Tag Archives: perez

Jose Mourinho will leave Real Madrid and could be new Manchester United manager

Mourinho heading for Madrid exit and Old Trafford beckons after Fergie backing

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UPDATED:

11:35 GMT, 3 December 2012

Jose Mourinho will leave Real Madrid at the end of the season according to a report in Spanish newspaper Marca.

The Portuguese boss could succeed Sir Alex Ferguson at Old Trafford after the Manchester United manager backed him for the role.

Mourinho has come under fire from supporters this season following Madrid’s slow start to the domestic season and even came out early before his side faced Atletico Madrid to give them the chance to jeer him.

Heading for the exit: Jose Mourinho could succeed Sir Alex Ferguson at Old Trafford

Heading for the exit: Jose Mourinho could succeed Sir Alex Ferguson at Old Trafford

Break-up: Mourinho is experiencing a torrid time this season at the Bernabeu

Break-up: Mourinho is experiencing a torrid time this season at the Bernabeu

Break-up: Mourinho is experiencing a torrid time this season at the Bernabeu

Mourinho was booed by sections of the crowd in last Tuesday’s Copa del Rey defeat of Alcoyano, prompting the former Porto and Inter Milan boss to offer supporters the chance to vent their frustration by arranging to come to the side of the pitch 40 minutes before the game.

The reaction was mixed but with less than 5,000 fans inside the Bernabeu at the time, it offered little indication as to how the majority were feeling.

Madrid are 11 points behind arch-rivals Barcelona and five points behind second-placed Atletico despite Saturday night’s 2-0 defeat of their near-neighbours.

Ferguson
is a fan of Mourinho and asked if he could replace him in the Old
Trafford hot-seat, he told ITV4: 'He can manage anywhere, absolutely.

'I’m not going to put any forecasts on what is going to happen at this club.

'I won’t last forever, but Jose can manage anywhere, there is no question about that.'

It is now being speculated that Mourinho and Madrid president Florentino Perez have agreed his tenure at the club will come to an end next summer.

Under a picture of a broken heart, the Marca report claims: 'Jose Mourinho will not coach Real Madrid next season.

'Both Mou and Florentino Perez believe the Portuguese’s cycle on the bench at the Bernabeu is exhausted and that the current situation cannot continue beyond June 30.'

Marca, who are known to have strong links with Real, report Perez has become concerned by a number of incidents this season which have not cast the club in a good light.

Firstly, there was an incident with Sergio Ramos which saw the Spain defender put on Mesut Ozil’s shirt underneath his own after the German was substituted at half-time of a game against Deportivo La Coruna.

End of an era: Ferguson is approaching the end of his time at Man United

End of an era: Ferguson is approaching the end of his time at Man United

Ramos later claimed he was merely showing support for his team-mate but the move was perceived as an attempt to undermine Mourinho’s authority. Ramos was later dropped.

There was also the public spat with Alberto Toril, boss of the reserve side Real Madrid Castilla, who play in the Segunda Division.

Mourinho accused Toril of focusing too much on results rather than trying to produce young players for the first team.

And it would seem the publicity stunt prior to the Atletico game may have been the final straw.

Marca’s report added: 'Florentino believes Mourinho is “committing suicide” with his decisions and statements this season – the Ramos case, the war with Toril and checking the pulse of the Bernabeu.

'They will try to get to the end of the season in a friendly manner as Florentino does not want a crisis in the middle of the season.

Row: Mourinho and Sergio Ramos did not see eye-to-eye

Row: Mourinho and Sergio Ramos did not see eye-to-eye

'But what is certain is that the decision is taken: this will be the last season of the Mou tenure in Madrid.'

Mourinho joined Chelsea after leading Porto to a surprise Champions League triumph in 2004 and remained for three years.

He then joined Inter Milan and guided the Nerazzurri to back-to-back Serie A titles.

In addition to the Scudetto, Inter also landed the Coppa Italia and the Champions League in 2010 and in doing so became the first Italian side to win the treble.

A move to Madrid ensued and after winning the Copa del Rey in his first season in charge he ended Barca’s stranglehold on the Primera Division crown last season.

Lewis Hamilton dig from McLaren boss at Abu Dhabi Grand Prix

EXCLUSIVE: Hamilton should have won more titles! McLaren fire parting shot at Mercedes new man

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UPDATED:

22:45 GMT, 2 November 2012

Lewis Hamilton should have won more world championships with McLaren, insists team principal, Martin Whitmarsh.

The 27-year-old will end his 14-year association with the British team at the end of the season after signing a three-year contract with Mercedes.

Hamilton will join a Mercedes outfit, pointless from the last three races, with just one world title to his name.

Chilled: Hamilton walks though the pits during the first practice session of the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix

Chilled: Hamilton walks though the pits during the first practice session of the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix

And speaking ahead of the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, Whitmarsh hinted that Hamilton has underachieved in his six-season spell with McLaren.

‘Yes’, was Whitmarsh’s response when asked if Hamilton should have added to his maiden championship which he won in 2008.

‘All of us are at fault for that. We’ve still got an extraordinary record and have had some fantastic races, but between us, with Lewis and the team, we could have done a better job together than we did.’

Hamilton will be replaced by Sergio Perez at McLaren next season, but Whitmarsh has doubts over whether the young Mexican possesses the credentials to win a world title for McLaren.

Speaking exclusively to Sportsmail, Whitmarsh added: ‘He’s got something but we don’t know whether that something is enough to be groomed into a world champion. I think it might be but it is an interesting challenge.’

While Perez has caught the eye with a number of strong displays this season, he has failed to score a single point since his move to McLaren was announced in September.

On track: Hamilton, who won the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix last year, was flying during the practice sessionsOn track: Hamilton, who won the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix last year, was flying during the practice sessions

On track: Hamilton, who won the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix last year, was flying during the practice sessions

Need for speed: Hamilton was at the top of the standing during practice

Phil Duncan F1 blog

The Sauber driver crashed out in Japan attempting to overtake Hamilton, managed 11th in Korea and then retired in India after sustaining irreparable damage after a collision with Daniel Ricciardo.

Whitmarsh said he wasn’t concerned with Perez’s poor form but hinted that he’ll need to improve before joining the Woking-based outfit.

‘Since 1966, McLaren has won more than 25 per cent of the all the races in which it has competed in,’ he said.

‘That’s an added pressure to being a McLaren driver. He might think he understands it, but he doesn’t.’

After a run of disappointing results, McLaren appeared to show signs of a resurgence in Abu Dhabi.

Hamilton and Jenson Button led a McLaren one-two on Friday morning before seeing only championship leader Sebastian Vettel post a faster time in the second practice session.

Leading the way: Sebastian Vettel laid down a marker by setting the fastest time in the second practice session

Leading the way: Sebastian Vettel laid down a marker by setting the fastest time in the second practice session

Having led every lap of the last three grands prix, Vettel, who can equal Sir Jackie Stewart’s record of 27 grand prix wins from 99 races tomorrow, has opened up a crucial 13-point cushion over Fernando Alonso with just races in Abu Dhabi, Texas and Interlaogs remaining.

After a slow start, Red Bull have regained the dominant pace which saw Vettel stroll to the championship last term.

It’s led some to question whether he deserves to win this season’s title ahead of Alonso who has unearthed every single element from a below-par Ferrari en route to staking his claim to a triple world crown. But Button, 99 points adrift of the German, isn’t among them.

Making an entrance: Young British driver Max Chilton made his F1 debut at Yas Marina for Marussia during the practice session

Making an entrance: Young British driver Max Chilton made his F1 debut at Yas Marina for Marussia during the practice session

‘I don’t think people will look at him as being lucky. He is in a great car and the team are doing a fantastic job,’ he said.

‘The last few races were perfect for him and he has not put a foot wrong. He deserves it.’

Max Chilton, meanwhile, made his Formula One debut in Friday’s first practice session.

The 21-year-old Briton, who is expected to be on the grid in a full-time capacity next season, ended the session over five seconds adrift of Hamilton’s fastest time.

Abu Dhabi route

Romain Grosjean working hard to shed "first-lap nutcase" tag

Grosjean insists he's working hard to shed 'first-lap nutcase' tag after big crashes

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UPDATED:

12:39 GMT, 11 October 2012

Romain Grosjean has vowed to take a careful approach to the opening lap of Sunday's Korean Grand Prix, in order to avoid another costly accident.

The Frenchman has shown impressive speed on the occasions he has managed to keep himself out of trouble, but all too often his Lotus has been at the centre of first-lap carnage.

Grosjean, having only just returned from a one-race ban for his role in the startline pile-up at Spa, was involved in his eighth opening lap incident of the year in Japan last weekend.

Plenty to ponder: Lotus driver Romain Grosjean (right) in the paddock at the Korean International Circuit in Yeongam

Plenty to ponder: Lotus driver Romain Grosjean in the paddock at the Korean International Circuit in Yeongam

He misjudged his entry to turn two as he focused on the Sauber of Sergio Perez on his outside, and unceremoniously turfed Mark Webber onto the infield, ending the Red Bull driver's hopes of victory and denting his fading title hopes. That led Webber to dub Grosjean a 'first-lap nutcase'.

The former GP2 champion was quick to apologise to the Australian.
He said: 'Mark came to see me and I completely understand, all I could say was to apologise.

'I am working to change a lot of things, but that does not come from one day to the other.

Pushing hard: Lotus mechanics work on Grosjean's car on Thursday ahead of the Korean Grand Prix

Pushing hard: Lotus mechanics work on Grosjean's car on Thursday ahead of the Korean Grand Prix

'There is a process going on, I was
very sorry, I am not stupid and I am conscious of the risks and
hopefully this weekend it will be a different story and I won't make the
mistake of focusing on the wrong target.'

When asked how he planned to reverse his fortunes, the 26-year-old Grosjean said: 'Not having any contact on the first lap, that's clearly one of the objectives. I'd say there is work in progress and it takes a bit of time. It's a cycle as well: things have been going bad and then the more it goes bad…I'm conscious of the risk at the start.

'The Spa accident was quite impressive and I was the first to be happy that Fernando (Alonso) was not injured. I am conscious of the risk, I paid the price for my mistake. In the team we spoke quite a lot, they are not happy.

Big guns: Grosjean (top, centre) spoke at a press conference along with Fernando Alonso and Sebastian Vettel

Big guns: Grosjean (top, centre) spoke at a press conference along with Fernando Alonso and Sebastian Vettel

'I am not happy with the way we have been going through the first laps. There are 550 people working at Enstone to give us the best car and if you ruin everything in the first 110 metres it is not good.

'I am conscious of all that and will try to take as many precautions as possible to go through the first lap – and then normally in the race we are okay.'

Webber, for his part, added he had accepted Grosjean's apology for their clash at Suzuka.

He said: 'I went to see Romain, we had a discussion about it and that was that.'

Michael Schumacher still motivated to continue F1

I'm not quitting yet… Schumacher still motivated to succeed despite Mercedes snub

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UPDATED:

12:02 GMT, 2 October 2012

Michael Schumacher insists he is as ambitious as ever to succeed in Formula 1 despite facing the prospect of being without a drive next season.

It was announced last week that the 43-year-old legend will be replaced at Mercedes by Lewis Hamilton for 2013 after the Briton opted to end his 14-year association with McLaren.

Still in love: Michael Schumacher is committed to F1 despite having no drive next season

Still in love: Michael Schumacher is committed to F1 despite having no drive next season

For Schumacher, six years after retiring first time around, the exit is looming again, although there are rumours he could yet replace Sergio Perez at Sauber after the Mexican's switch to McLaren, whilst an 'upstairs' role at Mercedes is also a possibility.

Despite all the uncertainty, Schumacher insists his immediate focus is on the Japanese Grand Prix at Suzuka.

He said: 'My motivation is completely intact after the news last week, especially because Suzuka is one of the season's highlights for me.

Replaced: Schuey has seen his seat go to British driver Lewis Hamilton for 2013

Replaced: Schuey has seen his seat go to British driver Lewis Hamilton for 2013

'I enjoy the circuit – it has sections that challenge you as a driver like almost nowhere else. Then there are the fans: they love motor racing and it is fun to feel their passion.

'Logically, it would also be nice to achieve a sporting highlight this weekend, although my chances are of course very limited because of my grid penalty. But I've always approached these things as a challenge.'

Miguel Michu starts life at Swansea well

Matador Michu: Swansea's 2m new boy takes bull by the horns with fast double

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UPDATED:

21:30 GMT, 19 August 2012

Fantasy football 2012

It took Michu, Swansea City’s 2million summer buy, only eight minutes to score the first Barclays Premier League goal of the season in his side’s 5-0 thrashing of QPR.

If the first strike from his languid left foot was a little lucky, the second, eight minutes into the second half at Loftus Road, was stunning. So much for needing time to settle into English football.

Michu, whose full name is Miguel Perez Cuesta, simply carried on where he had left off last season, when he scored 15 goals from midfield in La Liga for a Rayo Vallecano team battling relegation.

Magic man: Miguel Michu celebrates the first goal of the 2012-13 season

Magic man: Swansea's Miguel Michu (right) celebrates the first goal of the 2012-13 season

M for main man: Michu set Loftus Road on fire

Marvellous: Michu set Loftus Road on fire

What they need in the window…

QPR: A central defender. Ryan Nelsen was an unused substitute on Saturday but the defensive partnership of Anton Ferdinand and Clint Hill was horribly exposed by Swansea.

Swansea: It seems silly to suggest after they won 5-0 on the opening day, but another experienced out-and-out striker wouldn’t go amiss. Scott Sinclair’s future needs sorting sooner rather than later, too.

This was the reason he caught the eye of new Swansea boss Michael Laudrup: the Dane wanted a ‘fighter’ in his side.

‘He already fits in with the mentality of the team,’ said Laudrup, ‘because they are players who are used to fighting. They don’t come from Barcelona or Real Madrid. They have come from smaller clubs. That’s the same mentality as Swansea. Sometimes you can bring in players who are good players but they need maybe six, seven or eight months to fit into the style, to the culture or the city — and we don’t have that time.’

The 26-year-old Spaniard has not yet had time to learn English — nor Welsh, for that matter — and needed Angel Rangel to translate when he spoke after the match. But he slotted into Swansea’s advanced midfield three seamlessly.

Rout: Swansea were rampant

Rout: Swansea were rampant

When Laudrup’s side were in
possession, Michu was a second striker, finding space and timing his
runs into the box to capitalise on excellent deliveries from Wayne
Routledge, who was superb on the left wing.

When Swansea lost the ball, his 6ft
1in frame slotted back into midfield. Their third goal came when Michu
blocked a poor pass from Fabio and found Routledge, who set up Nathan
Dyer.

His all-round play was excellent, but
Michu has been brought in primarily to score goals. He would not say
whether he has a target for the campaign, but his first aim is to
better the seven goals Gylfi Sigurdsson scored for Swansea on loan from
Hoffenheim in the second half of last season.

Michu said: ‘I know Gylfi was a great
player for Swansea. He is a different style of player but I hope I can
score more than him. I like the pressure but I am a team player not a
selfish player. The most important thing is to help the team.

‘To make my debut and score my first
goal for the club after eight minutes was delightful. Hopefully I can
grow even more into the team and help us get the points we need to stay
in the League.’

Blunder: Green made a bad start to life in west London

Blunder: Green made a bad start to life in west London, conceding the opening goal after eight minutes

Despite all their success under
Brendan Rodgers last season, Swansea were hardly a prolific side,
scoring just 44 goals as they finished 11th in the Premier League.

The philosophy of passing football has
been retained under Laudrup but they are more direct, with less
emphasis on possession in their own half and more freedom for the
wingers to cut inside. ‘This year the gaffer wants me to come inside
more and get into the box,’ said Dyer, who also scored Swansea’s fourth
goal before another winger, Scott Sinclair, replaced him and added a
fifth.

‘The manager reckons we’ll benefit
from the wingers playing slightly closer to the striker and personally I
agree. We can make runs and passes rather than being too far away.’

Swansea know, however, that it will
seldom be quite as easy as it was against a dismal QPR side on Saturday.
Bolton, after all, won 4-0 at Loftus Road on the opening day of last
season and were eventually relegated. But with their willingness to
adapt and players like Michu in the side, you feel Swansea will have the
strength — and the goals — to fight another day.

Big fall: QPR will be stunned by their demolition at the hands of Swansea

Big fall: Like Junior Hoilett (above), Mark Hughes's QPR will be stunned by their demolition at the hands of Swansea

Real Madrid will pay no more than 27m for Luka Modric

Real Madrid tell Spurs they will pay no more than 27m for Modric

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UPDATED:

06:43 GMT, 20 July 2012

Fantasy football 2012

Luka Modric's expected exit from Spurs could hit a stumbling block after Real Madrid president Florentino Perez said the Spanish side would pay no more than 27million for the midfielder.

The Croatian is believed to be keen to join the Spanish champions and Spurs said their star man can leave for 35m.

Not all white: Luka Modric is desperate to leave Tottenham this summer

Not all white: Luka Modric is desperate to leave Tottenham this summer

But Perez says they will meet that valuation – but in euros and not pounds – which comes out at 27.3m.

Perez said: ‘The limit for the Modric deal is 35m euros. We will not pay any more than that for him.’

Joining the stars: Real Madrid want Modric to join Jose Mourinho's squad

Joining the stars: Real Madrid want Modric to join Jose Mourinho's squad

Swansea in for Michu, like Manchetser United and Liverpool

Laudrup hopes to beat United and Liverpool to Michu after lodging 1.7m bid

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UPDATED:

21:50 GMT, 16 July 2012

Swansea have made a 1.7m bid for Rayo Vallecano’s Michu but face competition from Premier League big guns.

The midfielder was scouted by Liverpool and Manchester United this season after scoring 15 goals but Vallecano are struggling financially and need to sell.

Up for grabs: Rayo Vallecano are looking to offload Michu

Up for grabs: Rayo Vallecano are looking to offload Michu

In March Sir Alex Ferguson sent his brother, Martin, to run the rule over the 26-year-old.

Oviedo-born Michu, full name Miguel Perez Cuesta, was also watched directly by Ferguson.

Sevilla also made an offer and may loan him back.

"Crazy" Pastor Maldonado handed 10-place grid penalty in Monaco after collision with Sergio Perez

You're crazy! Maldonado given 10-place grid penalty after colliding with Perez in Monaco Grand Prix practice

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UPDATED:

12:27 GMT, 26 May 2012

Pastor Maldonado has been handed a 10-place grid penalty for tomorrow's Monaco Grand Prix following a moment of madness in final practice.

The winner of the Spanish Grand Prix on May 13 was hauled before the stewards after the hour-long session for appearing to turn in on Sergio Perez in his Sauber at Portier, the corner before the entry to the tunnel.

Going well: Pastor Maldonado was hoping to win back to back races by winning Sunday's Grand Prix in Monaco

Going well: Pastor Maldonado was hoping to win back to back races by winning Sunday's Grand Prix in Monaco

Hero to zero: Maldonado collided with Sergio Perez and later crashed into the wall

Hero to zero: Maldonado collided with Sergio Perez and later crashed into the wall

Perez immediately reported the incident to his team over the in-car radio, claiming 'Maldonado is crazy'.

The stewards sided with Perez, which means the Venezuelan has virtually no chance of back-to-back wins after his debut triumph in Barcelona and the first victory for Williams for seven and a half years.

Winched: Maldonado had to have his Williams car hoisted off the track after crashing into the wall

Winched: Maldonado had to have his Williams car hoisted off the track after crashing into the wall

Following the incident with Perez, Maldonado's session then went from bad to worse as he went on to hit a barrier on entry into Casino Square.

The impact sent him colliding into a barrier on the opposite side of the circuit, resulting in him losing his left-rear wheel and severely damaging the bodywork.

Maldonado eventually trundled down the short straight to Mirabeau where he parked up, forcing practice to be red flagged and leaving the team with a race against time to prepare the car for qualifying.

Malaysian Grand Prix 2012: No Sergio Perez conspiracy

No conspiracy over Perez, blasts Sauber after Mexican settles for second in Malaysia

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UPDATED:

16:33 GMT, 25 March 2012

Sauber team boss Peter Sauber has categorically refuted claims a conspiracy was at the heart of the Malaysian Grand Prix.

The Swiss team missed out on a historic win by just 2.263secs as rising Mexican star Sergio Perez pushed Ferrari's Fernando Alonso all the way to the line at the Sepang International Circuit.

At one stage on lap 40 Perez had closed to within 1.3secs, only for the team to not follow Ferrari's lead and bring him when the conditions demanded a change from intermediate to dry tyres.

Champagne moment: Sergio Perez celebrates finishing second in Malaysia

Champagne moment: Sergio Perez celebrates finishing second in Malaysia

Then on lap 50 Perez made an error of his own when he ran wide at turn 14 when he was poised to pass Alonso after again cutting the gap to 0.5secs.

The theory was, as Sauber are powered by Ferrari engines and Perez remains a product of the Maranello marque's young driver academy, that the 22-year-old was called to file in behind Alonso.

Fuel has been added to the fire by the fact Perez's engineer was heard over the team radio telling him 'we need the position'.

Asked about the message, Sauber said: 'He meant that we needed the result. It's a misunderstanding.

'It was because that behind us, all the midfield teams, our main competitors, scored points.

'So it was important we kept the result and not the position.'

Team effort: Perez celebrates with Sauber after the Malaysian Grand Prix

Team effort: Perez celebrates with Sauber after the Malaysian Grand Prix

Pressed on whether Perez had been told to stay behind Alonso, Sauber said: 'No. We told him “be careful we need the result”.'

Sauber was then quizzed on whether there had been any discussion with Ferrari, but he said: 'No. 100 per cent no. 100 per cent nothing.

'We had no discussion about Checo (Perez) nor the position.'

It took the gloss off what was a stunning drive from Perez as he achieved his finest result in F1 and Sauber's highest position since the 2008 Belgian Grand Prix when Nick Heidfeld was runner-up, and at a time when the team were heavily backed by BMW.

Perez proved himself in very tough conditions as the race was suspended for 51 minutes after nine laps due to heavy rain.

In high humidity the track did not start to dry out until near the end, yet Perez managed to reel in Alonso on inters and dry tyres, only to fall short.

Race is on: Perez tracked Fernando Alonso but was unable to overtake

Race is on: Perez tracked Fernando Alonso but was unable to overtake

Extolling Perez's virtues, Sauber said: 'He drove an outstanding race and rose above our expectations.

'What surprised me most was the fact he was very competitive in all conditions and with all tyres.

'Whether they were wet, intermediate or dry tyres he was always one of the fastest drivers on track, if not the fastest.'

Perez knows it was an opportunity missed as he said: 'I think I could have won it, definitely.

'I was catching Fernando toward the end of the race, but I ran wide enough to go on to the wet and I just lost control of the car, went straight and lost the fight for the victory.

'In the end second is a great result for the team. Many points.'

Perez has now scored more points than he managed in his rookie year last season, and the team have 30 overall, just 14 behind their total achievement in 2011.

Relief: Alonso celebrates with his Ferrari team after a welcome win

Relief: Alonso celebrates with his Ferrari team after a welcome win

For Ferrari, the result will lift them out of the doldrums, yet Alonso maintains the win 'changes nothing' given the relative uncompetitiveness of their car.

'The win is a big surprise because we were not competitive in Australia, nor here,' said the Spaniard.

'We are in a position we don't want, fighting to get into Q3 and then fighting to score some points.

'We want to fight for poles, victories, because after the first two races of the championship we find ourselves off the pace.'

Lewis Hamilton had to again settle for third from pole and trails Alonso in the championship by five points.

On this occasion, after being far from happy with third a week ago in his McLaren, the tune had changed as he said: 'We can be satisfied.

Podium place: Lewis Hamilton had to settle for third place in Malaysia

Podium place: Lewis Hamilton had to settle for third place in Malaysia

'We would have liked more points, but I guess I can't complain. I'm on the podium for second week in a row so I'm pretty happy.'

Winner Down Under a week ago, team-mate Jenson Button finished 14th after a collision with HRT's Narain Karthikeyan forced a front-wing change shortly after the restart.

Reigning champion Sebastian Vettel also missed out on points as he was 11th after his own clash with Karthikeyan late on that led to a left-rear puncture.

Other notable achievements saw Bruno Senna finish a career-high sixth, giving Williams eight points, three more than they scored in the whole of last season, whilst Force India's Paul di Resta was seventh.

Manchester United watch Rayo Vallecano midfielder Michu

United watching Rayo Vallecano midfielder Michu as Fergie looks for pace

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UPDATED:

22:47 GMT, 19 March 2012

Sir Alex Ferguson sent his brother, Martin, to run the rule over Rayo Vallecano midfielder Michu on Saturday.

Sportsmail revealed Premier League interest in the 25-year-old in December and the attacking midfielder has continued to impress, with 13 goals this season.

Oviedo-born Michu, full name Miguel Perez Cuesta, has also attracted interest from Liverpool but United look the most serious about making a move, with Ferguson arriving in Spain at 4pm on Saturday to watch the 3-0 win over Real Betis.

Hotshot: Rayo Vallecano midfielder Michu (left) has 13 goals this season

Hotshot: Rayo Vallecano midfielder Michu (left) has 13 goals this season

He then saw Real Madrid held 1-1 by Malaga on Sunday night.

Sir Alex is eager to inject more speed into his team and is monitoring Lille right back Mathieu Debuchy, 26.

Brazil striker Leandro Damiao is also a target.