Sebastian Vettel accused Ferrari of messing up with a strategy that made no sense on Sunday.
The unhappy German however did not help his own race by spinning at the first corner and dropping to last.
It was a sign that the four-times world champion’s relations with the team are wearing thin, following their decision not to keep him on beyond this season.
Vettel questioned Ferrari’s moves after finishing 12th in the 70th Anniversary race.
After rejoining in traffic from his first pitstop, Vettel informed his team over the radio that “you know that you messed up.”
“We spoke this (Sunday) morning and said there was no point pitting knowing that we will run into traffic ——- and that’s exactly what we did,” he told reporters later.
“We went also onto a hard tyre, which we then only had on for 10 laps, probably not even that. So, it didn’t make any sense.
“I mean why would you put the hard for 10 laps and put the medium for 20 laps? So, I was running out of tyres towards the end. So, we spoke about exactly that.”
Vettel had said earlier in the weekend that he had run out of answers to explain why he was having such a hard time with the car.
The German, who won all his titles with Red Bull between 2010 and 2013, has been eclipsed by young Monegasque team mate Charles Leclerc.
Leclerc finished fourth on Sunday by making a one-stop strategy work.
Ferrari’s review of the race said, perhaps pointedly, that Leclerc’s result was the result of “strategy and bravura”.
“Sebastian’s position was the result of his first lap incident,” said team boss Mattia Binotto.
Vettel is 13th in the standings after five races, with 10 points to Leclerc’s 45.
His best finish this year was sixth in Hungary, and he has been 10th twice.
Edited By: Olawale Alabi) (NAN)
Fed Cup to be renamed Billie Jean King Cup
Almost 60 years after Billie Jean King helped the United States win the inaugural Fed Cup, the team event is being renamed in honour of the greatest trailblazer in women’s tennis.
The competition will from 2021 be known as the Billie Jean King Cup, the International Tennis Federation (ITF) said in a statement.
It was revamped this year to feature a 12-nation finals week to rival the men’s Davis Cup.
This year’s finals, scheduled for Budapest in April, were postponed for a year because of the coronavirus pandemic.
King, a 12-times Grand Slam singles champion and the founder of the Women’s Tennis Association (WTA), said she was “humbled” to have the competition named after her.
“Very proud, very humbled,” the 76-year-old told Reuters by telephone. “I keep thinking it’s a dream. And then I start thinking about what an opportunity this is to help the game grow globally.
“(The Federation Cup) was 63 years behind the Davis Cup but we’ve gone from 16 to 116 nations.
“We have equal prize money to the Davis Cup and this sends out an important and strong message of equality.”
The Billie Jean Cup, sponsored by BNP Paribas, is the first major global team competition to be named after a woman.
Next year’s Finals in Hungary will boast 12 million dollars in prize money, equivalent to the revamped Davis Cup.
ITF President David Haggerty paid tribute to King’s fight for gender equality in sports and society.
“From playing the first Fed Cup as a member of the victorious United States team in 1963, founding the WTA and becoming its first president, to being the first female athlete awarded the United States Presidential Medal of Freedom, Billie Jean King has never stopped breaking new ground,” Haggerty said.
“Today she adds another `first’ to that list. The new name is a fitting tribute to everything she has achieved.”
King was part of the team that won the inaugural competition, then known as the Federation Cup, in London in 1963.
She won it seven times as a player and four as captain and was appointed its first Global Ambassador last year.
“There is nothing quite like the feeling of representing your country and being part of a team, which is why this competition is so special and important to me,” she said.
“Our job is to share this vision with future generations of young girls, because if you can see it, you can be it.”
France, Russia, Hungary, Australia, Belarus, Belgium, the United States, Spain, Slovakia, Czech Republic, Germany and Switzerland will contest next year’s inaugural Billy Jean King Cup Finals.
Edited By: Olawale Alabi)
FIFA Ranking: Nigeria moves up by two spots, now world 29th
In the ranking placed on the world football governing body’s website on Thursday, Nigeria garnered 1493 points during the period under review without playing any match.
The movement also placed Nigeria as the third in Africa behind Senegal and Tunisia who garnered 1555 and 1506 points respectively.
On the global scene, with the exception of Uzbekistan’s 2-1 friendly victory over Tajikistan, the countries back in action have all been European.
The successful staging of these games was nonetheless encouraging for teams from other confederations as they seek to resume international fixtures in the weeks ahead.
The 54 UEFA Nations League games which took place across Europe at the beginning of September had an immediate impact on the oca-Cola World Ranking, which had remained unchanged since April 9.
While there had been no movement among the leading quartet —- in descending order: Belgium, France, Brazil and England —- Portugal (5th, up 2) have moved into the top five.
This was as a result of victories over Croatia (8th, down 2) and Sweden (18th, down 1).
Other countries moving in the right direction are Spain (7th, up 1), Italy (12th, up 1), the Netherlands (13th, up 1), and Germany (14th, up 1).
Each of them gained one place respectively in the global classification.
Wales (21st, up 2) climbed two rungs but remain just outside the top 20.
Russia, hosts of the last FIFA World Cup, are further back in 32nd.
But they had the biggest gain in this edition, ascending six places courtesy of wins over Serbia (31st, down 2) and Hungary (52nd, unchanged).
In spite of not playing, Iran (30th, up 3) moved into the top 30 after Serbia and Turkey (32nd, down 3) dropped points.
Edited By: Abiemwense Moru and Olawale Alabi)
Independent Hungarian radio broadcaster shut down by media authority
Hungary’s media regulator will not extend the operating permit of Klubradio, an independent outlet whose license is due to run out next February, authorities said on Friday in Budapest.
The regulator said in a statement that it plans to close down the outlet due to “ongoing legal violations.”
Klubradio, a news and talk radio station, is one of the last independent outlets with any influence in Hungary.
The authorities plan to put the rights for Klubradio’s broadcasting frequency out to tender.
Its frequency is limited to the Budapest region.
The media council allocates frequencies and ensures media law is followed.
Members of the council are all supporters of the country’s right-wing nationalist Prime Minister Viktor Orban.
Klubradio’s boss, Miklos Arato, rejected the claim that his outlet had broken the law, telling news portal 444.hu: “If we had broken any important laws, they would have imposed serious penalties, but they didn’t.”
“They could have just said in the statement that they don’t like us,” Arato said.
The shutdown is one of a series of government measures to silence critical media outlets.
In July, a business close to Orban silenced an independent online news portal, index.hu, through a hostile takeover.
Nepszabadag, the country’s biggest opposition news daily, was closed down in 2016 after being bought by one of Orban’s supporters from Austria.
Edited By: Fatima Sule/Wale Ojetimi
European Super Cup: UEFA in talks with Hungary following border closure
UEFA says it is discussing entry requirements for this month’s European Super Cup match in Budapest with the Hungarian government.
This has come in the wake of the decision to close the country’s borders to curb a rise in coronavirus cases.
European champions Bayern Munich and Europa League winners Sevilla are due to meet in Budapest on Sept. 24 in the 2020 European Super Cup.
However, Hungary said last week it would close its borders to foreigners from Tuesday to curb a rise in coronavirus cases.
“UEFA is working closely with the Hungarian Football Federation and its government to implement measures to ensure the health of all those attending and participating in the game,” UEFA said in an e-mailed statement to Reuters.
“Entry requirements into Hungary for various target groups (players, officials, partners, staff, media, fans, etc…) are also part of such discussions.
“UEFA will not take risks with people’s safety and further details will be communicated in due course.”
The annual fixture is seen as the opening European club competition game of the season.
Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban’s chief of staff Gergely Gulyas said last week that, if current circumstances prevail, fans could be allowed to enter the country with two negative tests.
He said they would be taken directly to the stadium and back to the airport afterwards, and there would also be body temperature checks.
UEFA said last week that fans could occupy up to 30 percent of the stadium’s 67,215 capacity.
Edited By: Olawale Alabi) (NAN)