‘I couldn’t see where I was going,’ says Lewis Hamilton after Austria rain masterclass

Mercedes' British driver Lewis Hamilton stears his car during the qualifying for the Formula One Styrian Grand Prix on July 11, 2020 in Spielberg, Austria. (AFP)
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Updated 11 July 2020

‘I couldn’t see where I was going,’ says Lewis Hamilton after Austria rain masterclass

  • After a disappointing practice day on Friday, the six-time world champion bounced back to his best

SPIELBERG, Austria: Lewis Hamilton said he survived some “heart in the mouth” moments on Saturday as he claimed a spectacular pole position in treacherous rain-swept conditions for Sunday’s Styrian Grand Prix.
After a disappointing practice day on Friday, the six-time world champion bounced back to his best as he outpaced nearest rival Max Verstappen of Red Bull by more than 1.2 seconds.
His dramatic demonstration of supreme skill and speed on a wet track at the Red Bull Ring increased his record total of pole positions to 89.
“Honestly, I am pleased with that,” he said.
“What a tricky day! The weather is obviously incredibly difficult out there for all of us and, a lot of the time, you cannot actually see where you are going.
“I had one big moment, on the lap before last, when I had a big aquaplane.
“I had my heart in my mouth, but I was able to improve on the last lap, nice and clean. I love these days.”
The 35-year-old Briton had struggled with set-up issues on his Mercedes in Friday’s practice sessions, but said the team had resolved them and he was confident about Sunday’s race, whatever the conditions.
“Yesterday was a difficult day,” said Hamilton.
“It started off well in FP1 and then in FP2 there was a big issue for us, but we discovered it overnight — nothing major.
“I think today would have been better for us if it had been dry, but I am grateful for the rain, like always! I love these kind of conditions.
“Tomorrow looks like a much sunnier day, but we are prepared for both conditions and that’s where I want to start.
“So, I am glad it was a trouble-free session with no mistakes. That’s always a positive.”
Hamilton’s performance enabled him to prove also that his form has not been affected by his passionate support for the global Black Lives Matter movement and the anti-racism efforts launched in Formula One.
“I don’t feel like I need to refocus,” he said this week after finishing fifth in last Sunday’s season-opening Austrian Grand Prix on the same circuit, won by his Mercedes team-mate Valtteri Bottas.
“My race was pretty strong. I need to do a better job, but I wouldn’t say I was distracted. I am focused on both — trying to fight and win this championship, but also fighting for equal rights.”
On Thursday, he said he was hoping to be able to take the knee again — as he and 13 other drivers did before last Sunday’s race — and was seeking a way to make this possible.
“If I can find a way of making sure it doesn’t get in the way of us doing our job, then I will,” he said.


England-Pakistan: ICC to use front foot no-ball tech for first time in test cricket

Updated 05 August 2020

England-Pakistan: ICC to use front foot no-ball tech for first time in test cricket

  • Responsibility to call no-balls when a bowler oversteps the mark currently lies with on-field umpires
  • Under new system TV umpire will monitor landing foot after each ball and tell umpires whether it was legal delivery

MANCHESTER: Front foot no-ball technology will be used for the first time on a trial basis in test cricket during the three-match series between England and Pakistan starting later on Wednesday, the International Cricket Council has said.
The responsibility to call no-balls when a bowler oversteps the mark currently lies with on-field umpires, but under the new system the TV umpire will monitor the landing foot after each ball and communicate to the umpires whether it was a legal delivery.
“Front foot no ball technology to be used in ICC World Test Championship series featuring England and Pakistan, with the support of both teams,” the world governing body tweeted.
“Performance of the technology in these tests will be reviewed before any decisions taken on its future use in test cricket.”
The ICC has already conducted successful trials of the technology across men’s 50-over international matches while it was also used at the women’s Twenty20 World Cup in Australia earlier this year.
However, the governing body wants to ascertain the benefits of its use in the longest format of the game before deciding whether to widen its use.
England will host Pakistan in the three-test series at bio-secure venues in Manchester and Southampton.