After Ferrari pole, Lewis Hamilton plans to study late and find Raikkonen-beating plan in Italy

Ferrari driver Kimi Raikkonen of Finland steers his car during the qualifying session at the Monza racetrack, in Monza, Italy, Saturday, Sept. 1, 2018. The Formula One race will be held on Sunday. (AP Photo/Antonio Calanni)
Updated 01 September 2018
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After Ferrari pole, Lewis Hamilton plans to study late and find Raikkonen-beating plan in Italy

MONZA: Championship leader Lewis Hamilton said he planned to study late into the night Saturday to find a way to beat Ferrari in Sunday’s keenly-anticipated Italian Grand Prix.
The defending world champion qualified third behind Kimi Raikkonen, who took pole with Formala One’s record fastest lap, and title rival Sebastian Vettel, who is 17 points behind the Briton in the drivers’ standings.
After acknowledging Ferrari’s marginally superior speed, he said: “The start will hopefully create an opportunity for us.
“I’ve got to study hard tonight to figure out a way how I can get in front of at least one of the Ferraris on the first lap.
“It’s great that Valtteri is right behind me so we can really apply the pressure on the red cars,” he said, referring to Mercedes teammate Valtteri Bottas.
Hamilton broke the record set by Juan-Pablo Montoya at Monza in 2004, in a BMW-powered Williams, but it was not enough to earn him a front row spot as his run of four consecutive Italian poles ended.
“They did a solid job,” he said, during post-qualifying interviews on the track, when he was booed by sections of the partisan crowd.
“We gave it everything we could — it’s obviously incredibly close between us, but they’ve had the upper-hand this weekend. Everyone in the team is working as hard as they can to make the difference.
“It’s incredibly close, which is great for the sport and it’s great to see so many fans here.
“We’ve improved the car overnight and I’m really happy with where we were today. I’m proud of my guys for pushing this hard.
“We’ve squeezed absolutely everything out of the car, I kind of knew that the Ferraris might just be able to pull out some extra bit of time.
“We’ve got to fight hard tomorrow. The long run pace of the Ferraris looked quicker than ours, so it’s not going to be easy — that’s for sure.”
Bottas, who battled to take fourth, said: “It has been difficult. We tried some set-up changes for final practice and it was better in the corners, but on the breaking I lost performance. It was easy to lock up.
“But this is only qualifying and the weekend is not over. We will give it everything tomorrow in the race. The first lap is going to be interesting — we might get a bit of tow-effect into Turn One.”


Ranieri confident of pulling ‘quality’ Fulham out of the mire

Updated 16 November 2018
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Ranieri confident of pulling ‘quality’ Fulham out of the mire

  • Ranieri, the manager behind Leicester’s incredible 2016 league title win, took over from sacked Slavisa Jokanovic on Wednesday
  • Claudio Ranieri: When I watched some matches I said this team has enough quality to be safe ... I need fighting spirit

LONDON: Claudio Ranieri said Friday that he was confident that he can drag rock bottom Fulham out of relegation danger after taking over at the newly-promoted Premier League side this week.
Ranieri, the manager behind Leicester’s incredible 2016 league title win, took over from sacked Slavisa Jokanovic on Wednesday after his Serb predecessor only managed one win in 12 matches in his debut season as a coach in England’s top flight.
Fulham have lost nine times on their way to gaining just five points, but Ranieri believes there is still hope for a team bolstered with around 100 million euros ($114 million) of summer signings after winning promotion from the Championship last season.
“When I watched some matches I said this team has enough quality to be safe ... I need fighting spirit,” said Ranieri to reporters on Friday.
The Italian wants to combine that talent — owner Shahid Khan splashed out on Jean Michael Seri Andre Schuedefensivesrrle, Aleksandar Mitrovic and Alfie Mawson — with the grit that saw his Leicester team overcome all the odds two years ago.
“Quality with fighting spirit we can do a good job. If there is only quality, without organization, defensive tactics, it’s difficult to help the players to maintain the clean sheet,” added Ranieri.
“Now for me it’s important to put in the brain of my players this philosophy. Play football, play well, but when you lose the ball I want to see you with an anchor, like pirates.”
Ranieri returns to England as a coach for the first time since being sacked by Leicester in February 2017 after a disastrous title defense.
He was in Leicester last weekend to pay his respects to Foxes owner Vichai Srivaddhanaprabha and the four others killed in a helicopter crash last month.
However Ranieri played down suggestions of creating another miracle by winning the title with Fulham.
“Forget what happened yesterday, that was a bonus. A fairytale I forget,” the 67-year-old said of his and Leicester’s first ever league title win.
“Now it’s important, don’t think about the miracle. It’s important there will be a lot of battles and it’s important to be ready together.”
Asked whether he would reward his Fulham players with pizza when they kept clean sheets like he did at Leicester, Ranieri joked: “Pizza is not enough now. Better everybody to McDonald’s.”
He will face two of his former clubs in his first three games, with the December 2 trip to Chelsea followed by what will be an emotional return to Leicester three days later.
He said: “I think only of Southampton. In this moment it’s important. Don’t think about other things, Southampton, Southampton. And then after Southampton, Chelsea.”