Lewis out to get even in Austria
SPIELBERG, Austria: Sebastian Vettel celebrated his 30th birthday on Monday but it can be safely assumed Lewis Hamilton won’t be bringing him any gifts this weekend.
After the ‘road rage’ of Azerbaijan two weeks ago, the Formula One title rivals head to the bucolic surroundings of the scenic Red Bull Ring, and its backdrop of hills and forests, with controversy still simmering.
Vettel, Ferrari’s championship leader, had risked a heavy penalty in driving into Hamilton’s Mercedes behind the safety car in Baku but instead the German arrives with no further sanction and the matter officially closed.
Vettel has had to accept full responsibility, and apologise to Hamilton, and will have to stay on his best behaviour with a race ban looming if he collects any more penalty points on his licence this weekend. But the incident is unlikely to die down immediately, even if Mercedes say they have moved on.
Hamilton, for one, has said nothing. But he has kept social media buzzing with news he had ‘liked’ a fan’s supportive post on Instagram that said the Paris decision had sent the message that “you can do whatever you want on track, smash into each other but if you suck up and just apologise and you get away with it”.
Hamilton is now 14 points behind Vettel after eight of 20 races, with a loose headrest costing the Briton victory in Azerbaijan. Vettel, despite a stop-and-go penalty, finished fourth and one place ahead of his rival. Austria offers Hamilton the chance to take some of those lost points back.
Mercedes have won every year since the race returned to the calendar in 2014 and Hamilton is the only driver on this season’s grid to have won in Austria – doing so last year.
“Every great Formula One season is marked by a great rivalry. Last year it was our internal battle between Lewis and Nico (Rosberg) and this year it seems the fight is on between Ferrari and Mercedes and Lewis and Sebastian,” said Mercedes boss Toto Wolff. “As calm as it started, it was only a matter of time until the rivalry became more fierce and controversial. That moment happened in Baku and we saw the results of that tension on track. We have moved passed that moment now and it is a closed chapter.”
Aside from the MercedesFerrari battle, Red Bull will also fancy their chances in front of a home crowd after Australian Daniel Ricciardo won in Baku for his fourth successive podium finish.
This time, Dutch teenager Max Verstappen will be hoping it is his turn: “Luck evens itself out. Daniel has had four podiums and a race win but I’m sure a big race is around the corner for Max,” team principal Christian Horner said. – Reuters add ups to 29 weeks of the year being taken up by domestic T20 cricket competitions.
That means 23 weeks remain for Tests, ODIs And T20 Internationals and that’s not accounting for years with World Cups, Champions Trophy and World T20s….so what does this all mean for international cricket?
If you heard the MCC World Cricket Committee this week, then there’s a “looming potential crisis,” facing the Test game.
In his address to the committee this week, CSA’s chief executive Haroon Lorgat, highlighted how when the boards of England, Australia and India created a financial model that heavily favoured themselves two years ago, it was imperative for Cricket SA to ensure it