The degradation of the Pirelli tires in searing Sepang temperatures was the talk of the paddock ahead of the Malaysian Grand Prix, with Red Bull and McLaren predicting a forced three-stop race strategy tomorrow.
The tires, which lasted longer than expected on their debut at the season-opening race in Australia two weeks ago, have suffered in the stifling Malaysian heat where track temperatures reached 49°C yesterday with 50 percent humidity.
The tire wear meant drivers were forced to take a more conservative approach than last year during the two practice sessions ahead of tomorrow’s 56-lap race.
“Obviously tires don’t last as long [as in Melbourne] that’s for sure, but I think this is the same for everyone,” world champion Sebastian Vettel told a swarm of reporters after finishing fourth in the second practice session.
“It is difficult to give a number [of laps the tires will last for], but I don’t think you will two-stop and one-stop is ... forbidden,” the championship leader joked after a long pause to choose a suitable final word.
Vettel’s Red Bull teammate Mark Webber topped the time sheets in both practice sessions yesterday and offered a similarly dim view of the tire’s longevity.
“More than five, less than 25,” the quick-talking Australian replied when asked how many laps he thought the tires would last in the race.
Pirelli’s motorsport director Paul Hembery faced a number of questions about the tires in a media conference after the day’s action and said the conditions had been very testing.
“We do have more degradation here than at Melbourne and there’s quite a bit of difference in times between the soft and hard tires, so the teams must be working out their strategies now based on that,” he said. “I’m guessing on a three-stop strategy, but we were surprised by the one-stop Sauber managed in Melbourne, which we did not envisage. But three looks like being the strategy here and that is the expected scenario.”
China wants to unite its 1.4 billion people through soccer, while also using the sport as “a bridge to work with the rest of the world,” Chinese Football Association secretary-general Liu Yi told reporters in an interview published yesterday. Liu spoke about what lies behind the country’s push to become a major soccer power by 2050. Under Chinese President Xi Jinping — who is described by state media as an “avid soccer fan” — the world’s most populous country has grand plans to host and even one day win a World Cup. Liu spoke about “using football to motivate the whole nation.” “Football is
‘JOB NOT DONE’: The outfielder, who hit a homer and stole two bases, said that players ‘have to be good at all aspects of game all the time and not take plays off’ Los Angeles outfielder Mookie Betts put himself in rarefied company with a standout performance in the Dodgers’ Game 1 victory over the Tampa Bay Rays in the 116th World Series on Tuesday. Betts sparked the Dodgers’ four-run fifth inning with a walk and two stolen bases, joining Babe Ruth as the only players in World Series history to record such an inning. After walking to lead off the inning, Betts stole second base. After Corey Seager walked, Betts reached third on a double steal, giving the Dodgers runners on second and third with one out. Betts took an aggressive stance off the bag
TENNIS Federer eyes Australia Roger Federer is practicing pain-free after undergoing two knee surgeries this year and said that he expects to return to the circuit at the Australian Open in January. The 39-year-old Swiss reached the semi-finals at Melbourne Park at the start of the year, but missed the rest of the season after undergoing a second arthroscopic procedure on his right knee. “I’m on the right track,” he told German-language magazine Schweizer Illustrierte. “I’m gradually coming back, but I’m going to take my time and don’t want to put any pressure on myself. I will only take part in a
Marcus Rashford once again sank Paris Saint-Germain after netting the decisive goal in a 2-1 Champions League win in the French capital. Rashford, who scored the winning spot-kick when United knocked PSG out two seasons ago, drilled home a low shot three minutes from the end, which won a thrilling Group H contest at a near-empty Parc des Princes. United had taken the lead in the 23rd minute when Bruno Fernandes slotted home from the spot at the second attempt, but Anthony Martial inexplicably headed Neymar’s corner into his own net 10 minutes after the break. The rest of the match was an