Tag Archives: amigos

Lewis Hamilton beats Mark Webber and Sebastian Vettel to pole position in Abu Dhabi Grand Prix 2012

Hamilton blitzes qualifying in Abu Dhabi, romping to pole ahead of Webber and Vettel

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UPDATED:

15:06 GMT, 3 November 2012

Lewis Hamilton proved to be untouchable in qualifying for the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix as he claimed his sixth pole position this year and 25th of his Formula One career.

The 27-year-old was fastest throughout all three sessions around the Yas Marina circuit that was bathed in warm fading sunshine when the session began and was under the floodlights when it ended as darkness set in.

Hamilton finished a third of a second
quicker than Red Bull's Mark Webber as team-mate and championship leader
Sebastian Vettel could only manage third, the first time he has failed
to make the front row of this event.

Pleased as punch: Lewis Hamilton grins like a Cheshire cat after sealing his sixth pole of the season

Pleased as punch: Lewis Hamilton grins like a Cheshire cat after sealing his sixth pole of the season

Vettel, whose car endured a brake issue
in final practice that kept him consigned to the garage for all but two
early installation laps and the final four minutes of the hour, rarely
looked comfortable during qualifying.

However, in leading Ferrari's
Fernando Alonso by 13 points in the championship standings, there are
four places between the German and the Spaniard who starts seventh.

Vettel,
however, failed to make it back to the pits, pulling his car over on
track at turn 18 after qualifying had concluded, which will be cause for
the stewards to investigate.

The three amigos: Sebastian Vettel, Hamilton and Webber pose for the media after qualifiying

The three amigos: Sebastian Vettel, Hamilton and Webber pose for the media after qualifiying

Grid positions

1 L Hamilton McLaren
2 M Webber Red Bull
3 S Vettel Red Bull
4 P Maldonado Williams
5 K Raikkonen Lotus
6 J Button McLaren
7 F Alonso Ferrari
8 N Rosberg Mercedes
9 F Massa Ferrari
10 R Grosjean Lotus

Vettel, who was ordered by engine suppliers Renault to stop the car, was unable to throw any light on the reason why.

The German's car has suffered two
alternator failures in races this season, and if an engine change is
required it will mean a 10-place grid penalty.

'I don't know why I had to stop, I was asked to stop,' said Vettel.

'It's
probably some problem, but it shouldn't be something major. It was not
ideal this morning (with the brake issue), but we were settling in this
afternoon and the pace was there.

'Overall
I wasn't entirely happy with qualifying. I should have been quicker,
but whether I had enough to beat Mark is on another sheet of paper.'

In the dark: Vettel stopped on his in-lap and could face a grid penalty

In the dark: Vettel stopped on his in-lap and could face a grid penalty

With
Vettel four places ahead of Alonso on the grid, he added: 'We have seen
so many up and down races this year. From where we start is quite good,
we're close to the front and we go from there.

'Strategy
wise we're still not 100 per cent clear, but we have to look after
ourselves, and race this guy (referring to Hamilton).'

As for Hamilton, he was unable to
explain either where his speed had come from, even though this has long
been one of his better tracks.

'I
don't know,' said Hamilton when asked. 'The car has been feeling
fantastic, great from the get go, but we've no upgrade package so I
don't know. It was just great.'

Thumbs up: Hamilton was at his uncompromising best on the track

Thumbs up: Hamilton was at his uncompromising best on the track

Behind Alonso will be Mercedes' Nico Rosberg along with Romain Grosjean in his Lotus who will start 10th.

In between Vettel and Alonso will be
Williams' Pastor Maldonado, Kimi Raikkonen in his Lotus and the second
McLaren of Jenson Button.

After the middle 15-minute session
neither Force India failed to make it into Q3 for the second straight
race as Nico Hulkenberg qualified 11th and Paul di Resta 13th, the duo
split by two tenths of a second.

Pole position: Hamilton in action

Pole position: Hamilton in action

Sandwiched
in between is Sauber's Sergio Perez, who was baulked by Williams' Bruno
Senna in Q1, leaving the Brazilian who starts 15th vulnerable to a
penalty as he faces a stewards' investigation.

A
fading Michael Schumacher, heading into retirement for a second time at
the end of the year, starts 14th for the second successive race in his
Mercedes.

Behind Senna, at present, will be
Sauber's Kamui Kobayashi and Toro Rossos of Daniel Ricciardo and
Jean-Eric Vergne, the latter failing to make it out of Q1 for the eighth
time in 18 races this season.

Hot stuff: Lotus's Kimi Raikkonen goes out for qualifying

Hot stuff: Lotus's Kimi Raikkonen goes out for qualifying

The
Frenchman, who will enjoy a second season at Toro Rosso next year along
with Ricciardo following confirmation of the drive on Thursday by the
Faenza-based squad, spun late on his final flying lap to leave him 18th.

Marussia's Charles Pic, who has been
linked with a move to Caterham, will have impressed his potential new
employers by splitting Heikki Kovalainen and Vitaly Petrov.

Pic will start 20th, with
Kovalainen and Petrov 19th and 21st, with the second Marussia of Timo
Glock 22nd, whilst the HRTs of Pedro de la Rosa and Narain Karthikeyan
occupy the back row.

Lance Armstrong hammered over doping in Tyler Hamilton book

Armstrong takes another hammering as Hamilton reveals 'secret agent' doping during Tour de France

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UPDATED:

07:54 GMT, 5 September 2012

Lance Armstrong's reputation has taken another battering with former team-mate Tyler Hamilton lifting the lid on what he claims was institutionalised doping at the US Postal Service team.

In his new book, Hamilton said Armstrong's former team was 'two years ahead of what everybody else was doing' in terms of its alleged doping activities.

And Hamilton claims Armstrong was behind 'secret agent' plans to to make sure team members could take EPO (the banned blood-boosting drug) without getting caught.

Allegations: Tyler Hamilton (left) has released his book with doping claims about Lance Armstrong

Allegations: Tyler Hamilton (left) has released his book with doping claims about Lance Armstrong

In The Secret Race: Inside the Hidden World of the Tour de France: Doping, Cover-ups and Winning at All Costs, extracts of which have been published in The Times, Hamilton says: 'We were standing in Lance’s kitchen when he lined out the plan: he would pay Philippe [Armstrong's gardner and odd-job man] to follow the Tour on his motorcycle, carrying a thermos full of EPO and a prepaid cell phone. When we needed Edgar [EPO], Philippe would zip through the Tour’s traffic and make a drop-off.

'Simple. Quick — in and out. No risk. To be discreet, Philippe would be supplying only the climbers, the ones who needed it most and would provide the biggest bang for the buck: Lance, Kevin Livingston, and me. Los Amigos del Edgar.

'From that moment on, Philippe wasn’t
Philippe the handyman any more. Lance, Kevin, and I called him Motoman.
[Livingston has never commented publicly on doping matters. He did not
respond to interview requests for the book.]

I've done nothing wrong: Armstrong has denied ever using performance-enhancing drugs in his career

I've done nothing wrong: Armstrong has denied ever using performance-enhancing drugs in his career

'Lance practically glowed when he told me about the plan — he loved this kind of MacGyver secret agent stuff. The French could search us all day long and they’d find zero. And besides, we felt sure that most of the other teams would be doing their own version of Motoman. Why wouldn’t they

'Lance had come back from cancer; he wasn’t about to sit back and hope things worked out; he was going to make it happen.'

The revelations come amid increased
scrutiny regarding drugs use in cycling, after the US Anti-Doping Agency
(USADA) decided to strip Armstrong of his
seven Tour de France titles following the Texan's announcement that he
would no longer contest doping charges.

Hamilton and Armstrong rode together from 1998 to 2001, a period that delivered three of Armstrong's Tour wins.

He also claims Armstrong was 'haunted' by fears of what other teams might be doing.

Claim: Hamilton, who has been banned twice for doping offences, has accused Armstrong in his book

Claim: Hamilton, who has been banned twice for doping offences, has accused Armstrong in his book

'It’s funny, the world always saw it as a drive that came from within Lance, but from my point of view, it came from the outside; his fear that someone else was going to outthink and outwork and outstrategise him.

'I came to think of it as Lance’s Golden Rule: Whatever you do, those other f***ers are doing more,' said Hamilton.

Armstrong has never failed a doping test, a fact frequently held up by his supporters as proof of his innocence, but Hamilton wrote: 'They weren't drug tests. They were more like discipline tests, IQ tests.

'If you were careful and paid attention, you could dope and be 99 per cent certain that you would not get caught.

'They've got their doctors, and we've got ours, and ours are better. Better paid, for sure.'

Armstrong's representatives were not immediately available for comment about the book's claims.

Armstrong has always denied using drugs throughout his career.

Euro 2012 Giovanni Trapattoni turns on Ireland players, blaming "fear and tension" for Spain humiliation

Adios amigos: Trap turns on players, blaming 'fear and tension' for Spain humiliation

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UPDATED:

23:56 GMT, 14 June 2012

Giovanni Trapattoni turned on his Republic of Ireland players after their Euro 2012 dream turned into a nightmare.

The Boys in Green already know they are coming home after their final game against Trapattoni’s native Italy on Monday having suffered their heaviest competitive defeat for 41 years against world and European champions Spain.

But rather than show sympathy for his players, who were humiliated by a team who are in Poland and Ukraine to reclaim their trophy, he lashed out at his players for freezing on the big stage.

Venting his anger: Giovanni Trapattoni shows his frustration in Gdansk as the Republic slump to their heaviest competitive defeat for 41 years

Venting his anger: Giovanni Trapattoni shows his frustration in Gdansk as the Republic slump to their heaviest competitive defeat for 41 years

Euro 2012 email button

‘I will ask the lads how on earth it is possible, after two games, we have conceded two goals in the opening three or four minutes. We made the same mistakes we made against Croatia,’ said Trapattoni, who played Robbie Keane in an unfamiliar lone-striker role before withdrawing Simon Cox at half-time.

‘Something has changed from our qualifying campaign. Fear and tension has meant that we have made mistakes we didn’t make in the qualifiers.

‘We can see the weight on the players’ shoulders, but I haven’t seen this in training and I am very sad about this.

‘Spain are like an orchestra. They involve everybody when they move the ball and their players operate at the moment like they play with their eyes closed.

Finely tunes: Spain simply tore Ireland apart

Finely tunes: Spain simply tore Ireland apart

‘I need to think about the Irish team. I have to think about how disappointed our players are and the Irish people, who deserve a lot of respect,’ said the Italian, who may have to plan without goalkeeper Shay Given, who is thought to be considering his international future after one of the most harrowing nights of his career.

Trapattoni added: ‘We came here with confidence and enthusiasm, they cheered us when we were behind and the players mustn’t forget this.

Gutted: Shay given shows the strain

Gutted: Shay given shows the strain

‘We have to approach the game with Italy and make sure that Ireland finishes the game with our heads held high. If Italy goes through, it has to be because they played well and with the right attitude.’

Trapattoni, who refused to comment on Cox’s selection, said: ‘I’ve always had faith and confidence in our attitude. It has always got us good results.’

Stunning strike: Fernando Torres opens the scoring

Stunning strike: Fernando Torres opens the scoring

After Fernando Torres opened the scoring after four minutes it was inevitable Spain would win. They had won their previous 58 matches after scoring the opening goal.

He opened his account for the competition with a lethal double, beating Given with two stunning finishes to back manager Vicente del Bosque’s decision to pick him ahead of Cesc Fabregas, who scored Spain’s fourth. The third goal was nearly walked in by David Silva.

Unfavourable odds: But David Silva slotted home despite the attentions of Stephen Ward, Sean St Ledger and Richard Dunne

Unfavourable odds: But David Silva slotted home despite the attentions of Stephen Ward, Sean St Ledger and Richard Dunne

The defeat was Ireland’s worst since
they lost a Euro qualifier 6-0 to Austria in 1971 and it could have been
worse but for Given.

Torres
said: ‘We knew we needed to win this game and from the first minute we
showed character and determination to win the game. It was a great
performance and we are on our way to qualify and we know we need at
least one point against Croatia now.

Through thick and thin: Ireland players salute their magnificent fans after the final whistle

Through thick and thin: Ireland players salute their magnificent fans after the final whistle

Del Bosque was full of praise for the Irish fans, saying: ‘It was exemplary and great behaviour from the Irish fans. Everyone in football, we suspect, will respect and they are a great example for everyone in the game.’

But Roy Keane was dismissive of the team and the supporters. He said: ‘I think we need to change the attitude towards the team. Sure, we are only a small country and have limited resources. But let’s not just be going there for the sing-song,’ said the UTV pundit.