Massa clocks fastest time
Ferrari driver Felipe Massa clocked the fastest time of Formula One’s opening pre-season test in his new F138 car on Thursday, giving the Italian team hope it may have overcome the lack of speed that spoiled its title chase last year. Meanwhile, Mercedes rebounded from an incident-packed opening two days with Nico Rosberg completing a session-high 148 laps at the Jerez circuit in Spain. Rosberg’s car had spouted flames and smoke on Tuesday, and the next day new teammate Lewis Hamilton crashed his vehicle into a barrier. New Sauber driver Esteban Gutierrez had the second-most laps with 110 and world champion Sebastian Vettel was third with 102. Massa, who is representing Ferrari alone with Fernando Alonso not attending the tests in his home country, recorded a fastest lap of 1 minute, 17.879 seconds. Rosberg and Vettel were next.
Jamie Carragher to retire
Liverpool defender Jamie Carragher will retire from soccer at the end of this season, the Premier League club said in a statement on Thursday. “This will be my last season at Liverpool and my last as a professional footballer,” Carragher said. “I’m making this announcement now because I don’t want the manager [Brendan Rodgers] or the club to be answering questions on my future when I’ve already decided what I am going to do.” The 35-year-old former England international — a one-club man — joined hometown side Liverpool as a youth player and has since made more than 700 senior appearances following his debut in 1997. Carragher, second behind only Ian Callaghan in Liverpool’s all-time appearances list, has won several major honors in his career, including the UEFA Champions League, the UEFA Cup and two FA Cups. “I will be fully committed between now and the end of the season to doing the very best for Liverpool Football Club, as I’ve done my entire career since joining aged just nine years old,” he said.
Tim Thomas joins Islanders
Boston Bruins goaltender Tim Thomas, who sparked the team to the 2011 Stanley Cup crown, was traded on Thursday to the New York Islanders for a future draft pick, the teams announced. Thomas won the Vezina Trophy as the NHL’s top goaltender and also captured the Conn Smythe Trophy as the Most Valuable Player in the Stanley Cup playoffs in backstopping the Bruins to their first NHL crown since 1972. Thomas took last season off and is sitting out this season to be with his family following a lockout that trimmed the season to 48 games a team. Although he is out, his US$5 million salary counts against a team’s payroll limits.
The Islanders will send Boston a second-round selection in the 2014 or 2015 NHL entry draft.
Promoter suing Armstrong
A Dallas promotions company is suing Lance Armstrong to repay US$12 million in bonuses it paid him for winning the Tour de France. Armstrong now admits he used performance-enhancing drugs and has been stripped of those victories. SCA Promotions filed its lawsuit on Thursday in Dallas district court. The company tried to withhold the money in 2005 because of doping allegations, but ultimately settled with Armstrong in arbitration. Now SCA says Armstrong’s admission proves a conspiracy to cheat and defraud the company into paying him millions. The lawsuit also targets Armstrong agent Bill Stapleton as a defendant.