Lewis Hamilton wins Spanish GP for 88th career victory in F1

Winner Mercedes' Lewis Hamilton celebrates on the podium Pool. (Reuters)
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Updated 16 August 2020

Lewis Hamilton wins Spanish GP for 88th career victory in F1

  • The latest win extends the British driver's championship lead to 37 points clear
  • Hamilton is fast approaching F1-great Schumacher's record

MONTMELO: Lewis Hamilton had no problems with his tires this time as he coasted to victory at the Spanish Grand Prix on Sunday, extending his championship lead to 37 points and clinching an 88th career victory to move within three of Michael Schumacher’s Formula One record.
The talk before the race was whether Mercedes’ tires would be vulnerable in the searing summer heat of Spain, after experiencing problems in the last two races at Silverstone. But there were no such issues as Hamilton finished a sizable 24 seconds ahead of Max Verstappen — who has eight podiums in the past nine races stretching back to last season.
“I was just in a daze out there. I felt really good … I didn’t even know it was the last lap I was so zoned in,” a jubilant Hamilton said. “It was a surprise because we had that problem with the tires last weekend, but we seem to have understood it.”
Valtteri Bottas placed third to fall six points behind second-place Verstappen in the standings.
The winding 4.7-kilometer ( 2.9-mile) Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya, with its combination of slow and fast corners, is one of the hardest for overtaking.
After narrowly securing a record-extending 92nd career pole position Hamilton made a strong start on the long straight to the first corner. But Bottas was overtaken by Verstappen and the Racing Point of Lance Stroll — who jumped from fifth to third with a fine move on Bottas’ right flank.
Track temperatures on the circuit were around 50 degrees C (122 F) and Mercedes was concerned about catching too much sun.
“These black overalls are hot,” Bottas said during the race, throwing in an expletive for emphasis.
It was another miserable day for struggling Ferrari, with Sebastian Vettel seventh and Charles Leclerc abandoning after his engine cut out on track.
“I don’t know why the car switched off completely,” Leclerc said.
He crawled into the pits but the mechanics seemed at a loss to figure out what was wrong and his race was over on lap 41.
Had he stayed out on track, he would likely have been lapped by Hamilton just as Vettel was.
Hamilton set the pace with a confident start.
While he and Verstappen swapped fastest lap times, Bottas was stuck behind Stroll for four laps.
It was Verstappen — and not Hamilton or Bottas — who was complaining about his rear tires at this point and by lap 20 of 66 he said there was “nothing left” in them.
The ice-cool Dutchman was getting flustered.
“Do you want me to repeat it again?” he shouted moments later on his radio, using an expletive. “I’m losing so much time.”
Finally, his team brought him in for new tires on lap 22, by which time he was nearly 10 seconds behind Hamilton and only just ahead of Bottas.
Hamilton and Bottas pitted for new tires on the next lap. But a blip attaching the rear lift cost Hamilton two seconds and he emerged about four seconds clear of Verstappen, who told off his engineer for talking too much about Mercedes.
“Let’s focus on our race first,” he snapped.
Verstappen was given a brief glimmer of hope as Hamilton’s tire was showing signs of blistering only six laps after being fitted.
But Hamilton was soon pulling away again.
After Hamilton made his second change he was about 10 seconds ahead of Verstappen with 15 laps left and the gap kept growing.
Racing Point’s Sergio Perez, who missed the last two races as he recovered from the coronavirus, finished in fourth place ahead of Stroll with McLaren’s Carlos Sainz Jr. in sixth.
Vettel is having his worst start since 2008 but drove very well with just the one tire stop.
It proved the right choice but came after a tense exchange between Vettel and his race engineer.
“What do you think about going to the end on these tires?” his engineer asked.
After barking out an expletive, Vettel replied: “I asked you this before!”
Minutes earlier, Vettel had asked his team whether they thought he could go to the end on the same tires — and got no response.
His final season with Ferrari could prove to be long and arduous while Hamilton is odds-on to end it with a seventh title to equal Schumacher — Vettel’s childhood hero.

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Postponed Tokyo Olympics to cost extra $2.4bn

Updated 12 min 9 sec ago

Postponed Tokyo Olympics to cost extra $2.4bn

  • The extra costs come as officials work to build enthusiasm for the first Games postponed in peacetime,
  • Tokyo 2020 said an additional $1.5 billion would be needed for operational costs related to the delay

TOKYO: The coronavirus-delayed Tokyo Olympics will cost at least an extra $2.4 billion, organizers said Friday, with the unprecedented postponement and a raft of pandemic health measures ballooning an already outsized budget.
The extra costs come as officials work to build enthusiasm for the first Games postponed in peacetime, insisting the massive event can go ahead next year even if the pandemic is not under control.
But more spending, on top of the previous budget of about $13 billion, could further harden public opinion in Japan, where polls this year showed a majority of people think the Games should be postponed again or canceled together.
“Whether it’s seen as too much or that we have done well to contain the costs, I think it depends on how you look at it,” Tokyo 2020 CEO Toshiro Muto told reporters.
“We have done all we can to earn the public’s understanding,” he added.
Tokyo 2020 said an additional $1.5 billion would be needed for operational costs related to the delay, with another $900 million in spending on coronavirus countermeasures.
The dollar figures are calculated at an exchange rate of 107 yen, and the total is around $2.56 billion at today’s rate. The costs look set to rise further, with Tokyo 2020 saying it would also release an additional $250 million in “contingency” funds.

The new spending swells a budget that was set last year at around $13 billion, and will add to disquiet about the cost of the Games after an audit report last year argued the national government was spending significantly more than originally planned.
The extra costs will be split between Tokyo, the organizing committee and the national government. The International Olympic Committee will not be chipping in, but has agreed to waive its sponsor royalty fee for the first time, organizers said.
The unprecedented decision to delay the Games has thrown up a plethora of extra costs, from rebooking venues and transport to retaining the huge organizing committee staff.
And with organizers committed to hosting the Games even if the pandemic remains a threat, extensive safety measures will be needed.
Tokyo 2020 this week released a 54-page plan they said would make it possible to hold the Games, including restrictions on athletes touching and fans cheering, and an infection control center in the Olympic Village.
Organizers have tried to scale back elements of the Games, offering fewer free tickets, scrapping athlete welcome ceremonies and making savings on mascots, banners and meals, but so far they have cut just $280 million in spending.
And on Thursday, they said 18 percent of Olympic tickets sold in Japan will be refunded, with domestic fans demanding their money back on about 810,000 of the 4.45 million tickets sold in the country.


Organizers hope to now resell those tickets, and demand for seats at the Games was high before the pandemic.
But enthusiasm has since waned, with a poll in July revealing that just one in four people wanted to see the event held in 2021, and most backing either further delay or cancelation.
Tokyo 2020 President Yoshiro Mori said the spending plan was carefully considered and he hoped people would accept it.
“If you have a drink, you could say your glass is half-full, or half empty. It depends on how you look at it,” he told reporters.
“There’s a rationale behind this plan. I hope the Japanese people will understand it.”
Tokyo 2020’s final price tag has been hotly disputed, with an audit report last year estimating the national government spent nearly 10 times its original budget between 2013-2018.
Organizers countered that the estimate included items not directly related to the Games.