Rosberg blocks out title talk in Mexico

first_img0Shares0000Mercedes AMG Petronas F1 Team’s German driver Nico Rosberg vows to remain focus as he looks to clinch his 10th win of the year in Mexico © AFP/File / Yuya ShinoMEXICO CITY, Mexico, Oct 27 – Nico Rosberg plans to block out all thoughts of a possible maiden title triumph and focus on sticking to his singular and simple approach when he bids to claim his 10th win of the year in this weekend’s Mexican Grand Prix.The 31-year-old, who will become champion if he wins and Mercedes team-mate and title rival Lewis Hamilton fails to score a point, has said he is aware of all the equations and possible outcomes. But, he stressed, he will aim only to keep things simple and concentrate on repeating his victory of last year when Formula One returned to the noisy and atmospheric Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez for the first time since 1992.In front of a packed crowd that day, Rosberg eased some of the pain from losing out to Hamilton in the title race by securing a well-judged victory.Something similar coupled with another Hamilton retirement would see him take the Englishman’s crown on Sunday night.“Of course I’m aware of that,” he said. “It’s an obvious calculation which everybody is telling me and it’s great, but the approach is keep it simple just look for the race win.”Rosberg will arrive in Mexico with a 26-point lead over Hamilton in the title race and three races remaining.That means that if he wins he will increase his tally to an unassailable advantage of 51 if the three-time defending champion is undone by another engine failure, poor start or other mechanical problem.For Hamilton, and his race team of Mercedes mechanics, the over-riding pressure, as it was during his flawless drive to victory in the United States Grand Prix in Texas, is to finish without any setbacks.In the 18 events to date, he has been affected by at least three poor starts, five engine or engine-related mechanical problems, one race when he was penalised for his engine failures that required new power units and one crash, with Rosberg, in Spain.Rosberg has also suffered misfortunes, but not to the same extent and many Hamilton supporters believe he has lost a minimum of 40 points as a result.Some believe, also, that the law of averages will deliver at least another twist that may see Rosberg suffer a DNF (Did Not Finish).Hamilton’s convincing win from pole position last weekend in Texas was his first in six races since July.He said it has restored his confidence and he will do all he can, reliability permitting, in the final races.“You don’t often get 100 per cent reliability for a whole season,” he said.“Will it be the case for Nico? Only time will tell, but I can’t get fixated on that.”Mercedes AMG Petronas F1 Team’s German driver Nico Rosberg looks to extend his lead over the pack in Mexico © POOL/AFP/File / Yuya ShinoHamilton said he has kept his motivation intact despite his poor run and was boosted by visiting the Mercedes factory in Britain before flying to the United States.“I’ve tried to keep a positive mentality,” he said. “There are still points available, anything is possible. The moment you give up, that’s the moment you’re doomed.I’ve never given up all my life, I don’t plan on doing so now.”Both Mercedes drivers know that they face a robust challenge from the Red Bull team who are confident they have reduced the champions’ advantage and can mount a serious bid for victory.However, given the Mexican circuit’s long straight, Mercedes are expected to enjoy superior power and take advantage, but it is uncertain if that will be enough to allow their drivers a clear scrap for victory and possibly the championship.0Shares0000(Visited 1 times, 1 visits today)last_img read more

Everton 1-2 Lyon: More woe for Ronald Koeman as Toffees lose again

first_imgEverton boss Ronald Koeman was forced to endure more disappointment as Lyon consigned his side to an ill-tempered defeat and more Europa League misery.Koeman has been forced to confront the potential of “crisis” unfolding at Goodison Park and this 2-1 left his side bottom of Group E, with Nabil Fekir’s penalty and Bertrand Traore’s deft flick besting Ashley Williams’ powerful header.Williams was lucky to be on the pitch when he headed home the equaliser, having initiated and then extended an ugly touchline tussle involving players from both sides and, worryingly, at least one home fan.Everton’s considerable summer investment has now brought them six defeats in all competitions and no wins in their last four outings.Koeman began with a gamble, resting his most experienced and trusted players, including Wayne Rooney on the 15th anniversary of his name-making goal against Arsenal. Rooney was not even in the squad, while the likes of Leighton Baines, Idrissa Gueye and Gylfi Sigurdsson began on the bench.Inside five minutes Lyon had the lead. Memphis Depay, a summer target for Koeman, conjured a smart ball for Marcal to chase. The Brazilian read it quickest and was a yard inside the area when Mason Holgate charged into view and clattered into him for a clear-cut penalty.As the ground fell silent, barring a small but merry away section, Fekir found the bottom corner and another trying day at the office began to unfold.The lack of on-field generals was quickly apparent, Davy Klaassen chasing shadows in the centre, while Nikola Vlasic and Dominic Calvert-Lewin could not find a way into the game.After nine minutes they were cut open again, Depay only denied by Williams’ last-ditch sliding tackle.Everton scrapped for half-chances but Depay’s 30-yard free-kick came closest providing a second goal before the break, Tom Davies’ headed intervention leaving Jordan Pickford wrong-footed and the crossbar rattling.Ademola Lookman, on for the struggling Klaassen, helped energise the hosts but they were still vulnerable at the back. Myziane Maolida missed two good chances in a minute, failing to get a shot away after Michael Keane’s slip then frustrated by Morgan Schneiderlin’s block.Koeman could not accuse his players of lacking fight, though in Williams’ case that was hardly a good thing. He appeared to push Anthony Lopes into the advertising hoardings but was still the most animated individual in the ill-tempered shoving match which ensued. At least one home fan laid hands on a Lyon player as members from both sides formed what resembled a rolling maul and the incident is sure to attract more scrutiny.Williams was lucky to escape with a yellow card and was soon putting his adrenaline to better use, rising to power home Sigurdsson’s 69th-minute free-kick.The Icelandic international had come on for the injured Schneiderlin and his dead-ball prowess almost handed Everton the lead as the action came thick and fast. Keane and Williams were both close to adding a finishing touch to another teasing free-kick, which ended up evading everyone and clattering the post.There was one last twist of the knife for Koeman though, Maxwell Cornet escaping down the right and locating Traore, who touched the ball off his instep and over the via a Keane deflection.Calvert-Lewin’s header forced a fine save from Lopes but the Ligue 1 side held their nerve in a frantic finish. 1 The loss leaves Everton at the bottom of Group E last_img read more