‘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.


Mohamed Salah sure Liverpool can handle the pressure of Premier League title tilt

Updated 22 February 2019
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Mohamed Salah sure Liverpool can handle the pressure of Premier League title tilt

  • Reds face Manchester United on Sunday in crouch clash.
  • Egyptian ace says Reds will embrace the pressure as they g in each of first top-flight title since 1990.

LONDON: Mohamed Salah is in no doubt Liverpool can handle the pressure of the title run in, ahead of their crunch clash against arch-rivals Manchester United.
The Reds lie second in the Premier League table to Manchester City on goal difference, though with a game in hand. It was barely a month ago that they enjoyed a seven-point lead over the Abu Dhabi-owed club, but draws against Leicester and West Ham raised fears that Liverpool were starting to feel the strain of bidding for a first top-flight title since 1990.
But Salah has sought to put fans’ fears at ease, claiming the Reds are ready to embrace the pressure, starting at Anfield against familiar foe United.
“I said in November that there is pressure and it will be there until the end of the season, because when you play for the Premier League you have to accept that there is pressure,” Salah told Sky Sports.
“When you go home you can take it with you, but it can help you to work harder and focus on your game.
“At the end of the day you have a target in your mind, you have a dream, you want to win the Premier League. I even said that two years ago when I came — it is a dream to win the Premier League.”
Added to the pressure of trying to win the title is the fact that a clash against Manchester United is like nothing else the Reds come up against all season. The two teams are arch-rivals and Salah is only too aware that their North West neighbors would like nothing more than to ruin the Reds’ title charge.
The United encounter is the first of three tough fixtures in a week for Liverpool, with a midweek clash with Watford and the Merseyside derby at Goodison Park on Sunday to come — a run of games that is not lost on Salah.
“It is a very big week for us,” Salah said. “And if we win three games and are top of the table, that is huge for us. When you have three games in a week or ten days, you just need to win, win, win, then after that you have time to think.
“Even when we are not top of the league, I know how much United want to win against Liverpool and Everton the same. For me it is not a big deal. We just need to do what we have been doing for the last couple of months.”