Lewis Hamilton cashes in on Ferrari failure, Leclerc frustration to win Bahrain Grand Prix

Mercedes driver Lewis Hamilton of Britain waves from the podium after winning the Bahrain Formula One Grand Prix at the Bahrain International Circuit in Sakhir, Bahrain, Sunday, March 31, 2019. (AP)
Updated 31 March 2019

Lewis Hamilton cashes in on Ferrari failure, Leclerc frustration to win Bahrain Grand Prix

SAKHIR, Bahrain: Formula One world champion Lewis Hamilton profited from Ferrari’s latest failure and won a dramatic Bahrain Grand Prix on Sunday.
The race looked likely to finish a Ferrari 1-2 for Charles Leclerc and Sebastian Vettel. But Vettel cracked under the pressure of Hamilton’s attack with less than 20 laps left and span out of contention.
In a dramatic twist, race leader Leclerc’s engine started losing power with less than 10 laps left, allowing Hamilton to shred a 10-second deficit and secure a 1-2 for Mercedes as Valtteri Bottas passed Leclerc with three laps to go.
A despondent Leclerc thought he was going to become the third-youngest winner of an F1 race, but instead just held on to third place on another bitterly disappointing day for Ferrari.
Red Bull’s Max Verstappen placed fourth with Vettel in fifth.




(From L) Mercedes' British driver Lewis Hamilton, Ferrari's Monegasque driver Charles Leclerc and Mercedes' Finnish driver Valtteri Bottas steer their cars during the Formula One Bahrain Grand Prix at the Sakhir circuit. (AFP)

Leclerc was lucky to finish third — only doing so because the safety car came out near the end after the Renaults of Daniel Ricciardo and Nico Hulkenberg went off track.
Under safety car rules drivers must hold position. Verstappen could not attack and missed out on a second straight podium, after third place at the season-opening Australian GP two weeks ago behind Hamilton and Bottas.
Leclerc picked up a bonus point for posting the fastest lap. But Ferrari will know third and fifth spots were simply not good enough, after fourth and fifth in Australia.
Heading into the Chinese GP in two weeks’ time, Ferrari has to find a way to stop throwing away points.
Hamilton’s 74th career win earned him a hug from former England and Manchester United star David Beckham. But the five-time F1 champion acknowledged this one came with a touch of good fortune.
That’s why Hamilton was quick to commiserate with Leclerc, climbing out of his car and sprinting over to him.
“That was extremely unfortunate for Charles, he drove a great race,” Hamilton said. “He had done enough to win. We were definitely lucky today, but you have to take things as they come.”




Ferrari's Sebastian Vettel leads Ferrari's Charles Leclerc, Mercedes' Valtteri Bottas and Mercedes' Lewis Hamilton at the start of the race. (Reuters)

Ferrari had placed 1-2 in all three practice sessions and all three sections of qualifying. But in the past two seasons, the proud Italian manufacturer has made countless errors, and again the team’s reliability issues seem a big issue.
“It was not our day,” Leclerc said, containing his frustration admirably. “Of course I’m extremely disappointed.”
With strong winds blowing around the 5.4-kilometer (3.3-mile) circuit, track temperatures were below 30 degrees Celsius (86 Fahrenheit) at 6:10 p.m. local time for the start of the floodlit race.
After becoming the second-youngest driver in F1 history to take pole position on Saturday, the 21-year-old Leclerc was overtaken by Vettel at the start but reclaimed his lead soon after with an audacious move on the outside.
Vettel almost overtook him straight back.
It was wheel-to-wheel racing from teammates, just what fans want to see. To the relief of the Ferrari garage they avoided crashing into each other and instead kept Hamilton and Bottas at a distance.
It looked even more like being Ferrari’s day when Hamilton made an unusual error, taking a turn too wide on Lap 20 and slipping more than 6 seconds behind Leclerc.
The British driver’s clumsy error, and Ferrari’s superior speed, meant Vettel was soon on Hamilton’s tail and he overtook him on Lap 23 to put Ferrari 1-2 and coasting.




Third placed Ferrari's Charles Leclerc gestures as the race winner Mercedes' Lewis Hamilton looks on. (Reuters)

To make matters worse, Hamilton was worried about his rear tires, saying over radio “I’m in really big trouble.”
As it turned out, he needn’t have been so concerned, with another Ferrari flop not too far away.
It happened on Lap 39 of 57.
After Bottas came in for his second tire change, it left Vettel and Hamilton to fight for second place. Vettel initially fended him off well but then lost control and span his car, prompting apparent looks of disbelief in the Ferrari garage.
Question marks were raised last season and in 2017 about Vettel’s repeated mistakes under pressure, particularly when he crashed while leading the German GP last year. This time, he badly miscalculated Hamilton’s second attack. Even so, there was no contact from Hamilton and five-time F1 champion Vettel lost control of the car all by himself.
It was not Vettel’s day. Soon after that, his front wing came off after he touched cars with Williams driver George Russell and Vettel returned to the pits.
Then it got worse as panic crept into Leclerc’s voice.
“Something strange with the engine,” Leclerc said as his lead rapidly dwindled. “What’s happening?“
He soon knew.
Hamilton surged past him for his first Bahrain win since 2015 and third overall.
Bottas leads the title race, ahead of Hamilton 44-43, because of his fastest lap in Melbourne.


Saudi bowlers off to QubicaAMF World Cup

Updated 18 November 2019

Saudi bowlers off to QubicaAMF World Cup

  • First woman from the Kingdom to compete in the championship in Indonesia

JEDDAH: Saudi Arabia is sending its first woman to compete in the 55th QubicaAMF Bowling World Cup that begins in Indonesia.

Mashael Alabdulwahid will join her male teammate Abdulrahman Al-Khilaiwi, under the supervision of coach, Mario Joseph, to take part in the contest in Palembang.

Both players underwent training at a camp in Riyadh to prepare for the event. The training program included participating in the Asian Championship in Kuwait for Abdulrahman, and participating in the GCC 6th women’s bowling tournament for Mashael.

The men’s competition started Sunday at 9 p.m.

The women’s competition will begin at 3 p.m. today, where Mashael will take part in six rounds. The competition will run until Nov. 24.

HIGHLIGHT

  • Mashael Alabdulwahid will join her male teammate Abdulrahman Al-Khilaiwi, under the supervision of coach, Mario Joseph, to take part in the contest in Palembang.
  • Both players underwent training at a camp in Riyadh to prepare for the event. The training program included participating at the Asian Championship in Kuwait for Abdulrahman, and participating at the GCC 6th women’s bowling tournament for Mashael.

The competition continues on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday and after completing 24 rounds, the top 24 players will be selected to compete for the top eight positions by playing eight runs on Friday. On Saturday, the best four female players and four male players will be chosen to compete in the finals.

Abdulrahman said that he is looking forward to the world cup. “This year there is a new advantage and that is having teammate Mashael joining me for the first time. I’m proud of her! It’s a big thing for Saudi women and for us in the team because this world exposure will help them to learn and give them an incentive to develop their skills,” he said.

The 20-year-old player has been bowling for the past 10 years. Despite his young age, thanks to his perseverance and sense of discipline he managed to win many victories, but the most distinguished were those in 2018. He delivered the bronze medal at the World Cup in Detroit, and two bronzes at the Asian Bowling Championship in the Philippines in the same year, and a gold medal for the trio event at the Arab Bowling Championship in Oman.

Mashael, 32, was only able to play officially last year in February 2018 when the Saudi Bowling Federation (SBF) received the decree to allow women to play in sports. However, she has been playing for fun since early childhood when she used to travel to Egypt with her family and where she managed to learn from the professionals and get hooked on the game. Mashael was chosen to take part in the Egypt Arab Championship and World Bowling Women’s Championship in Las Vegas in August 2018.

Mashael said: “Playing for fun is definitely enjoyable but when you wear your country’s flag that’s a huge responsibility put on your shoulder. You become an ambassador and a role model and when I’m put in that situation, I definitely want to give my all to be fit for that honor, and give the best image worthy of our beloved country.”

The bowlers expressed their gratitude to the Saudi Bowling Federation and its president Bader bin Abdullah Al-Alsheikh for his support and for creating opportunities for them so that they can progress, enrich their experiences and win awards and achievements.