Redemption for ‘hero’ Daniel Ricciardo at Monaco

Daniel Ricciardo celebrates winning the Monaco Grand Prix. (Reuters)
Updated 27 May 2018
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Redemption for ‘hero’ Daniel Ricciardo at Monaco

  • Australian bounces back from heartache in 2016
  • Vettel finishes second, Hamilton third

MONACO: Daniel Ricciardo overcame chronic power problems to claim an emotional, cherished and redemptive triumph for Red Bull in Sunday’s Monaco Grand Prix.
Two years after being deprived of victory by a bungled late pit stop in 2016, the big-smiling Australian led from pole to flag, on the way resisting pressure from Sebastian Vettel’s Ferrari.
It was the Australian’s first Monaco victory, his second this season and the seventh of his career.
“You have done an amazing job there — you are our hero!,” said team chief Christian Horner. “I don’t know how you did that. Unbelievable. Payback!“
Ricciardo, whose engine power was reduced early in the race, came home 7.3 seconds clear of Vettel after 78 largely processional laps with championship leader Lewis Hamilton finishing third for Mercedes, all the leading drivers struggling with tire wear.

"Thank God that’s over," said Hamilton. "That was the most boring race I’ve ever taken part in."
He added: "Big congratulations to Red Bull and to Daniel. They did a great job and they were the quickest. We knew that would be the case."
Vettel said: "We had the pace, it was a tricky race. Daniel had the answers at all times. He was a bit stronger, we couldn't follow, and I was going through the tyres a bit quicker."
Kimi Raikkonen finished fourth in the second Ferrari ahead of fellow Finn Valtteri Bottas in the second Mercedes and Esteban Ocon, who was sixth for Force India.
Pierre Gasly finished seventh for Toro Rosso ahead of Nico Hulkenberg of Renault, Dutchman Max Verstappen in the second Red Bull, who had started 20th on the grid, and Carlos Sainz in the second Renault.
Ricciardo made a clean start and stayed in control throughout while at the back, his Red Bull team-mate Verstappen who had failed to qualify after crashing in final practice, made short work of the tail-enders around him on the opening lap.
He was up to 14th by lap nine when the leaders began to think about their pit stops, with a bold Hamilton going for an ‘under-cut’ on lap 12 to switch from the short-life ‘hypers’ to ‘ultras’ in a bid to make up time and pass Vettel, but after rejoining seventh behind Ocon, he had to work to regain places.
Ricciardo also pitted, on lap 17, and within a lap the original grid order was re-established thanks to all the leading group switching to new rubber.
On lap 28, Red Bull were given worse news when Ricciardo reported ‘losing power.’ Vettel was faster behind him by six-tenths and closing the gap.
"We can see what’s going on," Red Bull responded by radio. "You just need to keep it smooth. Keep it focused." "Yeh – but I’ve got no power though," he replied with 48 laps of the 78 to go.
By lap 32, Ricciardo’s lead was down to 1.2 seconds with Hamilton nine seconds adrift in third.
"Let me know if there’s anything I can do to help," said Ricciardo, whose superior chassis and smooth driving allowed him to fend off Vettel, struggling with tyre wear.
Tyre performance was clearly the most telling factor as Ricciardo hung on grimly ahead of Vettel and a frustrated, grumbling Hamilton, who variously described his tyres as bald, grained and worse, but continued to close on the leading duo.
By lap 50, they were separated by only 2.6 seconds.
Verstappen continued to supply the thrills and climbed to ninth, when he passed Sainz under late braking by running over the kerbs at the chicane. A fastest lap followed soon after.
With six laps remaining, the Virtual Safety Car (VSC) was deployed after Monegasque Charles Leclerc suffered a brake failure in the tunnel and could not avoid driving his Sauber into the rear of New Zealander Brendon Hartley’s Toro Rosso as he braked for the chicane. Both men escaped unhurt.

Results

1. Daniel Ricciardo (AUS/Red Bull) 1hr 42min 54.807sec)

2. Sebastian Vettel (GER/Ferrari) at 7.336sec

3. Lewis Hamilton (GBR/Mercedes) 17.013

4. Kimi Räikkönen (FIN/Ferrari) 18.127

5. Valtteri Bottas (FIN/Mercedes) 18.822

6. Esteban Ocon (FRA/Force India) 23.667

7. Pierre Gasly (FRA/Toro Rosso) 24.331

8. Nico Hülkenberg (GER/Renault) 24.839

9. Max Verstappen (NED/Red Bull) 25.317

10. Carlos Sainz Jr (ESP/Renault) 1:09.013

11. Marcus Ericsson (SWE/Sauber) 1:09.864

12. Sergio Pérez (MEX/Force India) 1:10.461

13. Kevin Magnussen (DEN/Haas) 1:14.823

14. Stoffel Vandoorne (BEL/McLaren) 1 lap

15. Romain Grosjean (FRA/Haas) 1 lap

16. Sergey Sirotkin (RUS/Williams) 1 lap

17. Lance Stroll (CAN/Williams) 2 laps

18. Brendon Hartley (NZL/Toro Rosso) 8 lps,

19. Charles Leclerc (MON/Sauber) 8 laps,


Al-Hilal boss Jorge Jesus reveals Omar Abdulrahman will make debut in Super Cup clash in London

Updated 17 August 2018
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Al-Hilal boss Jorge Jesus reveals Omar Abdulrahman will make debut in Super Cup clash in London

  • New boss Jorge Jesus to give start to new star signing after $17 million move from Al-Ain last week.
  • Al-Hilal coach keen to put on a good show in London and start season with silverware against Al-Ittihad.

LONDON: Jorge Jesus confirmed Omar Abdulrahman will make his Al-Hilal debut in the Saudi Super Cup final against Al-Ittihad on Saturday.
The UAE playmaker joined the Saudi Pro League champions last week in a loan deal from Al-Ain that was worth $17 million, a fee that has only been surpassed once in football history. 
The 26-year-old has been training with his new teammates at English football’s HQ at St. George’s Park this week and traveled down to London on Friday with the rest of the team ahead of the showpiece game at Loftus Road.
Abdulrahman has not played since May, when Al-Ain were dumped out of the AFC Champions League by Lekhwiya, and he was not considered for the Arab Club Champions Club on Sunday, but Jesus said the 2016 Asian Player of the Year is line to make his first appearance for his boyhood club this weekend.
“Omar is training with the team for five or six days,” said Jesus. “Intelligent players like Omar learn fast, so that’s why he will be part of the game.”
There are various subplots to the game in west London, not least the fact that Al-Ittihad coach Ramon Diaz comes up against the club that fired him in February. He won the double in the first season in Riyadh and then choreographed Al-Hilal’s run to the final of the AFC Champions League in his second. Now he goes up against Jesus, the Portuguese tactician who replaced him this summer.
“It’s true Diaz could know the players more and this could influence the match, but they are working with my ideas today and I expect the match to be an excellent game,” said Jesus.
Al-Hilal lost the Super Cup the last time it was held in London, losing to Al-Ahli on penalties in a thriller at Fulham’s Craven Cottage ground. Jesus knows this year’s match could provide a launchpad for the season ahead and broaden the appeal of football in the Kingdom. 
“Everybody knows the importance of this match, because we play outside Saudi Arabia,” he said. “It represents the image of our football. We are happy to be present in London and play the Saudi Super Cup here. The eyes of Europe sees London as the center of football, so we need to create a good image of Saudi football.”

Jorge Jesus is looking to get his reign as Al-Hilal coach off to a winning start at QPR's Loftus Road ground on Saturday. 


Jesus will be without the injured Salman Al-Faraj, Abdullah Otayf and Nawaf Al-Abed while national team full-back Yasser Al-Shahrani will undergo a late fitness test. 
“We are missing some players but that should not reduce the importance of some players we have in the squad,” said Jesus. “We have to find our best combination of players to go to the match with.”
Mohammad Al-Shalhoub will captain the side from midfield following the departure of Osama Hawsawi and knows bragging rights are up for grabs on Saturday between Saudi Arabia’s two most successful clubs who have won the top prize in the Kingdom 23 times between them.
“It’s one match, there is no other chance,” he said. “We will do our best to win the cup. We can start the season well if we win this cup. We will fight hard to win, but Ittihad is doing their hardest to win it, too. We are super motivated to show a good level and start with a Saudi Super Cup victory.”
Al-Hilal labored to a 1-0 win over Al-Shabab on Sunday night and know they will need to be much nearer their best against last season’s King’s Cup winners.
“In the beginning of the season, you can have some difficulties,“ Al-Shalhoub said. “Our first home game in the Arab Cup we showed a good level, but we have to me more ready against Ittihad.”