London: Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc recorded the fastest lap in Formula One’s pre-season testing to top the lunchtime timesheets at the Circuit de Catalunya.
The young Monegasque’s best time of one minute 16.231 seconds on a sunny morning with ambient temperatures of 21 degrees celsius was set on the softest, and fastest, C5 compound tyres.
The lap was close to the 2018 Spanish Grand Prix pole time of 1:16.173 set by Lewis Hamilton for Mercedes, and came as a boost for Ferrari after Sebastian Vettel had crashed on Wednesday.
Hamilton’s team mate Valtteri Bottas reiterated the view he expressed last week that Ferrari are still ahead of both Mercedes and Red Bull.
“The whole field looks like it’s a bit tighter than last year or the year before, but it’s only guessing,” added the Finn. “You never know what people bring to Melbourne.”
The season-opening race in Australia is on March 17.
Anglo-Thai driver Alexander Albon of Toro Rosso was second fastest on the penultimate day with a lap of 1:16.882, also on C5 tyres, with McLaren’s Lando Norris third in 1:16.882.
But Norris’s team mate Carlos Sainz, who went quickest on Wednesday, played down the times.
“This is just testing and we are just doing more qualifying-based runs so we can see what you can do with the car. I guess we need to wait and see what the others can do on those runs,” said the Spaniard.
Hamilton, who will be chasing a sixth title this year with Mercedes going for a sixth successive championship double, did more laps than anyone before lunch (85) but was eighth fastest on the hard C2 tyre as he focused mainly on long runs.
Leclerc did 54 laps, Norris 66 and Albon 75.
Rasikh Salam banned for two years for submitting faulty birth certificate
Mumbai Indians and Jammu and Kashmir pacer Rasikh Salam has been handed a two-year ban by the BCCI after he was found to have submitted a faulty birth certificate to the board.
Subsequently, he has been removed from the under-19 squad that will travel to England to play in a tri-series and has been replaced by Prabhat Maurya.
Salam, a pacer from J&K, made news when he debuted for Mumbai Indians in this Indian Premier League. He was the third player from Jammu & Kashmir to get an IPL contract – after Parvez Rasool and Manzoor Dar – and only the second after Rasool to get into the playing XI. He hails from Ashmuji village in southern part of Kashmir, which is often said to be affected by curfew and power cuts. Mumbai Indians picked him for his base price of INR 20 lakh.
Earlier this week, IANS had reported that Salam could be in trouble for age fraud after the Jammu and Kashmir State Board of School Education informed JKCA that the age Salam gave the board doesn’t match the records they posses.
JKCA and the BCCI soon got involved in the matter and a two year ban was deemed appropriate.
Dhoni could be ‘exposed’ by Yuvraj’s dad after World Cup
Mumbai: Father of recently retired former Indian all-rounder Yuvraj Singh, Yograj has struck again, and all the signs point toward former captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni.
While the cricketer is busy preparing for India’s next clash against Pakistan on Sunday after rain played spoilsport on the much-hyped India-New Zealand clash, a recent video of Yograj has surfaced where he speaks about an ‘un-named’ player who is responsible for the ‘dirty politics’ in the Indian cricket team.
Yograj further goes on to state that this player is the reason that many players like Gautam Gambhir, Virender Sehwag, VVS Laxman, and his own son Yuvraj Singh were not included in the Indian team at crucial points in time.
While Yograj didn’t reveal much about the player he talks about, he did mention that he’d make the complete revelations after the currently ongoing 2019 ICC Cricket World Cup. Based on earlier allegations by Yograj, who was also a former pace bowler, towards then Indian skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni, It seems pretty evident that he is speaking of ‘Captain Cool’.
“I don’t want to take his name but he has been playing these dirty politics from the last 15 years. He has made lives difficult for Indian cricketers. I will make this revelation after the World Cup gets over. He will remember this for life that someone said something about him,” said Yograj.
“I don’t want to speak about him at this point in time because I don’t want the team to get affected during the World Cup,” he added.
FIFA Rankings: India unmoved at 101
London: The Indian national team remain unmoved in the June 2019 edition of the FIFA Rankings released.
Following India’s exit from the 2019 AFC (Asian Football Confederation) Asian Cup, India have had a change in coach with Igor Stimac replacing Stephen Constantine.
Under Stimac, India recently participated in the King’s Cup 2019 in Thailand where a 3-1 defeat against Curacao (79) was backed by a 1-0 win over hosts Thailand (116) in the third-place play-off.
GFX India FIFA Rankings June 2019
The Blue Tigers are set to face Tajikistan (120), DPR Korea (122) and Syria (85) in the upcoming Intercontinental Cup 2019 next. India enter the tournament as defending champions.
Meanwhile, in the global standings, Belgium continue to lead at the top having bettered their advantage over second-placed France who also stay put in their position, the same as Brazil and England at third and fourth spots respectively.
2019 UEFA Nations League champions Portugal have displaced Croatia to stand fifth while Spain (7) has gained two places. Germany (11 – tied with Argentina), Italy and Netherlands (both at 14) have also moved two places up.