Legendary MotoGP rider Valentino Rossi to compete at Hankook 24-hour Dubai race

Legendary MotoGP rider Valentino Rossi to compete at Hankook 24-hour Dubai race
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The legendary Valentino Rossi, who holds the record of 89 premier class victories, will be one of the most recognizable faces on the grid. (Supplied)
Legendary MotoGP rider Valentino Rossi to compete at Hankook 24-hour Dubai race
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The legendary Valentino Rossi, who holds the record of 89 premier class victories, will be one of the most recognizable faces on the grid. (Supplied)
Legendary MotoGP rider Valentino Rossi to compete at Hankook 24-hour Dubai race
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The 18th Hankook 24H Dubai will begin at 3 p.m. on Saturday, Jan. 14, with the race scheduled to run uninterrupted until 3 p.m. on Sunday, Jan. 15. (Supplied)
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Updated 11 January 2023

Legendary MotoGP rider Valentino Rossi to compete at Hankook 24-hour Dubai race

Legendary MotoGP rider Valentino Rossi to compete at Hankook 24-hour Dubai race
  • Over 50 cars, 200 different drivers, including UAE’s three-time winner Khaled Al-Qubaisi, will participate in challenging endurance race, beginning on Saturday at 3 p.m.
  • Support races include Formula Regional Middle East Championship and F4 UAE Championship, both with record-breaking grids, as well as Clio Cup Middle East Championship

DUBAI: Seven-time MotoGP world champion Valentino Rossi is to make his 24H Series debut at this weekend’s Hankook 24H Dubai race as Dubai Autodrome prepares to host the 18th edition of the prestigious endurance event.

Held under the patronage of Sheikh Mansoor bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al-Maktoum, chairman of Dubai Sports Council, the event will feature more than 42 teams with 54 cars and 226 different drivers across the GT3, GTX and TCR categories.

The legendary 43-year-old Rossi, who holds the record of 89 premier class victories, will be one of the most recognizable faces on the grid with the Italian set to be behind the wheel for Team WRT — a two-time Hankook 24H Dubai winner.

The Dubai race will be the latest of Rossi’s GT3 career following his MotoGP retirement in 2021 and will be driving alongside Spa 24 Hours winner and 24 Hours of Le Mans class winner Maxime Martin, World Endurance Championship driver Sean Gelael, and Britain’s Tim White, who currently competes in the GT4 European Series.

Speaking of Rossi’s participation, Faisal Al-Sahlawi, general manager of Dubai Autodrome, said: “Valentino Rossi is an icon when it comes to Grand Prix motorcycling, having had a truly remarkable racing career that has spanned more than 25 years, and we are thrilled to be welcoming him to Dubai Autodrome for the Hankook 24H Dubai race.

“For racing fans — regardless of which discipline you enjoy — this is an unmissable opportunity to see one of the sport’s greatest names in action right here in Dubai as he tests himself in one of the most challenging endurance races in the world. The fact that he is taking part reaffirms how highly-rated the Hankook 24H Dubai is, which continues to go from strength to strength.”

Besides some of the top international drivers who will be taking part, there will also be a mix of Emirati and regional drivers on the track. UAE’s Khaled Al-Qubaisi will be part of Haupt Racing Team, which will be aiming to emulate its class win and overall podium from the 2021 edition. Al-Qubaisi, a three-time winner in Dubai, will join the team boss Sebastian Baud and two-time Spa 24 Hours winner Jules Gounon on the circuit.

There will also be three UAE-based teams — Rabdan Motorsport (922), Dragon Racing (GT4) and Saalocin Racing (GT3/Pro-Am) — competing over the weekend. Rabdan Motorsport, led by Saif Al-Ameri, will be represented by an all-Emirati drivers line-up following their participation last year.

Aiming to rise the flag high for Oman is Al-Faisal Al-Zubair for Al-Manar by HRT whose team includes Axcil Jefferies, who won in 2022 with Team MS7 by WRT and also instructs drivers at Dubai Autodrome when he is not participating.

The 18th Hankook 24H Dubai will begin at 3 p.m. on Saturday, Jan. 14, with the race scheduled to run uninterrupted until 3 p.m. on Sunday, Jan. 15.

Al-Sahlawi added: “It is fantastic to see such a strong field of drivers and teams taking part in this year’s Hankook 24H Dubai, which has now established itself as one of the most anticipated events on the International Motorsports calendar. Every year, there has been plenty of drama on the circuit with drivers giving their best in what is a marathon of racing, and this truly adds to the excitement of the event. There will be many drivers aiming to do their country proud, including the UAE, and we wish everyone the best of luck.”


Newgarden wins crash-filled 107th Indianapolis 500

Newgarden wins crash-filled 107th Indianapolis 500
Updated 20 sec ago

Newgarden wins crash-filled 107th Indianapolis 500

Newgarden wins crash-filled 107th Indianapolis 500
  • The American Penske Racing driver, a two-time IndyCar series champion, won the showpiece event for the first time
  • American Kyle Kirkwood escaped serious injury in a crash that had his AJ Foyt Racing car skidding upside down against the wall with sparks flying

LOS ANGELES: Josef Newgarden won the 107th Indianapolis 500 on Sunday, diving past Marcus Ericsson in the dramatic last sprint of a race that saw heavy crashes bring out three late red flags.

The American Penske Racing driver, a two-time IndyCar series champion, won the showpiece event for the first time as he denied Ericsson a repeat. American Santino Ferrucci was third.

“Everyone kept asking me why I haven’t won this race,” an emotional Newgarden said. “They look at you like a failure if you don’t win it. I wanted to win it so bad.”

He had to survive a chaotic final 14 laps that saw the race halted three times before he finally took the checkered flag.

American Kyle Kirkwood escaped serious injury in a crash that had his AJ Foyt Racing car skidding upside down against the wall with sparks flying and brought out the red flag with 14 laps remaining.

“All I know is I was up in the fence, which is never a good thing in IndyCar,” said Kirkwood, whose on-board camera showed a remarkable in-cockpit angle on his slide.

Sweden’s Felix Rosenqvist had hit the wall and careened across the track and Kirkwood was unable to avoid contact, but, after his frightening ride, emergency workers righted the car and helped him climb out.

“Thank God these cars are so safe,” he said. “I saw sparks flying everywhere. That’s the scary part. You’re upside-down and you’re kind of stuck at that point.”

Miraculously, the tire that went flying over the catch-fencing missed the grandstand, landing in a parking lot with no reported injuries.

Shortly after the restart, Mexico’s Pato O’Ward lost control as he challenged to regain the lead and crashed into the wall. Augustin Canapino and Simon Pagenaud were caught up in the aftermath, bringing out another red flag with six laps remaining.

O’Ward had just been overtaken by Newgarden for the lead and was under Ericsson entering turn two when he spun.

“I was way too nice, I got onto the apron to give (Ericsson) room and I got squeezed,” O’Ward said. “I’ll remember that one.”

A chaotic restart saw five cars caught up in a mid-pack crash that brought out first the yellow and then the red flag.

Ericsson was in front when the caution came out, but he couldn’t hold off Newgarden after the green flag flew to set off the final shootout.

“I just thought it was a very unfair and dangerous end to the race,” Ericsson said of restarting on cold tires with just two laps remaining.

“Congratulations to Josef, he’s a worthy champion, but I’m very disappointed with the way it ended.”

Newgarden, who gave Penske a record-extending 19th Indy 500 victory, was weeping before he climbed out of his car to kiss the yard of bricks at the finish line.

“I was trying to stay locked in,” he said. “I was emotional the whole last 10 laps because I knew we were in position to fight for the win.”

The chaotic late stages were a contrast to a smooth start on the 2.5-mile (4km) oval at Indianapolis Motor Speedway, where Chip Ganassi’s Alex Palou and Ed Carpenter Racing’s Rinus VeeKay started one-two on the grid and patiently traded the lead through the first quarter of the race.

After the second round of pit stops, Felix Rosenqvist had filtered to the front ahead of Arrow McLaren teammate O’Ward and that’s where they stood when rookie Sting Ray Robb brought out the first caution of the race on lap 93 — slamming his Dale Coyne Racing car into the outside wall and sliding sideways to a stop in the middle of the track.

The caution brought the leaders swarming into the pits and VeeKay got loose pulling out of his stall, veered left and slammed into the exiting Palou — who was left to claw back from 28th place to finish fourth.

It was just one of the scary pit-lane incidents of the day, which also included Katherine Legge getting sideways as she tried to exit, a collision between Andretti teammates Colton Herta and Romain Grosjean and a tire getting loose during one of Ferrucci’s stops.


Roglic lifts the Giro d’Italia trophy in Rome; Cavendish wins final stage

Roglic lifts the Giro d’Italia trophy in Rome; Cavendish wins final stage
Updated 52 min 38 sec ago

Roglic lifts the Giro d’Italia trophy in Rome; Cavendish wins final stage

Roglic lifts the Giro d’Italia trophy in Rome; Cavendish wins final stage
  • Roglic, a former ski jumper, became the first Slovenian rider to win the Giro and he did it in dramatic fashion
  • Cavendish claimed the 54th Grand Tour stage win of his career

ROME: Primoz Roglic expanded his Grand Tour portfolio by winning the Giro d’Italia on Sunday to add to his three Spanish Vuelta titles; while Mark Cavendish won the 21st and final stage less than a week after announcing that he will retire at the end of the season.

Roglic, a former ski jumper, became the first Slovenian rider to win the Giro and he did it in dramatic fashion, claiming the lead in the penultimate stage — taking the pink jersey from Geraint Thomas in Saturday’s mountain time trial.

It was the direct opposite of what happened in the 2020 Tour de France, when fellow Slovenian Tadej Pogacar took the lead from Roglic in another penultimate-day mountain time trial.

During the podium celebration, Roglic’s son, Lev, joined him on the stage and seemed more excited than his dad.

“I’m trying to enjoy all the emotions, and everything that happened yesterday,” Roglic said. “At the end, it’s always nice to win, in this spectacular city ... all these amazing buildings, it’s super beautiful.”

Riding a pink bike and wearing a pink helmet and pink socks, Roglic took it easy during the mostly ceremonious final stage, a 135-kilometer (84-mile) leg through the cobblestoned streets of Rome that concluded next to the Roman Forum.

Cavendish claimed the 54th Grand Tour stage win of his career.

“I couldn’t end my racing career in Italy any better than winning in the Giro d’Italia in Rome,” Cavendish said. “It’s really perfect.”

Roglic, who rides for the Jumbo-Visma team, finished 14 seconds ahead of Thomas and 1 minute, 15 seconds ahead of Joao Almeida in the overall standings.

It’s the smallest finishing gap between the top riders in the Giro since Eddy Merckx won by 12 seconds ahead of Gianbattista Baronchelli in 1974.

Roglic’s time trial victory on Monte Lussari was his only stage win of the race. He was injured after crashing on a wet and slippery descent in Stage 11, one of several falls he had during the three-week race.

It was Cavendish’s 17th career stage win in the Giro, to go with his 34 victories at the Tour de France and three at the Vuelta. The British rider started his sprint early enough that he was ahead of a crash in the final straight involving several competitors.

Surprisingly, Thomas surged into the lead in the finale to lead out the sprint for Cavendish, a former teammate.

“I kind of said jokingly, ‘Fancy leading out?’” Cavendish said. “He just shouted, ‘Cav,’ and just went. He’s so special. For 25 years he’s been one of my best friends.

“To see how optimistic he is despite losing the maglia rosa. That’s him down to a ‘T.’ It’s how he’s always been, he always sees the glass half full. That’s why he’s special. More than any bike rider, he’s a good person, good friend, good teammate.”

Also, at age 38 Cavendish became the oldest rider to win a Giro stage, beating the record held by Paolo Tiralongo, who was 37 when he won a stage in 2015.

“My first Grand Tour victory was in 2008 in the Giro, down in Reggio Calabria,” Cavendish said. “To win here in Rome it’s beautiful. That’s a bucket-list win to do, outside the Colosseum.”

Alex Kirsch finished second in the stage and Filippo Fiorelli crossed third.

Cavendish will next attempt to break his tie with Eddy Merckx for the most career wins at the Tour.

“Any win gives you confidence for the next time you win,” Cavendish said.

Roglic has now won all three races he’s entered this year after also finishing first in the Tirreno-Adriatico and the Volta a Catalunya — both week-long races.

Roglic, who excels at climbing, descending and time trialing — won three consecutive Vueltas in 2019, 2020 and 2021.

Before he became a professional cyclist, the 33-year-old Roglic was a competitive ski jumper. He won a gold medal in the team jumping event for Slovenia at the 2007 junior Nordic ski world championships. He stopped jumping in 2012 and took up cycling.

The final stage concluded with six loops of a 13.6-kilometer (8.5-mile) circuit in the center of Rome, taking the peloton past the Baths of Caracalla, the Colosseum, the Vatican and the Circus Maximus.

The 24-year-old Almeida won the white jersey as the race’s top under-25 rider. Thibaut Pinot won the mountains classification and Jonathan Milan won the points classification.


Giroud seals win at Juventus and Champions League spot for Milan

Giroud seals win at Juventus and Champions League spot for Milan
Updated 29 May 2023

Giroud seals win at Juventus and Champions League spot for Milan

Giroud seals win at Juventus and Champions League spot for Milan
  • Giroud guided home a brilliant header from Davide Calabria’s cross in the 40th minute to guarantee Milan at least fourth place
  • It was the one moment of quality in an otherwise drab match in Turin

ROME: Olivier Giroud secured Champions League qualification for AC Milan with the only goal in Sunday’s 1-0 win at troubled Juventus.

Giroud guided home a brilliant header from Davide Calabria’s cross in the 40th minute to guarantee Milan at least fourth place and complete Italy’s lineup in Europe’s top club competition next season.

It was the one moment of quality in an otherwise drab match in Turin in which little of consequence happened apart from Giroud’s 12th league goal of the season.

Stefano Pioli’s side, who were knocked out of this year’s Champions League in the semifinals by Inter Milan, join their local rivals, Lazio and champions Napoli on the continent’s big stage.

They are six points ahead of fifth-placed Atalanta with one match left in what has been a long season and one in which their title defense collapsed after the World Cup.

“This was the first time we truly tried to be competitive in two tournaments and we were lacking something,” said Pioli.

“We can enjoy the win and qualification, but it was a strange season for many reasons.”

Juve meanwhile stay seventh and in the Europa Conference League spot after being deducted 10 points for illicit transfer activity by the Italian Football Federation on Monday.

Massimiliano Allegri’s side can still reach the Europa League spots as they are one point behind Roma in sixth, although the spectre of more punishment for financial irregularities hangs over the Turin giants.

Lecce ensured Serie A survival after late penalty drama gave them a 1-0 win over Monza, while a crushing late draw with Empoli took Verona’s survival battle to the final day.

Lorenzo Colombo rammed home the spot-kick which maintained Lecce’s Serie A status in the 11th minute of stoppage time after Christian Gytkjaer was penalized for handball following a VAR check.

Former Denmark forward Gytkjaer had a penalty of his own saved by Wladimiro Falcone with six minutes of regular time remaining.

That allowed Colombo to fire Lecce five points clear of the drop zone and cause coach Marco Baroni to sink to his knees in joy and grief for his recently deceased father.

“I thought about my father because I lost him recently... I felt him by my side in that moment,” Baroni told DAZN.

Verona sit in the final relegation spot after a gut-wrenching Giangiacomo Magnani own goal in the sixth minute of injury time which snatched a 1-1 draw for safe Empoli.

They are level on 31 points with 17th-placed Spezia, whom they might have to face in a playoff devised this season to decide who ends up in 18th place between teams who finish on the same points.

Victor Osimhen’s brace wasn’t enough for Napoli as the newly-crowned Italian champions threw away a two-goal lead to draw 2-2 with Bologna.

Nigeria forward Osimhen took his season’s tally to 30 in all competitions with finishes in the 14th and 54th minutes.

However Lewis Ferguson pulled one back in the 63rd minute and Lorenzo De Silvestri headed the hosts level in his final home match as a Bologna player.

Napoli won their first league title since 1990 this season but owner Aurelio De Laurentiis said that coach Luciano Spalletti will leave to take a year’s sabbatical.

“He’s a free man, he’s given us something and I thank him, it’s right that he does what he wants,” said De Laurentiis to state broadcaster Rai.

Sergej Milinkovic-Savic’s 89th-minute winner in a 3-2 success over relegated Cremonese reclaimed second spot for Lazio.

Serbia midfielder Milinkovic-Savic had put Lazio two goals ahead at half-time but Pablo Galdames and a Manuel Lazzari own goal had the away side level within four second-half minutes just before the hour mark.

His late winner puts Lazio two points ahead of Inter with the two teams traveling to Empoli and Torino respectively on the final day.


Everton survive as Leicester and Leeds are relegated on dramatic final day

Everton survive as Leicester and Leeds are relegated on dramatic final day
Updated 29 May 2023

Everton survive as Leicester and Leeds are relegated on dramatic final day

Everton survive as Leicester and Leeds are relegated on dramatic final day
  • Abdoulaye Doucoure’s stunning 57th minute right-foot strike from outside the area earned Everton the victory they required
  • Leeds relegated after 4-1 loss to Spurs

LONDON: Everton emerged from a nerve-shredding afternoon with their Premier League status intact thanks to a 1-0 victory over Bournemouth at Goodison Park as Leicester City and Leeds United were relegated in a dramatic season finale on Sunday.

The Merseyside club’s 69-year stay in the top flight was in peril at halftime as they were drawing 0-0 and 2016 champions Leicester were ahead against West Ham United.

That combination of results meant Everton were in the relegation zone but Abdoulaye Doucoure’s stunning 57th minute right-foot strike from outside the area earned Everton the victory they required.

With Leicester winning 2-1 and that game over, Everton fans then had to bite their fingernails, pray, or just simply not watch the 10 minutes of stoppage time which included a superb save by Everton goalkeeper Jordan Pickford.

The final whistle prompted a pitch invasion with smoke from blue flares drifting across the old stadium that will host top-flight football again after another Everton escape.

Leeds, the other club in the last-day relegation drama, went down with a whimper as they were hammered 4-1 at home by Tottenham Hotspur for whom Harry Kane scored twice.

Everton ended in 17th place on 36 points after 38 games, with Leicester in 18th on 34 and Leeds on 31.

Southampton, who were already relegated, finished bottom with 25 points although their farewell was a memorable one as they drew 4-4 at home to fifth-placed Liverpool.

Everton relief

The celebrations at Everton were more of relief than pride as the famous old club once again found itself battling not for silverware but to avoid relegation. Last year they escaped in the penultimate game but this time it went down to the wire.

“It’s a relief, this has been the hardest season of my career, so tough mentally,” defender Conor Coady said.

“We had it in our hands, but we can’t make this a common theme, we have to draw a line in the sand. This club has to improve because it’s a giant.”

Everton’s relief was in marked contrast to the mood at Leicester where not even a win over West Ham, courtesy of goals by Harvey Barnes and Wout Faes, could save the Foxes.

Leicester fans lived in hope with Everton being held, but in the end they returned to the second-tier, having been promoted in 2014 and winning the title in fairytale fashion in 2016.

Dean Smith, who arrived as interim coach after FA Cup-winning manager Brendan Rodgers was sacked in April, said he had fallen a bit short in trying to save the club.

“When I came here with eight games to go I thought we probably needed 11 points. We’ve fallen two short of that with nine,” he said. “I’m sure there will be a club review but it’s disappointing. It wasn’t to be.”

City lose

Champions Manchester City left the majority of their first-choice players on the bench and were beaten 1-0 at Brentford, who signed off a brilliant season by completing the double over Pep Guardiola’s side — Ethan Pinnock scoring a late winner.

It was City’s first defeat in 26 matches in all competitions but their eyes are fixed on next Saturday’s FA Cup final against Manchester United and then the Champions League final versus Inter Milan a week later in Istanbul.

“I said to the players after the game, today we finished the Premier League that you deservedly won, enjoy two days with your families, don’t see each other and on Wednesday we’ll prepare the first final,” Guardiola said.

Arsenal, whose title challenge collapsed under City’s relentless pursuit, at least ended on a high note as the runners-up crushed visiting Wolverhampton Wanderers 5-0 with Granit Xhaka scoring twice.

Manchester United ensured they finished third with a 2-1 home win over Fulham while fourth-placed Newcastle United rounded off an impressive season with a 1-1 draw at Chelsea.

Seventh-placed Aston Villa grabbed the last European spot with a 2-1 victory against sixth-placed Brighton & Hove Albion to book a place in the Europa Conference League, leaving eighth-placed Spurs without any European football next season.
 


Max Verstappen wins Monaco Grand Prix to extend F1 championship lead

Max Verstappen wins Monaco Grand Prix to extend F1 championship lead
Updated 28 May 2023

Max Verstappen wins Monaco Grand Prix to extend F1 championship lead

Max Verstappen wins Monaco Grand Prix to extend F1 championship lead
  • Spanish veteran Fernando Alonso was a season’s best second for Aston Martin
  • Heavy rain played havoc with about 20 of the 78 laps left

MONACO: Formula One champion Max Verstappen’s lights-to-flag victory at the Monaco Grand gave the Red Bull driver his fourth victory of the season and a record 39th overall for the team as he extended his championship lead to 39 points over teammate Sergio Perez on Sunday.
Verstappen’s wins have all been with Red Bull since his first on debut for the team at the Spanish GP in 2016 when he became the youngest F1 winner at 18 years old.
Seven years and two world championships later, the Dutchman set a team record for wins as he passed former Red Bull driver Sebastian Vettel’s previous tally of 38 victories when he won four straight titles from 2010-13.
“It’s great, I never thought I’d be in this position in my career,” Verstappen said. “It’s better than I could have imagined for sure.”
Spanish veteran Fernando Alonso was a season’s best second for Aston Martin as he collected a fifth podium in six races, albeit 28 seconds behind Verstappen, while Frenchman Esteban Ocon secured third place and a rare podium for Alpine.
Red Bull has won all the races so far.
“It’s super nice to win it in the way we did today with the weather and everything to stay calm and bring it home,” Verstappen said.
For most of the race, he coasted on a dry and narrow track where overtaking is the hardest in F1.
But an incident-free race in Monaco is rare and heavy rain played havoc with about 20 of the 78 laps left. Some drivers had pitted for the wrong medium tires shortly before the downpour and slid around.
“It was incredibly slippery,” Verstappen said.
Ferrari’s Carlos Sainz Jr. glided sideways into the barriers and was lucky not to damage his Ferrari. Kevin Magnussen lost control of his Haas and Lance Stroll retired after damaging his Aston Martin.
Red Bull had wisely put Verstappen on the versatile and more suited to the wet conditions intermediates on Lap 56 and they carried him to his second win in Monaco. The first was in 2021.
Lewis Hamilton finished fourth for Mercedes and picked up a point for fastest lap. His teammate George Russell was fifth, having earlier almost slammed into Perez as visibility worsened. A serious crash was somehow avoided in a hectic few minutes before the rain eased off.
“Braking was extremely fragile,” Alonso said. “I think everyone did an amazing job today to keep the cars on track.”
Alonso is third in the standings and closed the gap on Perez to 12 points. The 41-year-old Alonso’s podium was his 103rd in F1, while Ocon grabbed his third.
“I’m speechless at the moment,” Ocon said. “A little bit on my cloud at the moment.”
Russell was given a five-second penalty for rejoining the track in an unsafe manner but had just enough to keep fifth place ahead of Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc.
Pierre Gasly (Alpine), a seething Sainz, Lando Norris and Oscar Piastri (both McLaren) rounded out the top 10.
On Saturday, Verstappen just edged out Alonso to deny him his first pole for 11 years.
Perez, who won the race last year, started from last after a clumsy crash in qualifying and finished 16th.
The sinewy 3.4-kilometer (2.1-mile) street circuit gives the pole sitter a massive advantage if he makes a clean getaway, which is what Verstappen did as Alonso’s gamble to start on hard tires didn’t work.
“Max drove super well on the medium tires on that first stint,” Alonso said. “We (went) for all or nothing. We started on the hard tire and didn’t have the pace.”
After 26 of the 78 laps Verstappen was 12 seconds clear of Alonso, who even persuaded himself he had a puncture. Twice his team assured him it wasn’t the case.
Eventually Verstappen started losing time and wanted to pit for new tires but his team told him he’d fall behind Alonso if he did that.
At the same time Perez stuck among the back markers was getting tense, almost clipping Stroll and then bumping into the back of Kevin Magnussen’s Haas.
Sainz, meanwhile, was furious that Ferrari — a team with a worrying reputation for still making bad strategy calls — pitted him too early and put on the wrong tire to cover Ocon’s stop and let his team know with an outburst over team radio.
The Spaniard had already endured a difficult day after his front wing clipped Ocon’s Alpine as he tried to overtake. A portion of the wing came off subsequently but Sainz got away with just a warning for the incident.
The sky then darkened and rain started to fall heavily soon after drivers had completed 50 laps.
“I have to drive super slow because my tires are (expletive),” Verstappen lamented on Lap 54, while Alonso pitted a lap later for mediums.
Early on, Sainz’s front wing clipped Ocon’s Alpine as he tried to overtake coming out of the tunnel. A small piece of debris came off but the wing stayed on the car, and Sainz got away with a warning.