Formula One: Hamilton romps to pole in Japan

Mercedes' British driver Lewis Hamilton celebrates taking pole position in the qualifying session of the Formula One Japanese Grand Prix at Suzuka. (AFP)
Updated 07 October 2017
0

Formula One: Hamilton romps to pole in Japan

SUZUKA, Japan: Lewis Hamilton struck a huge psychological blow in the Formula One title race Saturday with a sizzling qualifying drive to take pole position for the Japanese Grand Prix.
The Briton, who leads Ferrari’s Sebastian Vettel by 34 points with five races left, steered his Mercedes to a track record of one minute, 27.319 seconds with Valtteri Bottas second fastest.
However, Vettel will join Hamilton on the front row after Bottas incurred a five-place grid penalty for a gearbox change on Friday.
“The car is crazy here,” said Hamilton after his 71st career pole, and first at Suzuka.
“Every lap was fantastic. I’m running out of opportunities to get this pole so I made sure I made it stick today.”
A three-time race winner in Japan, Hamilton’s dominant qualifying performance dented Vettel’s fading title hopes after the German set the early pace in Friday’s rain-hit practice.
“I tried everything on that last lap as I knew I had to take a bit more risks,” said the German.
“I knew that we’d be on front row because of Valtteri’s penalty so I’m pretty happy.”
Red Bull’s Daniel Ricciardo was fourth fastest, ahead of team mate Max Verstappen, who won in Malaysia last week.
Ferrari’s Kimi Raikkonen qualified sixth quickest, but will also be demoted five places after switching his gearbox following a shunt in Saturday’s practice.


Late stunner from Toni Kroos gives Germany vital win over Sweden

Updated 24 June 2018
0

Late stunner from Toni Kroos gives Germany vital win over Sweden

  • Kroos curled a right-foot shot from the left edge of the area inside the far post after a set piece
  • Germany needed at least a draw to stay in contention in Group F

SOCHI: Toni Kroos has revived Germany's World Cup hopes with a superb late strike in the fifth minute of stoppage time to seal a 2-1 win for the defending champions over Sweden.
Kroos curled a right-foot shot from the left edge of the area inside the far post after a set piece, with Germany down to 10 men. He tapped the ball to Marco Reus from the free kick and then launched his strike into the top corner.
Germany needed at least a draw to stay in contention in Group F after opening with a loss to Mexico. It is now second in the group, three points behind Mexico and level with Sweden. Mexico had a 2-1 victory over winless South Korea 2-1 earlier Saturday.
Sweden opened the scoring with Ola Toivonen in the first half after a counterattack that started with a passing mistake by Kroos' near midfield.
Reus equalized three minutes into the second half with a shot from inside the area after a pass by Timo Werner.
Germany played the final minutes with 10 men as Jerome Boateng was sent off for a second yellow card for a hard challenge on Marcus Berg.
Halftime substitute Mario Gomez had one of the best chances for Germany with a close-range header in the 88th that was saved by goalkeeper Robin Olsen.