Kimi Raikkonen warns Lewis Hamilton and Mercedes Ferrari are after the constructors title

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Having seen Hamilton win the drivers' title Raikkonen and Ferrari now have their sights set on the constructors' crown. (AFP)
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Updated 08 November 2018
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Kimi Raikkonen warns Lewis Hamilton and Mercedes Ferrari are after the constructors title

SAO PAULO: Kimi Raikkonen congratulated Lewis Hamilton on his fifth world title, but warned him that Ferrari are going all out to stop Mercedes completing a Formula One championship double at this weekend’s Brazilian Grand Prix.
The Sauber-bound Finn conceded that Ferrari are not in a strong position — they trail Mercedes by 55 points in the constructors’ standings with two races to go — but made it clear they will not be giving up.
“Obviously, we’re not in a good position, but we’re still in it and we’ll do our best... We’re trying to win,” he told reporters.
Raikkonen, who famously won the drivers’ title for Ferrari in Brazil in 2007, said that Hamilton deserved to win this year’s crown and rejected the idea that his Ferrari team-mate Sebastian Vettel had lost it through team and individual errors.
“For sure he won it,” he said. “Whoever has the most points has won it. In the end, if you ask 10 people, they all have different views how it’s been won or lost.
“It makes no difference... He won it. Fair play and congratulations to him.”

Hamilton won his fifth drivers' title this year. 


He added that it was more important for the team to succeed in the constructors’ championship.
“There’s a drivers’ championship, but if you go to any team they’re probably going to say this is more important for them — the constructors’ championship more than the drivers.
“That’s what we’re trying to do... and we’ll see in two races’ time.”

VETTEL BULLISH FOR THE FUTURE

Vettel admitted he was disappointed that Hamilton had clinched this year’s drivers’ title in Mexico with two races remaining, but said he remained motivated for the future, including this weekend.
“Obviously, the last race was a tough one to swallow and probably the winter will be as well,” said the four-time world champion. “But giving up is not an option...
“Three times now, I have been in a position like that with 2017, 2009 and this year. For me, probably ‘09 was the worst — and my lowest point.
“You never know what the next year brings so you never know whether you get another chance. I have worked very hard for it and I am confident it will come, but ultimately I don’t know.
“You can’t predict. None of those moments were nice.”
Looking back on this year, in which his title challenge faded in the second half of the season, he said: “There is a lot of stuff that happened this year and we will, as a team and as an individual, be able to learn from it and take it forward and raise the bar next year.
“Obviously, along the way, something went wrong and we need to learn from it. Something went wrong and we didn’t go and develop in the right direction...
“Clearly we missed something and not because something was on purpose by default set wrong. So it’s up to us to find a fix for it and make sure it doesn’t happen again, but it’s not so simple to find and fix it as it sounds.
“I still have a mission here and I still want to win. That hasn’t changed.”


Underdogs with bite and sloppy South Korea: What we learned from the Asian Cup second round

Updated 23 January 2019
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Underdogs with bite and sloppy South Korea: What we learned from the Asian Cup second round

  • Can the mighty minnows continue impressive run in the UAE?
  • Or will the big guns start to fire in quarterfinals?

LONDON: Asia’s biggest sporting spectacle has reached its quarterfinal stage — and it’s time for teams to find their A-game. While there are few surprises in the last-eight lineup, the form of some of the big-name sides has been less than impressive. Here we deliver our verdict on the second round.

BIGGEST DISAPPOINTMENT — Saudi Arabia’s attack

The Green Falcons started the tournament at top speed. They came in as one of the cup favorites and in their opening two matches illustrated why. A 4-0 thrashing of North Korea was backed up with a relatively simple 2-0 victory over Lebanon. Understandably, that raised hopes that Juan Antonio Pizzi’s men could go all the way in the UAE. Alas, it was not to be as a 2-0 defeat to Qatar in their last group clash left them with a tricky tie against Japan. For all their efforts Saudi Arabia were unable to find the back of the net, the lack of firepower upfront costing Pizzi’s team yet again.



BIGGEST SHOCK — South Korean sloppiness

Boosted by the arrival of Tottenham star Son Heung-Min, South Korea were rightly declared the pre-tournament favorites. They had firepower up front, intelligence and creativity in midfield, and experience at the back. In the four matches in the UAE so far, however, they have looked anything but potential champions. They labored to beat Kyrgyzstan, the Philippines and China in the group stage before almost being shocked by part-timers Bahrain in the second round. South Korea now face Qatar in the last eight and, as Son said after their extra-time win over Bahrain, they need to significantly improve if they are to avoid a shock exit before the semis.



UNDER PRESSURE — Alberto Zaccheroni and the UAE



The Whites owe their place in the last eight to luck more than skill. In some ways that is not a surprise — the hosts came into the tournament without their talisman, the injured Omar Abdulrahman, and on the back of a patchy run of form. But, still, the performances on home soil have been underwhelming to say the least. That was summed up with their extra-time win over Kyrgyzstan, who were playing in their first Asian Cup. It was a far-from-convincing performance and Central Asians were unlucky not to beat Zaccheroni’s side. The UAE will have to deliver their best performance for some time if they are to progress further. Their opponents, Australia, have also performed poorly, which may offer them some encouragement.



BEST HIGHLIGHT — The mighty minnows

The big guns have not had it all their own way. That may annoy their fans, but it does show that Asian football is improving. Only a few years ago the idea that Kyrgyzstan, Bahrain and Jordan would look the equals of Australia and Co. would have seemed fanciful. But in the past two weeks the standard shown by the so-called lesser lights has been impressive — and great to watch. Last summer five Asian teams appeared at the World Cup for the first time and it was hoped that showing would act as a springboard for further progress across the continent. On the evidence of the action in the UAE that wish could be coming true.

 

PREDICTIONS