Bayern Munich sweat over Ulreich injury

Bayern’s Robert Lewandowski , left, celebrates with team mates after scoring his side’s opening goal during the German Soccer Bundesliga match between FC Bayern Munich and 1.FC Cologne in Munich, Germany. Goals are keeping the Bundesliga exciting even if the title race has a familiar feel with Bayern Munich racing away at the halfway stage. (AP/Matthias Schrader, file)
Updated 03 January 2018
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Bayern Munich sweat over Ulreich injury

Berlin: Bayern Munich are waiting to find out the extent of an injury suffered by goalkeeper Sven Ulreich in training on Wednesday.
Ulreich appeared to hurt his right hand during a session in Qatar, where Bayern are currently enjoying a warm-weather training camp during the Bundesliga’s winter break.
He was taken back to the team hotel on a golf buggy, AFP subsidiary SID reported from Doha. Bayern did not reveal the extent of the injury.
Ulreich has been standing in for the injured Manuel Neuer, and Bayern may therefore need to call on their 36-year-old third choice Tom Starke, who has already played twice this season.
Neuer is recovering from a foot fracture but is walking without crutches again. He stayed in Bavaria along with Thiago Alcantara, who has been out with a muscle tear.
Bayern have made a habit of heading to Qatar for a mid-season break in recent years. They are due to play a friendly against local side Al Ahli on Saturday before returning to Munich on Sunday.
Coach Jupp Heynckes also has Robert Lewandowski (knee) and Mats Hummels (adductor) in the treatment room just now.
However, the arrival of striker Sandro Wagner from Hoffenheim means there may be no need to rush Lewandowski back.
Bayern, who are 11 points clear of Schalke at the top of the table, return to action on Friday, January 12, with a trip to Bayer Leverkusen.


‘Not impossible’ that Formula E will overtake F1, says Felipe Massa ahead of Ad Diriyah race

Updated 15 December 2018
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‘Not impossible’ that Formula E will overtake F1, says Felipe Massa ahead of Ad Diriyah race

LONDON: Felipe Massa has acknowledged the possibility of Formula E becoming more popular than its more illustrious rival Formula One, ahead of his debut at the Ad Diriyah E-Prix in Saudi Arabia today.
The Brazilian ace swapped the roaring engines of F1 for the blistering battery power of Formula E this season, and told Arab News that the idea was not “impossible.”
“On overtaking, Formula 1, that’s a difficult question to answer. But what can I say, is that it’s not impossible. We just need to wait and see how things go, (whether) it is ‘when’ or ‘if,’ but it’s definitely not impossible,” he said.
“Formula E and electric cars are becoming ever-more present, but it will definitely be the future, even in the short-term future.
“It (the technology) has already arrived in some countries and will in other countries, too, it is the future. I think Formula E has used that mentality, even five years ago to build this (motorsport) category,” he added.
Massa, who raced for 15 seasons in Formula One and won 11 grands prix, was also positive about the potential of Formula E as it continues to expand after its inception in 2011 and inaugural season in 2014.
“It will take a little bit of time, it’s not easy to get things perfect straight away, but look at the past two years and how much the championship is growing.
“When I say growing, it’s not just with the quality of the drivers, but also with manufacturers’ teams and companies, who are really getting behind the sport.
“Look how many companies they are signing on as sponsors, on many different levels, even companies that sell fuel,” he said.
“We are even racing (this weekend) in a country known as an oil country. So, I think this shows how much this championship is growing.”
Massa also agreed with comments made by F1 director Ross Brawn, who recently said that the highest level of motorsport had become too predictable.
“Only certain racers can win in Formula One, but Formula E is unpredictable and a good example (of that) is that the winners in all past seasons have been different drivers,” he told Arab News.
The affable driver said he is relishing the new challenge that Formula E will pose to his skills and abilities, adding that with the exception of certain parts of the Monaco and Mexico circuits, each track will be new to him.
“I like a challenge, there is a lot to learn and a lot to test myself with and learning the car, working with the team,” he said.
“Even though I’m experienced in motorsport, with my 16 years in Formula One, this is a new test and I will have to start from zero.”
Meanwhile, defending Formula E champion Jean-Eric Vergne said hearing the words “world champion” after his name was “still cool.”
When asked about the challenge from teammate Andre Lotterer on the other side of the Techeetah garage, the Frenchman was full of praise for the German driver.
“He is absolutely one of the most talented drivers, and I expect him to be on the same level as I am and, for sure, it’s going to be a nice competition between us.
“It will be good for the team, as that will push everybody, and that is what we want as a team.”
The former F1 driver was complimentary about Formula E’s new “attack mode,” but voiced concerns about the danger the system posed to drivers on corners on the challenging Ad Diriyah circuit this weekend.