‘Lies’ and ‘lack of balls’ left Sebastian Ocon out in cold: Toto Wolff

Force India driver Esteban Ocon of France talks with team mechanic during second practice at the Marina Bay City Circuit ahead of the Singapore Formula One Grand Prix in Singapore, Friday, Sept. 14, 2018. (AP Photo/Vincent Thian)
Updated 14 September 2018
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‘Lies’ and ‘lack of balls’ left Sebastian Ocon out in cold: Toto Wolff

SINGAPORE: Mercedes team principal Toto Wolff has launched an extraordinary attack on fellow Formula 1 bosses for their “lies” and “lack of balls” which have left Esteban Ocon without a drive next season.
Two months ago Ocon had received provisional deals to sign for either Renault or McLaren after Force India were taken over by Canadian billionaire Lawrence Stroll, who will replace the French 21-year-old with his son Lance.
But Renault instead made a surprise swoop for Red Bull’s Daniel Ricciardo after Carlos Sainz left to replace Fernando Alonso at McLaren.
It now means the Mercedes-backed junior driver Ocon looks almost certain to be squeezed out of Formula One in 2019.
“What has been going on this year in July and August was just unbelievable,” fumed Mercedes chief Wolff.
“There was so much politics in the background, hidden agendas and lies,” an angry Wolff told Sky F1 at the Singapore Grand Prix.
“Not all of the good kids are going to be in cars next year and Esteban will probably be one of them.
“In July he had two offers on the table and it was just a case of choosing which one was the right one. Then he ended up without anything because people simply don’t have the balls to stick to what they say.”
Ocon told reporters in Singapore it was difficult to accept the fact he may not be in Formula One next season.
“It’s hard to believe I was in a great position two months ago and things have gone that way now,” the Force India driver said Thursday.


‘If home crowds can’t help you, nothing can’, says golf star Rory McIlroy

Updated 17 July 2019
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‘If home crowds can’t help you, nothing can’, says golf star Rory McIlroy

  • The world number three is the bookmakers’ favorite to lift the Claret Jug for the second time on Sunday
  • British Open returns to Northern Ireland for the first time since 1951

PORTRUSH, United Kingdom: Rory McIlroy said on Wednesday that he is not feeling extra pressure this week as the British Open returns to Northern Ireland for the first time since 1951, and is hoping home fans can help him end a five-year major drought.
The world number three is the bookmakers’ favorite to lift the Claret Jug for the second time on Sunday, despite not having claimed a major title since the 2014 PGA Championship.
He said in the past he struggled being the focus of attention at Irish Opens, although he did win that tournament in 2016.
“I think it’s probably easier this week because it’s such a big tournament,” said McIlroy, who opens his title tilt at Royal Portrush at 0909 GMT on Thursday alongside US Open winner Gary Woodland and England’s Paul Casey.
“You’ve got the best players in the world here, and I don’t feel like I’m the center of attention.
“I’m here to enjoy myself. Hopefully it doesn’t take another 68 years for the tournament to come back here. But at the same time, I mightn’t get an opportunity to play an Open Championship here again.
“I’m really just treating it as a wonderful experience and one that I really want to enjoy.
“I’m going to love being out there and having the crowds and having the support. If that can’t help you, then nothing can.”
McIlroy fired a course-record 61 on the Dunluce Links at the age of just 16 in 2005, and is one of three Northern Irish major champions in the field along with Graeme McDowell and Darren Clarke.
He said his first memories of Portrush came as a child when watching his father play.
“I remember chipping around the chipping green, being seven or eight years of age, my dad out playing on the Dunluce,” added McIlroy, who played a practice round on Tuesday.
“Portrush ... At least the golf club, has been a big part of my upbringing. It’s sort of surreal that it’s here.
“Even driving in yesterday, when you’re coming in on the road and you look to the right and you’ve got the second tee... I don’t know who was teeing off, maybe (American player) Tony Finau and someone else, (it was) sort of strange to see them here.
“But it’s really cool.”
Since McIlroy’s record the course has been renovated, with the seventh and eighth new holes.
But the 30-year-old said he did not have to spend too much time preparing on the course, such is his familiarity with it.
“I had dinner booked with a parent on Saturday night at 8:00, thinking I’m going to have to spend some time around the greens and just prepare.
“And I got on the road back home and rang them and said, ‘Can we move dinner up?’ Because I finished early. There’s no difference. It’s the same golf course.”
McIlroy has been in strong form this year, winning twice, including the Players’ Championship, and posting 11 top-10 finishes.
He also finished in a tie for second at the Open at Carnoustie last year.
“I think it’s probably the most consistent period of golf I’ve ever played,” the 2014 champion said.