Hamilton races to comfortable victory in Styrian Grand Prix

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Mercedes' British driver Lewis Hamilton (C), second placed Mercedes' Finnish driver Valtteri Bottas (L) and third placed Red Bull's Dutch driver Max Verstappen celebrate on the podium after the Formula One Styrian Grand Prix race on July 12, 2020 in Spielberg, Austria. (AFP / POOL / Joe Klamar)
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Mercedes' British driver Lewis Hamilton steers his car during the Formula One Styrian Grand Prix race on July 12, 2020 in Spielberg, Austria. (AFP / POOL / Joe Klamar)
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Updated 12 July 2020

Hamilton races to comfortable victory in Styrian Grand Prix

  • It was Hamilton's first win of the season and the 85th of his career
  • Mercedes teammate Bottas finishes second to lead Drivers Championship.

DUBAI: After the mayhem, came normality.

Exactly a week after a raucous Austrian Grand Prix had kicked off the shortened and much-delayed 2020 Formula 1 season, the Red Bull Ring saw reigning world champion Lewis Hamilton win the Styrian GP in far more familiar circumstances, with Valtteri Bottas in second and Max Verstappen in third joining him on the podium.

Not that there was an absence of drama at the start of the race.

Ferrari’s Sebastian Vettel and Charles Leclerc had retired after colliding on the third turn of the first lap, an echo of the chaos that had made last weekend’s Austrian Grand Prix such an unpredictable delight.

“I apologized,” Leclerc said. “Excuses are not enough at a time like this. I am very disappointed in myself, I have done a very bad job today, I let the team down. I can only be sorry, even though I know it’s not enough. I hope I can learn from this and will come back stronger for the next races. But it’s a tough time for the team. I put all the effort of the team in the bin.”




Mercedes’ British driver Lewis Hamilton  with his trophy on the podium after winning the Formula One Styrian Grand Prix race on Sunday in Spielberg, Austria. (AFP)

Yet after the safety car had come and gone, the race quickly settled into a pattern seen in so many races over the last few years.

Saturday’s qualifying rounds had taken place in horrendous wet conditions, with Verstappen in particular complaining about the awful visibility. Sunday’s conditions, on the other hand, could not have been more ideal, and with that came the expected excellence from the usual quarters.

Ten laps in, and the leaderboard had a very familiar look to it. Mercedes’s Hamilton and Bottas in first and third; Red Bull’s Verstappen and Alexander Albon in second and fourth. The same quartet would claim the top four places.

With just about a third of the race gone, Albon was trailing the leader by 27 seconds. Bottas was closing in on Verstappen, while Hamilton was maintaining a five second lead. Even at the early stage, it was a question who would finish second.

Verstappen was the first to go into the pit, dropping to third, but with the other three of the top four changing into medium tires, the order was soon restored.

With 30 of the 71 laps left, an interesting subplot was developing between the drivers in fourth and fifth, with Renault’s Australian driver Daniel Ricciardo in McLaren closing in on Albon.




Mercedes' British driver Lewis Hamilton steers his car during the Formula One Styrian Grand Prix race on July 12, 2020 in Spielberg, Austria. (AFP / POOL / Joe Klamar)

Just behind them, the twin threat of Racing Point’s Sergio Perez and Lance Stroll were having their own little battle. It was one won by the Spaniard who would go on to overtake Ricciardo on lap 29. 

Having started 17th on the grid, Perez was quickly becoming the standout story of the race, though there was little danger of him troubling the podium places.

With five laps left, the race exploded into life as Bottas overtook Verstappen, only for the Dutchman to retake second place and then lose it again within seconds.

Mercedes were now in one and two and with Red Bull in third and fourth. It was a race F1 fans had seen before.

Hamilton, after his disappointment of last week, crossed the finish line a comfortable 14 seconds ahead of Mercedes teammate Bottas, with Verstappen a further 11 seconds behind in third.

“What a fantastic job guys,” Lewis said over the radio to his team.

“Your driving wasn’t bad either,” came the reply.


Shan Masood ‘has proved himself in England’ as marathon century puts Pakistan on top

Updated 07 August 2020

Shan Masood ‘has proved himself in England’ as marathon century puts Pakistan on top

  • Masood becomes one of just six Pakistan batsmen to have scored a hundred in three consecutive Test innings
  • His Test-best 156 was the cornerstone of Pakistan’s first-innings 326 all out, with England slumping to 12-3 in reply

Manchester: Pakistan coach Misbah-ul-Haq said Shan Masood had “proved himself in England” after the opener’s superb hundred helped leave the tourists well-placed in the first Test at Old Trafford on Thursday.
Masood’s Test-best 156 was the cornerstone of Pakistan’s first-innings 326 all out, with England slumping to 12-3 in reply.
The hosts ended the second day on 92-4 — a deficit of 264 runs — with star all-rounder Ben Stokes out for a duck and England captain Joe Root falling for 14.
Masood batted for nearly eight hours in difficult conditions and in the process joined Misbah and team batting coach Younis Khan as one of just six Pakistan batsmen to have scored a hundred in three consecutive Test innings.
This century following Masood’s 135 against Sri Lanka in Karachi in December and 100 against Bangladesh in Rawalpindi in February.
Yet the 30-year-old left-hander averaged a meagre 17.75 during Pakistan’s 2016 tour of England.
Masood stood firm in Manchester even though he was twice reprieved by Jos Buttler on 45, the wicketkeeper dropping a catch and missing a stumping off spinner Dom Bess.
“It was an excellent performance by him, especially against a seam attack of (Stuart) Broad, (James) Anderson, (Chris) Woakes and (Jofra) Archer, and against an off-spinner (Bess) that was bowling well on a pitch where there was turn,” said Misbah of the English-educated Masood’s fourth hundred in 21 Tests.
“It was good application and his hard work has paid off.
“Now he has proved himself here in England, so I’m really pleased, especially as it’s not (just) a hundred, (but) a big hundred.
“Still, we would have been in trouble if he only scored a hundred. But hundred-and-fifty plus, and through the innings, that was really special.”
A good day for Pakistan got even better with Stokes clean bowled for nought by Mohammad Abbas during a slump that had the hosts three down inside six overs.
Abbas also removed opener Dom Sibley on his way to close figures of 2-24 in seven overs, with towering left-arm quick Shaheen Afridi making the initial breakthrough with just the fourth ball of the innings when Rory Burns was plumb lbw.
“I’m so happy — it’s crucial for you to take wickets with the new ball especially when the game is like this and you are playing with just 326 runs on the board,” said Misbah.
Ollie Pope was 46 not out at stumps, with Buttler unbeaten on 15.
Archer, who took 3-59, backed the fifth-wicket duo to stage a recovery.
“I rate Jos highly, he’s a very talented batter and there’s no doubt him and Popey can dig us out of a hole and put on a really big partnership and swing the momentum in our favor,” said the fast bowler.
The day started brilliantly for England when, with Thursday’s sixth ball, James Anderson had Babar Azam edging to first-slip Root for 69 without Pakistan having then added to their overnight 139.
But the resolute Masood remained and received excellent support from Shadab Khan (45) in a stand of 105 after Pakistan had been struggling at 176-5.
Pakistan managed just 48 runs for the loss of three wickets in Thursday’s first session to reach 187-5 at lunch.
But with five overs until the new ball, Root then bowled his own occasional off-breaks in tandem with Bess immediately after the interval.
Masood and Shadab responded by adding 27 in those overs as they ran England ragged.
Shadab holed out off Bess but Masood cruised through the 90s, with two late-cut fours off Broad taking him to 96 before he completed his first Test hundred against England.
Playing a textbook opener’s innings, he then upped the tempo by hoisting and driving Bess for two sixes.
Masood eventually fell lbw after tea to Broad, having faced 319 balls in an innings that also included 18 fours.