Valtteri Bottas sets the early pace in Abu Dhabi as world champion Lewis Hamilton struggles

Valtteri Bottas looked in impressive form in the early practice sessions. (AFP)
Updated 23 November 2018
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Valtteri Bottas sets the early pace in Abu Dhabi as world champion Lewis Hamilton struggles

  • Flying Finn shows Mercedes teammate how it is done in the UAE capital.
  • Hamilton hoping to finish season in style after claiming fifth world title.

Abu Dhabi: Valtteri Bottas clocked the fastest time in Friday’s second free practice for this weekend’s season-ending Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, the Mercedes driver outpacing both Red Bulls under the floodlights at the Yas Marina circuit.
The Finn topped the times in one minute and 37.236 seconds to outpace second-placed Max Verstappen by 0.044 seconds with Daniel Ricciardo third, two-tenths adrift.
New five-time world champion Lewis Hamilton was fourth-quickest in the second Mercedes after struggling for grip.
The two Ferraris led by Sauber-bound Kimi Raikkonnen were fifth and sixth, four-time champion German Sebastian Vettel failing to make a serious challenge at the top as the three leading teams dominated both sessions.
Dutchman Verstappen had been quickest in the morning in a Red Bull one-two, but Bottas bounced back for Mercedes as the sun went down.
Romain Grosjean was seventh for Haas ahead of Nico Hulkenberg of Renault ahead and Kevin Magnussen in the second Haas with Esteban Ocon 10th for Force India.


Egypt in surprise bid to be new African Cup host

Updated 14 December 2018
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Egypt in surprise bid to be new African Cup host

  • Egypt’s bid came after Morocco said this week it wouldn’t put itself forward as a candidate
  • Cameroon lost being the host of the Cup because of poor preparations and a violent insurgency in parts of that country

CAIRO: The Egyptian Football Association says it has submitted a bid to replace Cameroon as next year’s African Cup of Nations host, a surprise pitch by the North African country which wasn’t initially thought of as a contender.
Egypt’s bid, announced Thursday to meet Friday’s deadline, came after Morocco said this week it wouldn’t put itself forward as a candidate. Morocco had been considered the front-runner after being a candidate to host the 2026 World Cup. It lost out in that race to a joint United States-Mexico-Canada bid.
The Confederation of African Football has given countries until the end of Friday to submit bids for the 2019 African Cup, which was taken away from Cameroon last month because of poor preparations and a violent insurgency in parts of that country. CAF wants a new host in place by Dec. 31, with the tournament in June and July looming.
South Africa is another possible stand-in host, but the South African Football Association hasn’t confirmed it will bid and says it needs government approval before any decision.