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Formula 1 legend Niki Lauda passes away

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Niki Lauda who took the title for Ferrari in 1975 and 1977 and McLaren in 1984. Photo: Twitter

London: Three-time Formula One world champion Niki Lauda has passed away, his family has confirmed. He was 70.

The legendary Austrian, who took the title for Ferrari in 1975 and 1977 and McLaren in 1984, died on Monday, nine months after undergoing surgery for a lung transplant, reports the BBC.

“(He was) a role model and a benchmark for all of us,” said his family in a statement.

“His unique achievements as an athlete and entrepreneur are and will remain unforgettable, his tireless zest for action, his straightforwardness and his courage remain a role model and a benchmark for all of us,” the statement added.

Lauda, whose famous rivalry with British F1 legend James Hunt inspired the Chris Hemsworth film ‘Rush’, will be remembered for his remarkable recovery and return to racing after being badly burned in a crash in the 1976 German Grand Prix.

By the time Lauda ended his racing career in 1985, with his last race coming in Adelaide, he had competed in 171 Formula One races, winning 25 of them and standing on the podium 54 times.

In January this year, he spent some 10 days in hospital while suffering from influenza.

MotoGP

Moto GP: Marc Marquez claims 50th career win in Czech GP

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Honda's Marc Marquez claims 50th career win in rain-lashed Czech Grand Prix.

Brno: Honda’s Marc Marquez averred his 50th career race triumph with victory at the Czech MotoGP on Sunday after the race had originally been delayed by 45 minutes due to rain. sports world

Earlier, Marc’s brother Alex also made the most of pole position to dominate the Moto2 to register his fifth win of the season.

Defending champion, Marc defeated Ducati’s Italian Andrea Dovizioso by 2.4sec to extend his advantage at the top of the riders’ standings to 63 points with his sixth triumph of the season.

Eight-time world champion Valentino Rossi was sixth and trails Marquez by 110 points in the overall standings.

Australian Jack Miller declined Alex Rins to the third spot for his second podium of the campaign in a race cut by one lap due to adverse weather conditions. sports world

“This is definitely the better one (podium), it was nice to fight at the end,” Millar said. sports world

Alex Marquez, 23, crossed the line more than three seconds up on Italy’s Fabio Di Giannantonio with Enea Bastianini in third. sports world

“I was really concentrating from the beginning because there was some wet patches on turn one but I decided to start and keep my rhythm. I saw ‘Dovi’ was behind me and I kept pushing and pushing and pushing,” Marquez, 26, told broadcaster BT Sport.

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Hamilton edges Verstappen in Hungary F1 thriller

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Lewis Hamilton leads the drivers championship by a big margin.

Beijing: A bold strategy call from Mercedes helped Lewis Hamilton snatch the lead of the Formula 1 Hungarian Grand Prix from Red Bull’s Max Verstappen with just three laps to go, with the Briton taking his eighth victory of the 2019 season. latest sports news headlines

In an entertaining race, the leading two were in a class of their own all day, with Verstappen seizing the initiative from his maiden pole position and Hamilton settling into second place.

The Briton pushed hard after both drivers had made their pit stops, and briefly took the lead after the pair went wheel-to-wheel at turn four on lap 39, but ran wide on the corner exit and was obliged to give the position back to Verstappen.

Realizing that their man would be unlikely to overtake Verstappen on track, Mercedes elected to pit Hamilton for another set of new tyres on lap 48, in the hope that the fresh rubber would allow him to quickly close the gap to the Dutchman.

Shifting to a two-stop strategy worked a treat, with Hamilton not losing his second place and setting several lap records as he closed on Verstappen at over a second per lap, ultimately taking the race lead on lap 67 of 70 as the Red Bull’s badly worn tyres rendered the Dutchman defenseless.

Speaking after the race, Hamilton paid tribute to his team’s role in securing the victory. “I’m really grateful for the team for believing in me and always pushing to the limits and taking a chance. This wouldn’t be possible without the hard work of everyone at the factory. I was on the limit all the way. I didn’t know if I could overhaul a 19 second gap. It was like [doing] qualifying laps every lap.”

Despite losing the lead so late in the race, Verstappen was magnanimous in defeat. “We were not fast enough,” the Dutchman lamented.

“We tried everything, but it was not enough, but I think it was a good weekend overall. Congratulations to Lewis. He was pushing me hard, and I like that.”

Behind the leading two, Sebastian Vettel took advantage of a similar strategy call to overtake teammate Charles Leclerc for third place, though Ferrari may be concerned at their lack of pace relative to the leading two, with their cars finishing over one minute adrift of Hamilton.

It was not a good day for Hamilton’s teammate Valtteri Bottas, who finished only eighth after having to pit for a new nosecone following contact early in the race, and suffered the ignominy of being lapped by his teammate.

After crashing out at the previous race in Germany, the Finn’s recent displays will do nothing to quieten the rumors that Mercedes are set to replace him with Esteban Ocon for 2020. latest sports news headlines

Elsewhere, McLaren’s Carlos Sainz took a fine fifth place, ahead of Verstappen’s stablemate Pierre Gasly in another underwhelming performance.

Having failed to register a top-three finish so far this season, the Frenchman is another whose drive is reported to be under threat. latest sports news headlines

Alfa Romeo’s Kimi Raikkonen finished a solid seventh, Sainz’s teammate Lando Norris took ninth, and Toro Rosso’s Alexander Albon rounded out the points positions in 10th place.

Hamilton’s win sees him extend his championship lead to 250 points, with Bottas second on 188 and Verstappen close behind on 181. latest sports news headlines

In the constructor’s standings, Mercedes remain out in front on 438, with Ferrari some way back with 288, and Red Bull on 244. latest sports news headlines

Following a four-week mid-season break, the 2019 Formula 1 season resumes on September 1 with the Belgian Grand Prix.

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Hamilton rules Silverstone for sixth British GP win

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Lewis Hamilton leads the drivers championship by a big margin.

London: Mercedes’ Lewis Hamilton took victory in a superb Formula 1 British Grand Prix at Silverstone on Sunday, in a race which featured several multi-car battles and a mid-race collision between Ferrari’s Sebastian Vettel and Max Verstappen of Red Bull.

Starting second behind teammate Valtteri Bottas, Hamilton benefited from a fortuitously-timed safety car period to leapfrog the Finn in the pit lane on his way to a record sixth win in the British Grand Prix.

“What a day! I love you, Silverstone! You think you’d get used to something like that, but it feels like the first time,” said Hamilton after a win that was his 80th in Formula 1.

The Briton appeared to have more grip than his teammate in the early stages of the race, and looked as if he had made it past the Finn at Luffield on lap 4, though Bottas countered strongly and retook the lead a few corners later at Copse.

At this stage it looked as if Bottas might have seized the initiative in the race, as Hamilton then dropped back from his teammate before electing to stay out longer when Bottas came in for his first pit stop on lap 17.

Though his team couldn’t have known it at the time, this decision ultimately proved a race-winning one, as a spin for Alfa Romeo’s Antonio Giovinazzi on lap 20 necessitated the introduction of the safety car, which slowed the pack up and allowed Hamilton to emerge from his pit stop ahead of Bottas and into a lead he was never to lose.

But while the Mercedes duo were embroiled in their own private battle at the front, behind them the Ferrari and Red Bull drivers thrilled the 150,000-strong Silverstone faithful with a titanic four-way scrap for more than half the race.

After having dueled for the lead of the Austrian Grand Prix a fortnight ago, Verstappen and Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc reacquainted themselves with each other at Silverstone, drawing audible gasps from the crowd as they passed and repassed each other every which way in the first portion of the race.

Once the safety car had been withdrawn, Verstappen passed teammate Pierre Gasly to find himself in fourth place behind Vettel, but after having made a daring move around the outside of the German on lap 38, Vettel appeared to lock his front brakes and crashed into Verstappen.

Miraculously, both cars were able to continue, though a damaged front wing and a ten-second time penalty for Vettel dropped the Ferrari driver out of serious contention.

This incident promoted Leclerc into a fine third, after the Monegasque had made a brilliant move around the outside of Village on Gasly, who took fourth. Verstappen salvaged fifth place ahead of the McLaren of Carlos Sainz, who did well to come up from 13th on the grid.

Daniel Ricciardo finished seventh for Renault, ahead of Kimi Raikkonen’s Alfa Romeo, the Toro Rosso of Dany Kvyat, and Ricciardo’s teammate Nico Hulkenberg.

Hamilton’s win sees him extend his lead at the top of the drivers’ championship to 197 points, with Bottas second on 166 and Verstappen third with 126. In the constructors’ championship, Mercedes’ lead extends to 407 points, ahead of Ferrari on 243 and Red Bull on 191.

The next round of the 2019 Formula 1 season is the German Grand Prix at Hockenheim on July 28.

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