though.

Lap 35: Hamilton says he can’t attack an overtake at the Safety Car restart on his current tyres. He’ll need a pitstop if he’s to get past Perez at any point it seems.

The pitlane opens up before the race restart but at this point, the cars are all bunched together and pitting drivers risk losing an irrecoverable amount of places.

Despite that, Alonso, Russell, Schumacher and Giovinazzi all box.

Lap 32: Big crash! The yellow flags are out and so will be a Safety Car as Stroll leaves debris all over the track due to an 180mph impact.

The Canadian is thankfully fine but suffered a high-speed shove into the wall just before the pitlane entry, spinning off to the left after a left rear tyre puncture.

The pitlane is closed because of where his car is positioned.

Lap 31: Verstappen is comfortable out in front – he’s now nearly seven seconds clear of team-mate Perez in first.

Mercedes rival Bottas has had a hurry-up from the Silver Arrows, being told he’ll finish ninth or 10th if he doesn’t pass Norris.

Lap 28: Was Hamilton playing mind games? He’s just started going faster again behind the two Red Bulls. We’ll see whether it’s fast enough to catch up to and overtake Perez.

Sainz overtakes Alonso back down the order but he’s still only up to 12th. He’s seven seconds behind Bottas in the final points-finishing position. Not the race day the Spaniard will have been hoping for.

Azerbaijan Grand Prix LIVE

Azerbaijan Grand Prix LIVE (Image: GETTY)

Lap 26: Nikita Mazepin goes off down the escape round at turn four due to a lockout on both front tyres in the Haas.

The Russian, running 19th, is able to recover, while cameras show Bottas ran wide at turn 16 as he looks to overtake Norris.

Lap 24: It’s close among the top three but Verstappen boasts a three-second advantage for the timebeing.

Hamilton has just dropped off slightly from Perez but is seven seconds clear of fourth-placed Lance Stroll, who has not yet pitted.

The Briton says he’s “losing ground” on the two Red Bulls and he’s no longer in tow. Does he need to pit once more for fresh tyres towards the end?

Lap 20: Vettel is finally into the pits and Verstappen gratefully takes the lead of the race. The German rejoins in seventh between Leclerc and Tsunoda.

Hamilton is going at a good speed in third but he’s not quite within DRS range of Perez as he slipstreams the Red Bull.

Lap 17: Aston Martin’s Vettel still out in front having yet to stop, while the rest of the top 10 is as follows…

1) Sebastian Vettel, Aston Martin
2) Max Verstappen, Red Bull
3) Sergio Perez, Red Bull
4) Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes
5) Lance Stroll, Aston Martin
6) Pierre Gasly, AlphaTauri
7) Charles Leclerc, Ferrari
8) Yuki Tsunoda, AlphaTauri
9) Lando Norris, McLaren
10) Valtteri Bottas, Mercedes

Azerbaijan Grand Prix LIVE

Azerbaijan Grand Prix LIVE (Image: GETTY)

Lap 15: Not good for Hamilton. Perez’s pitstop is slow and so he loses the lead to Verstappen, but the Mexican still comes out ahead of the Mercedes.

Can the Briton get back ahead of him while Perez is warming up his new tyres?

Lap 13: Hamilton pits first – but it’s a 4.6 second stop due to Pierre Gasly coming into the pits for AlphaTauri. That’s not an insignificant amount of time.

He rejoins in fourth before Verstappen boxes for a 1.9 second stop. He comes out with a healthy gap on his title rival, though Sergio Perez remains first and Sebastian Vettel – yet to pit- is second in the Aston Martin.

“How’s he so far ahead of me?” asks seven-time world champion Hamilton with Verstappen several seconds ahead of him.

Ferrari’s Carlos Sainz meanwhile goes into the run-off area at turn eight after locking up on his new hard tyres but is able to back up and return to the track.

Lap 11: Leclerc comes into the pits for the hard rubbers, with Hamilton and Verstappen still yet to come in. The latter is meanwhile on the cusp of DRS range.

Tsunoda, after telling his pitlane to “shut up” when being told to push harder, also makes an early pitstop.

Lap 8: More misery for Leclerc, as he drops to fourth with Red Bull’s Perez – who started sixth – the next to overtake him into the final podium position.

Alonso and Norris both pit with the latter looking to try and undercut ninth-placed Valtteri Bottas in the Mercedes.

Azerbaijan Grand Prix LIVE

Azerbaijan Grand Prix LIVE (Image: GETTY)

Lap 7: Leclerc drops to second as Verstappen gets past the Ferrari. The Dutchman is through to attack race leader Hamilton now.

Further back, Yuki Tsunoda overtakes Alpine’s Fernando Alonso in the AlphaTauri to move into seventh.

Lap 4: We have our first retirement. Esteban Ocon loses power in the Alpine and is forced back into the pits.

Lap 3: Just like that, Lewis Hamilton leads! That superior straight-line speed from the Mercedes, and the tow of Leclerc’s Ferrari, sees the Briton snatch the lead with ease down the 2km straight.

George Russell meanwhile pits for Williams. He’s trying to run on the hard tyres until the end of the race and Antonio Giovinazzi follows suit for Alfa Romeo.

Lap 1: We’re underway in the Azerbaijani capital! A good start for Leclerc and also for Hamilton. Verstappen stays behind the Merc in third.

Red Bull’s Sergio Perez meanwhile jumps up from sixth to fourth after a great start. Norris is down to 12th for McLaren.

AND IT’S LIGHTS OUT AT THE AZERBAIJAN GRAND PRIX!

12.50pm: Almost time for lights out in Baku. Max Verstappen wasn’t happy yesterday about the madness of qualifying and how many stoppages there were.

The angry Dutchman said: “All this s**t is all the time happening in Q3, I don’t care. It’s just unfortunate. It’s a street circuit so these things can happen.

“Qualifying, a lot of things are happening. Maybe in the race these things can happen again. Let’s hope for a clean start and we’ll see from there.”

Will we get an incident-free opening lap? Let’s hope so. Third-placed Verstappen will certainly be crossing his fingers for one.

Azerbaijan Grand Prix LIVE: Charles Leclerc faces Lewis Hamilton and Max Verstappen battle

Azerbaijan Grand Prix LIVE (Image: GETTY)

12.35pm: Lewis Hamilton, after ending up P2, hailed Mercedes’ remarkable turnaround in qualifying after a miserable Friday which saw them stuck outside of the top 10.

“We definitely weren’t expecting that,” the seven-time world champion admitted. “This is such a monumental result for us because we’ve been struggling like you couldn’t believe all weekend. You can see it.

“We kept our composure. We’ve continued to have difficult discussions in the background and challenging one another, and just never taking no for an answer.

“We’ve moved around, made so many changes, over these two days. Just chasing our tail and it’s been so difficult.”

He added of today’s race: “For us to turn it around and to be in the top three competing so closely with the Red Bulls and the Ferraris, who have been just destroying everyone last weekend and this weekend, is just [great to be] in the fight.

“We have got a race tomorrow and we are in a position to get some good points. I’m just excited.”

12.20pm: There were four red flags in a hectic qualifying session and Alpine’s Fernando Alonso has urged his Formula One rivals to “calm down a little bit”.

“I think the people need to calm down a little bit and drive 98 per cent in a street circuit because if you crash and you start last in the race, maybe you don’t drive over your possibilities,” the two-time world champion told Sky Sports F1.

“Today we saw many people driving over the possibilities of their car or their abilities.”

The Spaniard starts eighth in Baku today and said: “We have a good car; it has been good all weekend. We have always been in the top 10 in every session and we felt comfortable.

“Here you can overtake if you have the pace, so we need to take care of the tyres – that will be the hot topic for the race, I guess – but we are reasonably confident to take good points.”

Azerbaijan Grand Prix LIVE: Charles Leclerc faces Lewis Hamilton and Max Verstappen battle

Azerbaijan Grand Prix LIVE (Image: GETTY)

12.05pm: As a result of Norris’ three-place grid penalty, the top 10 for today’s race start is as follows…

1) Charles Leclerc, Ferrari
2) Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes
3) Max Verstappen, Red Bull
4) Pierre Gasly, AlphaTauri
5) Carlos Sainz, Ferrari
6) Sergio Perez, Red Bull
7) Yuki Tsunoda, AlphaTauri
8) Fernando Alonso, Alpine
9) Lando Norris, McLaren
10) Valtteri Bottas, Mercedes

Azerbaijan Grand Prix LIVE: Charles Leclerc faces Lewis Hamilton and Max Verstappen battle

Azerbaijan Grand Prix LIVE (Image: GETTY)

12pm: Further down the grid, Lando Norris will start ninth for McLaren, having been pushed down three spots because of a red-flag infringement.

The Briton did not pit at the first opportunity during a red flag as is mandatory, although his punishment has been reduced from the usual five-place penalty.

The stewards said: “During the hearing the driver admitted that he lifted the throttle, braked and was committed to and able to enter the pitlane.

“At that moment he was not sure what to do and asked his team over the radio. Although the team ordered him immediately to enter the pits, it was too late and NOR crossed the finish line one more time.

“The stewards assume that if a red flag is not respected during qualifying, a drop of 5 grid positions is appropriate.

“However, if you consider that the driver only had a very short time to react due to his position on the track, a drop of three grid positions is sufficient as an exception.”

Azerbaijan Grand Prix LIVE: Charles Leclerc faces Lewis Hamilton and Max Verstappen battle

Azerbaijan Grand Prix LIVE (Image: GETTY)

11.45pm: Good afternoon and welcome to Express Sport’s live coverage of the 2021 Azerbaijan Grand Prix!

Charles Leclerc starts on pole for Ferrari having been denied the chance to front the pack in Monaco a fortnight ago by a pre-race mechanical issue.

The Monegasque, bidding to secure the Prancing Horse’s first race win in two years, is joined by Mercedes’ Lewis Hamilton on the front row after Q3 was cut short by a red flag yesterday.

Yuki Tsunoda in the AlphaTauri crashed at Turn 3 and was followed by Ferrari’s Carlos Sainz who locked up and went into the run-off area just seconds later as the session came to a premature end.

Red Bull’s Max Verstappen, the Drivers’ Championship leader, was denied the chance to beat his time and starts third with AlphaTauri’s Pierre Gasly fourth.

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This post originally appeared on Daily Express :: Sport Feed

Essential Quality wins Belmont Stakes

The win was the sixth in seven career starts and gave trainer Brad Cox his first Triple Crown win.

Essential Quality wore down pacesetter Hot Rod Charlie in the stretch and crossed the finish line first in the Belmont Stakes.

The win was the sixth in seven career starts and gave trainer Brad Cox his first Triple Crown win.

It was also vindication for the colt, who was the favorite in the Kentucky Derby and finished fourth. Jockey Luis Saez got the colt home first this time, edging Hot Rod Charlie, who finished third in the Derby, by 1 1/4 lengths.

Preakness winner Rombauer was third.

As opposed to a year ago when the COVID-19 pandemic forced changes in the Triple Crown races, the Belmont Park allowed 11,000 mostly maskless fans to attend the race and they reveled singing Frank Sinatra’s “New York, New York” as the horses came on the track.

No fans were allowed June 20, when last year’s ace kicked off the Triple Crown and was contested at 1 1/8 miles with Tiz the Law winning with Manny Franco aboard.

The race this year was run as the final jewel and returned to its traditional distance of 1 1/2 miles.

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This post originally appeared on CBS8 – Sports

Helio Castroneves wins Indianapolis 500 for record-tying 4th time

Castroneves joins A.J. Foyt, Al Unser Sr. and Rick Mears, his former mentor at Team Penske, as the only four-time winners of “The Greatest Spectacle in Racing.”

INDIANAPOLIS — Helio Castroneves joined the exclusive club of four-time Indianapolis 500 winners Sunday, and then scaled the fence at Indianapolis Motor Speedway in front of the largest crowd since the start of the pandemic.
The Brazilian joined A.J. Foyt, Al Unser Sr. and Rick Mears, his former mentor at Team Penske, as the only four-time winners of “The Greatest Spectacle in Racing.” Mears was the last driver to join the club in 1991.
Castroneves won his third 500 in 2009 and has been chasing win No. 4 ever since.
At 46 years old, in his first season no longer driving for Roger Penske, he held off Alex Palou to win the 105th running of the race in front of 135,000 fans — the most at any sports event in the world since the pandemic began 18 months ago. The number represented 40% of the speedway’s capacity and was agreed upon by health officials.
A year ago, no fans were allowed for the race that was delayed from May to August. This year, celebrities were back and fans were everywhere and they were treated to a win by one of the most popular drivers in Indy 500 history.

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This post originally appeared on CBS8 – Sports

PS Plus vs Games with Gold June 2021: Can Microsoft make it two wins in a row?

It’s time for another head to head battle between Sony’s PlayStation Plus free games, and the new Xbox Games with Gold releases.

Sony and Microsoft announced the next wave of PS Plus and Games with Gold titles earlier this week.

Available to download from June 1, the new PlayStation Plus games include Virtua Fighter 5 Ultimate Showdown and Star Wars Squadrons.

The aforementioned PS4 games will be joined by PlayStation 5 title Operation Tango on the same day.

Also launching on June 1, the Xbox Games with Gold line-up includes The King’s Bird on Xbox One, as well as NeoGeo Battle Coliseum on Xbox 360.

From June 16 onwards, Games with Gold subscribers will also be able to download and play Shadows: Awakening on Xbox One, and Injustice: Gods Among Us on Xbox 360.

Backwards compatibility means you’ll be able to play all four Xbox games on the newly released Series S and Series X consoles.

It’s another decent month for subscribers on both platforms, but which service will come out on top?

Can Microsoft make it two wins on the bounce, or will Sony stage a comeback in June 2021? Read on to find out.

Operation Tango is a co-operative multiplayer game in which players team up to complete dangerous heists and missions.

“Combine skill sets from different points of view – playing either Hacker or Agent – to overcome asymmetrical challenges, working in tandem with only your voice to link you.

“Teamwork is crucial, and communication is key! Note: Operation: Tango requires both players to have access to a working microphone.”

Virtua Fighter 5, meanwhile, is a remake of the classic Sega brawler, only this time with new online features.

“This console exclusive debuts on PlayStation Plus, allowing both VF veterans and newcomers to experience the intense martial arts combat, deep strategy, and intricately balanced gameplay of the groundbreaking 3D fighter in stunning HD.

“New online features – like custom tournaments supporting up to 16 players and live spectating – join classic modes like Rank Match, Arcade, and VF5’s famously robust Training to deliver the definitive Virtua Fighter experience.”

Star Wars Squadrons is the highest profile game on the list, having launched at the tail-end of last year. Not only does it feature some epic multiplayer space battles, but the whole game can be played in VR.

The King’s Bird headlines the June Games with Gold releases. The game is described as a platform adventure with physics-based movements.

“Escape into a world kept secret by a tyrant and discover the truth about your freedom,” Microsoft adds.

Shadows: Awakening, meanwhile, is an isometric role-playing game featuring soul-devouring demons.

“Take control of a demon summoned from the Shadow Realm to consume the souls of long dead heroes. With a gripping storyline and challenging gameplay, find out who is in charge… the demon or the souls that it has devoured?”

Over on Xbox 360, NeoGeo Battle Coliseum and Injustice: Gods Among Us are two excellent fighting games, the latter of which starring characters from the DC comic book universe.

“All the best fighters await you. With a host of original heroes and unique characters that transcend time, unleash this tag-team versus fighter with all your favorite NeoGeo warriors amassed under one roof,” reads the NeoGeo Battle Coliseum description.

Picking a winner in June is no easy task, especially with heavy hitters like Injustice: Gods Among Us and Star Wars Squadrons joining the line-ups.

However, while Injustice: Gods Among Us and NeoGeo Battle Coliseum are both strong games, Shadows: Awakening and The King’s Bird kind of let the side down.

Star Wars Squadrons and Virtua Fighter 5 are both highly rated games (assuming the new VF5 lives up to its predecessor), while Operation Tango has an interesting premise.

With this in mind, I’m awarding PlayStation Plus the victory for June 2021. 

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This post originally appeared on Daily Express :: Entertainment Feed