Formula One: Red Bulls’ Verstappen sets pace in rain-hit Malaysia practice

Red Bull’s Dutch driver Max Verstappen powers his car during the first practice session of the Formula One Malaysia Grand Prix in Sepang on September 29. (AFP)
Updated 29 September 2017

Formula One: Red Bulls’ Verstappen sets pace in rain-hit Malaysia practice

SEPANG, Malaysia: The Red Bulls of Max Verstappen and Daniel Ricciardo set the early pace as the first practice session for the Malaysian Grand Prix was cut short by heavy rain on Friday.
After the first 30 minutes were lost because of a flooded track, lap times tumbled toward the end of the truncated, hour-long session as the track dried and drivers switched to intermediate tires.
Verstappen managed just 11 laps in the session but his best at 1-minute 48.962 seconds was 0.757-second quicker than Ricciardo.
Fernando Alonso left it till the last few minutes in his McLaren, adorned with a test halo driver protection system, to set some fast laps.
It proved an astute decision as the final of his six completed laps propelled him up to third, but still two seconds adrift of Verstappen as the Red Bulls proved untouchable in the conditions.
Championship leader Lewis Hamilton did not bother to leave the shelter of the Mercedes garage until 30 minutes from the end of the session, and could only set the sixth fastest time.
His 1:51.518 on the last of his eight timed laps of the 5.54-kilometer Sepang International Circuit was three seconds behind the leading Red Bull and eclipsed by both Ferraris.
Hamilton’s championship rival Sebastian Vettel was fifth quickest in 1:51.009, four-tenths slower than Ferrari team-mate Kimi Raikkonen, who enjoyed his maiden grand prix win at the Malaysian track back in 2003.
Rookie French driver Pierre Gasly stayed out longest in the trying conditions on his Formula One debut.
The 21-year-old completed 14 laps in his Toro Rosso — more than any other driver in the session — with the best of 1:52.380 good enough for an impressive ninth place on the timing sheets.


Lewandowski scores 30th goal of season as Bayern close on title

Updated 07 June 2020

Lewandowski scores 30th goal of season as Bayern close on title

  • Bayern struck twice in quick succession just before half-time to turn the game in their favor

BERLIN: Robert Lewandowski scored his 30th league goal of the season on Saturday as Bayern Munich came from behind to claim a 4-2 victory at Bayer Leverkusen and move a step closer to the Bundesliga title.

After Lucas Alario secured an early lead for the home side, Bayern struck twice in quick succession just before half-time to turn the game in their favor after Kingsley Coman’s equalizer.

Lewandowski netted in the second half as Bayern established a 10-point lead over title rivals Borussia Dortmund, who host Hertha Berlin later on Saturday.

The game also saw Bayern lend their support to protests over the death of black American man George Floyd, with all their players wearing armbands bearing the slogan “Black Lives Matter.”

With their talisman and Bayern transfer target Kai Havertz ruled out with a muscle injury, Leverkusen turned to Alario to lead the line against the champions.

The Argentine delivered after just 9 minutes, beating the offside trap after a throw-in to slot the ball past Manuel Neuer.

A mistake from Moussa Diaby allowed Coman to curl in the equalizer, before a fizzing shot from Leon Goretzka and an elegant lob from Serge Gnabry saw Bayern take a 2-goal lead before half-time.

Lewandowski finished the job with a well-placed header after the break, reaching the 30-goal mark for only the second time in his Bundesliga career, but there was still time for 17-year-old Florian Wirtz to curl in a consolation goal for Leverkusen before the final whistle.

Elsewhere, a late equalizer from Christian Strohdiek gave bottom-of-the-table Paderborn a faint glimmer of hope in the race for survival, as they snatched a 1-1 draw away to RB Leipzig.

Chelsea-bound Leipzig striker Timo Werner set up Patrik Schick on 27 minutes to give Leipzig the lead, but they were forced to defend it with 10 men after Dayot Upamecano was booked twice in the first half.

Strohdiek’s last-minute strike gave Paderborn their fourth draw in five games, though Steffen Baumgart’s side remain 8 points off Fortuna Duesseldorf who occupy the relegation playoff place.

Duesseldorf themselves missed the chance to move toward safety, as they battled to a dramatic 2-2 draw against 10-man Hoffenheim.

A headed opener from Rouwen Hennings and a red card for Hoffenheim’s Benjamin Huebner put the home side in pole position, but the visitors struck back with goals from Munas Dabbur and Steven Zuber before Hennings saved a point with a late penalty.

Uwe Roesler’s side remain 3 points adrift of survival, after goals from Moussa Niakhate and Pierre Kunde Malong gave fellow strugglers Mainz a rare 2-0 win over local rivals Eintracht Frankfurt.