Sebastian Vettel won the floodlit Abu Dhabi Grand Prix by a massive margin on Sunday to chalk up his seventh successive victory and equal the longest winning streak in Formula One’s modern era.
Red Bull’s four-time world champion was in a league of his own, 40 seconds clear at his second pit stop and then taking the checkered flag half a minute ahead of second-placed Australian teammate Mark Webber.
“The car was absolutely brilliant,” he said after the race which started in daylight and ended in darkness. “Not much more to say. I was flying at some stages. At least it felt like it. Massive gaps.”
The 26-year-old German has now won 11 races this season, 37 in his career, and his seventh success in a row equaled the single-season tally racked up by fellow German Michael Schumacher in 2004.
The all-time record of nine was set by Italian Alberto Ascari, although that was over two seasons in 1952 and 1953, and nobody would bet against Vettel matching that feat before the year is out with races in Austin, Texas, and Brazil to come.
“I remember when I was a small kid watching Formula One, and Michael was with Ferrari and dominating … if you look back, you feel like he won every second race. To equal some of the stuff that they managed to achieve is very, very special,” Vettel said.
To celebrate, Vettel pulled over on his slowing down lap and performed more of the smoking “donuts” that landed him in trouble last weekend in India where he captured his fourth successive championship.
“Just bring the car home into the garage,” race engineer Guillaume Rocquelin told him, probably knowing already the futility of his words.
“Yeah, yeah, yeah. I know what I’m doing,” replied Vettel, echoing the famous words of Kimi Raikkonen on his way to victory in Abu Dhabi last year in response to unwanted advice from his Lotus team.
“You can pay the fine on that one,” team principal Christian Horner said.
Red Bull were fined 25,000 euros (US$34,500) for failing to instruct Vettel to return directly and park his car in the pit lane in India.
Watched by his parents, Vettel led every lap in Abu Dhabi, beating pole-sitter Webber into the first corner and disappearing into the night.
So dominant was the German that the television cameras soon tired of following him in his splendid isolation, focusing instead on the battles being waged behind him in the hope of extracting some drama from the race.
Germany’s Nico Rosberg was third for Mercedes, 33.6 seconds behind, with Frenchman Romain Grosjean ending a run of three podium finishes with a fourth place.
Japanese couple Rikiya and Ayumi Kataoka had their honeymoon wrecked by the COVID-19 pandemic, but their resourcefulness in enforced exile in Cape Verde has won them appointments as ambassadors for its Olympic team. The Kataokas had completed a third of their round-the-world trip when a suspension in long-haul flights stranded them for five months in the archipelago of 10 tiny islands off the coast of West Africa. Unable to resume their journey to Europe and then home to Japan, and unwilling to head to the African mainland, where virus cases are spiking, they had to trade their skills with domestic businesses to
WEEKEND MATCHES: While Tatung FC made good on their chances early on, Taiwan Steel rallied to win the game 2-3 and move to the top with Taichung Futuro Sunday’s action saw Taichung Futuro, Taipower FC and Taiwan Steel tied for first place on 30 points in the Taiwan Football Premier League, while Hang Yuan FC picked up a point to take the No. 4 spot on 25 points after holding Taipower to a scoreless draw. In Taoyuan, Tatung FC hosted Taiwan Steel. It was an exciting matchup, as the visitors rallied from 2-0 down to take the game with three goals. Tatung made good on their chances early on. Honduran midfielder Elias Argueta opened the account 15 minutes into the game with a low shot from the right. Three minutes
Ronnie O’Sullivan delivered a scathing attack on the next generation of snooker players after he made the quarter-finals of the World Snooker Championship on Sunday, ending Chinese star Ding Junhui’s world championship dream. The mercurial 44-year-old Englishman won an enthralling high-quality second-round encounter 13-10 to set up a quarter-final clash with three-time champion Mark Williams. When asked by the BBC whether he thought he would remain at the top of the game for this long, the Briton, who turned professional in 1992, said the poor quality of younger players had secured his position and that something drastic would have to happen
Max Verstappen informed his Red Bull team that he would not be driving “like a grandma” in Formula One’s 70th Anniversary Grand Prix on Sunday — and he was as good as his word. The Dutch 22-year-old seized his opportunity at Silverstone, ending dominant Mercedes’ run of four successive wins this season and moving up to second place overall, 30 points behind leader Lewis Hamilton. Verstappen’s confidence shone through early on, after slotting into third place behind the two Mercedes, when he was told by race engineer Gianpiero Lambiase to take care of his tires. “Mate, this is the only chance of being