‘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.


Centuries from Rohit Sharma, Shikhar Dhawan enough for India to crush Pakistan

Updated 23 September 2018
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Centuries from Rohit Sharma, Shikhar Dhawan enough for India to crush Pakistan

DUBAI: Openers Rohit Sharma and Shikhar Dhawan hit punishing centuries to steer an imperious India to a nine wicket win over a listless Pakistan in the Asia Cup match in Dubai on Sunday.
Sharma notched 119-ball 111 not out for his 19th one-day hundred while Dhawan made a 100-ball 114 for his eighth century as the pair put on 210 for the opening stand — second best in all India-Pakistan one-day internationals.
That super effort from the openers saw India overhaul the target with 10.3 overs to spare.
The Super four win is the second for India over arch-rivals following their easy eighth wicket win in the first round.
The win is India’s highest against Pakistan in terms of wickets, improving on the eight wicket win over Pakistan in Melbourne in 1985.
Pakistan were steered to 237-7 by Shoaib Malik who made 90-ball 78 after winning the toss and batting but it proved too little for the strong Indian batting line.
Pakistan could have got Sharma out in the sixth over but Imam-ul-Haq dropped an easy catch off a luckless Shaheen Shah, giving the colorful Indian power to smash seven boundaries and four sixes.
Sharma, who scored back to back fifties in the last two games, also became the ninth Indian batsmen to complete 7,000 one-day runs in his 187th match when he reached 94, soon after he was dropped on 81 by Fakhar Zaman off Shadab Khan.
Dhawan matches his skipper shot for shot, firing 100-ball 114 with 16 boundaries and two sixes as Pakistani bowlers had no clue to the rasping and flowing strokes of the Indian openers.
Pakistan’s pace spearhead Mohammad Amir, brought back in one of two changes after dropped for the Afghanistan match, went wicketless for a fifth match in a row, leaving the much vaunted Pakistan bowling biteless.
Even when Dhawan got out in the 34th over with 38 needed it was through a run out.
The best opening stand in Indo-Pak one-day internationals was 224 Mohammad Hafeez and Nasir Jamshed at Dhaka in 2012.
Earlier, Malik scored a 90-ball 78 with four boundaries and two sixes, but India kept a tight check on Pakistan’s progress.
Pakistan lost Imam (ten), Zaman (31) and Babar Azam (run out for nine) in an unimpressive start to their innings before Malik and skipper Sarfraz Ahmed added 107 for the fourth wicket.
Sarfraz scored a slow 66-ball 44 with only two boundaries before he became one of two Kuldeep Yadav’s wicket who finished with 2-41.
Pakistan’s final over score depended on Malik who crucially fell in the 44th over, caught behind off a leg-side edge off Jasprit Bumrah.
Asif Ali smashed two sixes in his 21-ball 30 before he was bowled by leg-spinner Yuzvndra Chahal who took 2-38 in his nine overs.
Bumran finished with 2-29 in his ten overs.