Mercedes brace for more Max at­tacks

The Sun (Malaysia) - - SPORTS -

THE For­mula One ti­tle fight be­tween Mercedes team­mates Lewis Hamil­ton and Nico Ros­berg tops the bill at Sun­day’s Abu Dhabi Grand Prix but the ‘Max Ver­stap­pen show’ could be just as en­ter­tain­ing.

Af­ter a sen­sa­tional wet race in Brazil that saw the 19-year-old Red Bull driver surge from 16th to third place in the clos­ing laps, the Dutch­man ar­rives at Yas Ma­rina with a rare buzz around him.

The sport’s youngest race win­ner can pro­vide more thrills – and spell trou­ble for the ti­tle con­tenders.

He and Aus­tralian team mate Daniel Ric­cia­rdo will not be con­tent just to watch from the side­lines as Hamil­ton and cham­pi­onship favourite Ros­berg bat­tle it out.

“Nico is driv­ing with the cham­pi­onship in mind,” Red Bull prin­ci­pal Chris­tian Horner told re­porters yes­ter­day.

“He is go­ing to be watch­ing his mir­rors more than most go­ing into turn one, and ... our guys, they’re not in that po­si­tion so they will sim­ply be go­ing for it.

“It is Nico’s to lose and we could be Lewis’ best friend if we get both of our cars be­tween him and Nico.”

While Ric­cia­rdo is sure of third place over­all, Ver­stap­pen can take fourth from Fer­rari’s Se­bas­tian Vet­tel – the two are just five points apart – and that will be ex­tra mo­ti­va­tion.

Ver­stap­pen and Vet­tel clashed in Mex­ico last month, one of sev­eral in­ci­dents that have got other driv­ers hot un­der the hel­met about the young­ster’s at­ti­tude and dis­re­gard for rep­u­ta­tions and rules.

At the same time, Ver­stap­pen has won the ‘Driver of the Day’ on­line vote among fans so many times now that it has be­come a stand­ing joke. All of it, the praise and the crit­i­cism, is like wa­ter off a duck’s back.

“What­ever peo­ple think, whether he pisses them off or not, he’s here to race,” his fa­ther and for­mer racer Jos said af­ter Ver­stap­pen’s third place in Brazil be­hind the Mercedes pair.

“He doesn’t care,” added Ver­stap­pen se­nior when asked how his son re­sponded to crit­i­cism in driv­ers’ brief­ings. “He doesn’t mind.”

Ver­stap­pen was slammed ear­lier in the year for ‘mov­ing un­der brak­ing’, an ag­gres­sively de­fen­sive change of line that forced a clar­i­fi­ca­tion of the rules.

Iron­i­cally, it was four times world cham­pion Vet­tel who was first to fall foul of stew­ards for the of­fence with a penalty in Mex­ico that de­moted him from third to fifth.

If Ver­stap­pen has shaken up the sport with his un­ortho­dox lines and bold over­tak­ing ma­noeu­vres, the oc­ca­sional mo­ments of petu­lance and ac­cu­sa­tions of ar­ro­gance, he takes it all in his stride.

“I think not only in For­mula One but a lot of sports, when younger peo­ple come in and they do well there is al­ways a bit of talk go­ing on,” he said this month. “That’s pretty nor­mal. I’m just be­ing my­self to be hon­est.” – Reuters www.fifa.com/the-best-fi­fafoot­ball-awards/puskas-award/. HERE’S

Max Ver­stap­pen

some good news for all foot­ball en­thu­si­asts in Malaysia. Tiger FC is back yet again to re­ward 70 walk­ing foot­ball en­cy­clopae­dias with a Sam­sung 40” LED TV through­out this 2016/17 sea­son.

If you are known amongst your friends as a pun­dit of ev­ery­thing foot­ball and have a burn­ing pas­sion for the sport, then take up Tiger FC’s chal­lenge and com­pete against other footie whizzes in Malaysia to win the cov­eted crown, Tiger FC’s Ul­ti­mate Fan.

This sea­son’s Tiger FC show­down will be­gin on Novem­ber 19 at se­lected out­lets in Klang Val­ley, Pe­nang and Malacca and will con­tinue un­til the end of 2016/17 foot­ball sea­son.

Seventy units of Sam­sung 40” LED TV will be given out to main prize win­ners who make it through rounds of pop quiz dur­ing halftime and full­time of each ac­ti­va­tion.

Tiger FC will be giv­ing away five units of PUMA Pro Train­ing Medium Bags as con­so­la­tion prizes at ev­ery club­house event as well. Then as the foot­ball sea­son con­cludes in May 2017, all 70 win­ners will gather for a fi­nal face­off where ONE will be crowned the Ul­ti­mate Fan and walk away with a trip for two to watch a foot­ball match LIVE.

“Mov­ing into its 13th year of es­tab­lish­ment, Tiger FC has proven to be a strong en­tity of Tiger Beer.

We in­tend to cre­ate a con­nec­tion be­tween fans from all walks of life with un­wa­ver­ing pas­sion for foot­ball who gather to cel­e­brate the sport while hav­ing our brew, and of course, to even­tu­ally iden­tify this sea­son’s Ul­ti­mate Fan.

So, come join us at any of our club­house ac­ti­va­tions to gather for the pas­sion of the sport and to find out if you have what it takes to win the cov­eted ti­tle,” said Jessie Chuah, Tiger Beer mar­ket­ing man­ager.

For more in­for­ma­tion on Tiger FC and its club­houses, visit Tiger Beer’s Face­book page

to­day.

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