Warner begins Ashes war of words with ‘hate’ jibe

Australia opener David Warner has said his side’s hatred of England will help them win back the Ashes. (Reuters)
Updated 16 October 2017
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Warner begins Ashes war of words with ‘hate’ jibe

SYDNEY: David Warner has fired the first verbal volley of this winter’s much-anticipated Ashes Test series, saying the Aussies will use their “hatred” of England to help them reclaim the urn.
The first ball will not be bowled for another five weeks, but such is the rivalry between the two teams that hostilities usually break out early. And this time it is Warner who has bowled the first bouncer, describing the historic series as “war” and revealing his plans to get under the skin of the England players.
“As soon as you step on that line it’s war,” the opening batsman said.
“You try and get into a battle as quick as you can. I try and look in the opposition’s eye and try and work out ‘how can I dislike this player, how can I get on top of him?’
“You’ve really got to find that spark in yourself to really take it to the opposition.
“You have to delve and dig deep into yourself to actually get some hatred about them to actually get up when you’re out there. History is a big part in this and that is what carries us onto the ground.”
Warner is no stranger to dishing out pointed comments. While the 30 year old has mellowed in recent years he is still remembered for punching current England captain Joe Root before the 2013 Ashes clash and for comments made about Jonathan Trott during the series that followed in Australia later than year. He described the England batsman’s innings in Brisbane as “poor and weak” — just a few days later Trott left the tour suffering from a stress-related illness.
This time around, though, Warner insisted he will be more subtle in trying to annoy the English.
“Four years ago, during that first Test I made some statements in the media and at the time I thought it was a great thing to come out and speak what I said,” he said.
“I have no regrets about that and I think that could have played a little bit of a role in the back of their minds.
“At the moment I’m not going to put any vibes out there or get into a verbal (battle). But come day one when we walk out there, there will definitely be some words exchanged. But I think the subtle approach these days is how it is and how it goes.”


Felipe Massa ready for Formula E challenge around the streets of Riyadh

Updated 25 September 2018
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Felipe Massa ready for Formula E challenge around the streets of Riyadh

  • Not only will the December date mark the Kingdom’s entry into Formula E, but it will also mark Massa’s debut
  • Massa called the Formula E vehicles “the car of the next generation”

Noor Nugali Riyadh: Felipe Massa cannot wait to get behind the wheel of a Formula E car and jumpstart his new career when the spectacle of speed storms into Riyadh for the season opener on Dec. 15.
The Saudi Arabia capital was named as the newest stopping point for the sport in May, with it being the first race of a 13-race season, which sees the electric-powered cars tackle street circuits across the globe.
Not only will the December date mark the Kingdom’s entry into Formula E, but it will also mark Massa’s debut, having left the Formula One paddock for the growing sport. And the 37-year-old told Arab News he is excited about the prospect of tackling the streets of Ad Diriyah, the oldest part of the capital, in one of the electrically powered speed machines.
“I am ready for the race. It’s a fantastic feeling driving around the city, the town, it’s historical. It will be a big event,” Massa said at press conference to announce Saudi Arabian Airlines’ new long-term partnership as official airline partner of the all-electric series.
“I’m really happy to be a part of this new challenge for my career. In a new place and country, it’s motivating.”
Having won 11 Grands Prix during an illustrious career in F1, during which time he raced for Ferrari, some might think Massa would not be daunted by the move to Formula E. The Brazilian, however, is taking nothing for granted.
“It’s a big challenge for me to change categories, to Formula E,” he said, having got a chance to put some early practice in as he took a Gen2 car around the streets of the capital.
“Learning everything is a challenge. It’s different cars, different tracks and a different way of driving. I need to learn and grow to understand but I like new challenges.”
Massa called the Formula E vehicles “the car of the next generation” and it is hoped that the Ad Diriyah race helps the changing face of Saudi Arabia by inspiring more women to get behind the wheel in the Kingdom — something not lost on Massa.
“I heard that women are driving (in Saudi Arabia) now and that’s fantastic — hopefully in the future there will female racers,” he said.
“We are racing in a country (whose main export is oil), and we are racing with electric cars. I think it shows that this country wants to change its mentality and its thinking of the future. It’s really positive and I’m so happy to be a part of this.”
Thanks to the Bahrain and Abu Dhabi Grands Prix, the Middle East has long been associated with motorsport, and it is well known that the region is awash with petrolheads. The Riyadh Formula E race, however, will be international motorsport’s first move into Saudi Arabia.
But rather than look to bring F1 to the country his Abdul Aziz Bin Turki Al-Faisal, vice-chair of the General Sports Authority, revealed that Formula E was the only format they wanted to see in the capital.
“This is a truly game-changing moment for Saudi Arabia and one that we can share with the world,” he said. “It is very fitting that the such a futuristic and sustainable sport as Formula E is pointing to the future direction of our country.
“Saudi Arabia is home to literally millions of passionate young fans of motorsport, many of whom simply cannot believe that Felipe Massa took the Gen2 car around the streets of the capital today and that they now have a ‘home race’ on the Formula E calendar. So already the excitement is building, especially since we’re adding live music concerts to the weekend line-up.”
The track Massa and Co. will be tackling this December was revealed at the press conference. At 1.76 miles long, the first road circuit in the Middle East features 21 corners, a number of which are long flowing ones taken at high speed. It is hoped that the race will get both Saudi Arabia’s entry to the sport and the season itself off to a spectacular start, and in doing so inspire a new generation of speed demons.
Prince Khalid bin Sultan Al-Faisal Al-Saud, president of the Saudi Arabian Motor Federation, said: “Something we haven’t announced yet, is that there will be a support race for Formula E.
“It’s the Jaguar I-Pace trophy, it will race around the world with the Formula E circuit.
“Saudi Arabia will participate in that championship as a national team with two Saudi Arabian drivers and we will announce the names soon.”