Formula One drivers on Sunday declared the Qatar Grand Prix as the toughest physical test of their career, some calling for a review of its October date in the calendar, after a gruelling race that saw several vomiting in their helmets and some taken to the medical centre afterwards.
American Logan Sargeant of Williams retired after 40 laps after complaining that he felt too sick to continue, suffering severe dehydration and having vomited.
His team chief James Vowles said he felt a responsibility for his drivers’ health and advised him to retire.
“Let’s bring it in and call it a day,” he said. “Let us look after you. There is no shame in retiring.”
Frenchman Esteban Ocon completed the full race distance in seventh place for Alpine.
Afterwards, he said he had “thrown up” on laps 15 and 16 and felt ill, but had managed to re-focus mentally and continue.
“I was mentally fighting to focus… I have never in the past had any experience like. I prepare to race for two race distances, but this was too much for me,” he said.
“It must have been 80 degrees in the car (Celsius)… It was my hardest ever race and the toughest four points I’ve won.”
He said he had tried to cool down by diverting airflow to his face and body with his hands while racing on the straights.
Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc, who finished fifth, said: “That was the toughest race of my career and I think it is the same for all of us.
“The heat was crazy. It is a high speed circuit, with high speed corners which is harder for us and thirdly we had to make three pit-stops for the tyres.
“If felt twice as bad as Singapore. It was right on the limit even for us and we are all prepared for this. We have to consider this race’s place on the calendar at this time of the year.”
Next year’s Qatar event is scheduled, like the 2022 football World Cup, for December.
Fernando Alonso, at 42 the most widely-experienced driver on the grid, compared it with the races he endured in Malaysia, with daylight starts, and in Bahrain.
This was only the second Qatar race. The first in 2021 was held in late November.
Alonso said: “I asked my team on the radio if they would tip water over me in a pit-stop, but it was not allowed. My seat was burning hot and felt my right side was burnt by this heat.
“We have to think for the future – maximum temperatures or maximum humidity… In football, they have water breaks, but we can’t have that, can we?”
The triumphant triple world champion Max Verstappen agreed.
He said it was one of the toughest races he had experienced. “In the top five,” he said.
George Russell of Mercedes said it was “as hot as an oven”.
“Sometimes I train deliberately in a sauna, but today after 12 laps I wanted to get out of the car,” said the Briton.
“It was at least 50 degrees or more and we are wearing fireproof race overalls and we had extra fast laps with the pit stops… It was too much. But it is the sport I love.”
At least three drivers were reported to have gone to the medical centre for rehydration treatment after the race.
Sabalenka to play in Brisbane
Aryna Sabalenka will launch preparations for the defence of her Australian Open crown by playing at the Brisbane International, organisers said on Tuesday.
Elena Rybakina – beaten by Sabalenka in the final in Melbourne at the start of this year – will also play at the December 31-January 7 Brisbane event.
Four-time Grand Slam champion Naomi Osaka was already named in the field as she returns to tennis.
“I’m excited about starting my 2024 Australian season in Brisbane,” world number two Sabalenka said in a statement released by organisers.
“Australia holds a special place in my heart after winning my first Grand Slam there.”
Tournament director Cam Pearson said he was looking forward to welcoming the Belarusian Sabalenka and Moscow-born Kazakh Rybakina, who is fourth in the world.
“We all remember the exciting Australian Open final the girls played at the start of the year,” he told a news conference.
“That has really kicked off what is a pretty exciting rivalry between the two players.”
On the men’s side, fast-rising world number 17 Ben Shelton of the United States will join a draw that also includes three-time Grand Slam winner Andy Murray.
Pearson said he would welcome Australian Nick Kyrgios to the tournament if he recovers from injury in time.
“We would love to have him here, he’s a past champion and a fan favourite but he needs to do what’s best for him and his recovery,” he said.
“If that means he’s playing in January, fantastic.”
Kyrgios had knee surgery in January and then aborted comeback plans at Wimbledon after tearing a ligament in his wrist.
Giro fail to reclaim top La Liga spot
Surprise package Girona failed to return to the top of La Liga on Monday after they were held 1-1 at home by Athletic Bilbao.
Winger Viktor Tsygankov put the hosts ahead 10 minutes after half time but Inaki Williams scored 12 minutes later to claim a point for the away side.
Girona trail league leaders Real Madrid on goal difference after dropping points for just the third time this season, while Athletic climbed to fifth spot.
Athletic had the better of the first half and their best chance fell to Gorka Guruzeta but the striker poked his shot straight at Girona goalkeeper Paulo Gazzaniga.
Girona had early chances of their own including an Aleix Garcia volley, which he skied over the crossbar, but did not find the rhythm they have found so often this season.
After the break, the hosts broke the deadlock when Tsygankov rifled home.
Williams, who started on the opposite wing from his brother Nico, equalised from a counter-attacking move that started in Athletic’s own box.
The wide man finished smoothly for his sixth league goal of the season as the Basques went looking for their third straight win.
With 10 minutes left, Inaki Williams came close to finding the winner as he cut in from the left but his shot was parried by Gazzaniga.
Inaki Williams was replaced in the final minute of normal time for youngster Adu Ares, but both sides were forced to settle for a point.
On Sunday, Rodrygo sent Real Madrid top with a double in 3-0 win at Cadiz.
Carlo Ancelotti’s Madrid are four points clear of fourth-placed Barcelona, who drew 1-1 at Rayo Vallecano on Saturday.
PCB announces Pakistan team management for Australia tour
The Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) have announced the Team Management for the upcoming Test tour to Australia, which is scheduled to take place from December 2023 to January 2024. They will be playing three Test matches in Australia.
Former England cricketer Adam Hollioake has been hired as the batting coach. Hollioake played four Tests and 35 ODIs for England. The 52-year-old transitioned into coaching, contributing his expertise to the England Lions team. His coaching abilities were further recognized when he was enlisted to join England’s coaching staff for the final two Ashes Tests during the 2021-22 series.
Meanwhile, Simon Grant Helmot will serve as the high performance coach on the tour. Helmot is an Australian cricket coach, who was formerly the coach of the Melbourne Renegades in Big Bash League.
Last week, Umar Gul and Saeed Ajmal were announced as fast-bowling and spin bowling coaches, respectively, for the Pakistan team.
Naveed Akram Cheema (Team manager), Mohammad Hafeez (Director – Pakistan men’s cricket team), Adam Hollioake (batting coach), Simon Grant Helmot (high performance coach), Umar Gul (fast bowling coach), Saeed Ajmal (spin bowling coach), Abdul Majeed (fielding coach), Mansoor Rana (assistant team manager), Shahid Aslam (assistant batting coach), Drikus Saaiman (strength and conditioning coach/Trainer), Cliffe Deacon (physiotherapist), Talha Ejaz (team analyst), Lt Col (Rtd) Akhtar Hussain (security manager), Raza Rashid Kitchlew (media manager), Ammar Ahsan (videographer), Dr Sohail Saleem (team doctor) and Malang Ali (team masseur).
The Pakistan cricket team will play their first Test match against Australia in Perth from 14 to 18 December, followed by a Test match in Melbourne, from 26 to 30 December. Sydney will host the last game of the tour from 3 to 7 January, 2024.
The squad is set to depart from Lahore on 30 November.
Pakistan squad for Australia Tests: Shan Masood (captain), Aamir Jamal, Abdullah Shafique, Abrar Ahmed, Babar Azam, Faheem Ashraf, Hasan Ali, Imam-ul-Haq, Khurram Shahzad, Mir Hamza, Mohammad Rizwan (wk), Mohammad Wasim Jnr, Noman Ali, Saim Ayub, Salman Ali Agha, Sarfaraz Ahmed (wk), Saud Shakeel and Shaheen Shah Afridi.
Father of girl killed for ‘honour’ arrested in Kohistan
PM Kakar arrives in Kuwait on two-day official visit
Sabalenka to play in Brisbane
Pakistan team finally issued visas for World Cup in India
Regional players to meet in Russia on Afghanistan
Attack plots the norm since Danish cartoon crisis: experts
World4 weeks ago
Lebanon’s Hezbollah works to curb hefty losses in Israel clashes
Business4 weeks ago
With larger fall, rupee near 1-month low
Business4 weeks ago
Potential sectors for revenue
Technology4 weeks ago
Apple revamps Mac lineup and pricing with new family of chips
Pakistan4 weeks ago
Maulana Tariq Jamil’s son dies of gunshot wound
Pakistan4 weeks ago
Thousands rally in Islamabad for Gaza
World3 weeks ago
Israel intensifies brutal Gaza strikes despite ceasefire calls
Technology4 weeks ago
Four ways Google Analytics helps with data-driven decision making