Seb’s not happy with cheap trophies and selfie sticks
Estonian Ott Tanak snatched WRC title with a race to spare
Ferrari's Sebastian Vettel says Formula One needs to have better looking race trophies. This he said after criticising the sponsored one handed to him in Sunday's Mexican Grand Prix, where he finished second behind Mercedes Lewis Hamilton.
"I care. I think for me they are part of traditions and when I look back at old pictures I see the old guys lifting the trophies in the different countries," he said in Hungary last August.
"If we have the title sponsor trophies on Sunday then that looks super-boring. I don’t get the point either, because you have the billboards everywhere. Why do you need the trophies saying the same thing again?"
He continued: "I think it's a shame, you have such a great race and they've put so much effort into the race, and then you get these ... trophies that look boring." He suggested something more traditionally Mexican would be a good idea.
"I mean, there's Heineken written everywhere," he said of the current one. "So get something nice like they had when we used to race, when Formula One used to race here before we came back."
The four-times world champion also his registered a despondent mood with the race mascot "Mario Achi", a white helmeted character dressed as a Mariachi musician, trying to join the champagne celebrations with a selfie stick. Vettel was seen pushing away the Mexican mascot. "I didn't like the selfie guy when he tried to push into the picture, so I pushed him away," said Vettel.
"I'm not big into selfies anyways."
The post-race celebrations, in front of the main stadium grandstand, also a lift bringing Hamilton's winning Mercedes onto the podium with him.
"I think it was nice to elevate the car as well," said Vettel.
"It's a very nice way to do it, to involve the whole stadium and the crowd and the other things, so I liked most of it. Except the selfie guy and the trophies."
Hamilton heads to this weekend’s US Grand Prix in Austin with a 74-point advantage over Finnish teammate Valtteri Bottas with three races to go, which means the Briton needs only four points — an eighth place — to clinch the championship.
Bradley Liebenberg is crowned Falken Polo Cup champion
Bradley Liebenberg wiped out a four-point deficit to become the 2019 Falken Polo Cup champion at the Red Star Raceway on the weekend.
In the end, he beat defending champion Jeffrey Kruger after a season-long battle that saw both drivers lead the way at various stages of the fight. In the process, the Falken Polo Cup lived up to its reputation as one of the country’s most successful and exciting racing formulas.
“It was a perfect day,” said Liebenberg after the finish of Race 2. “We had an epic battle with Jeffrey all season long and to come out on top with two race victories on the day is the best possible way to finish it.”
Kruger was graceful in defeat. “We had a fantastic battle throughout the season and it all came down to the wire and the last race. We tried our best but Bradley was just too quick on the day.”
“The Falken Polo Cup once again lived up to its reputation as the most exciting form of racing,” commented Mike Rowe, head of Volkswagen Motorsport. “It is extremely competitive with just tenths of seconds separating nearly 20 drivers. Well done to Bradley for doing so and also to Jeffrey for taking the fight all the way to the end,” he concluded.
Snyman, Verheul in Max world title fights
Team South Africa emerged from last weekend’s Rotax Max Grand Karting Finals in Sarno, Italy with positive results following a few exceptional drives and at least two "what could have been" stories.
DD2 Masters drivers Nic Verheul and Jono Pieterse drove brilliant races to fifth and seventh in the over-30 Final, Junior Max kids Aqil Alibhai and Troy Dolinchek fought to 14th and 20th in their under-15 Final and Reese Koorzen soldiered on to the finish of the under-11 Mini Max race after an early incident, but Mini Max hero Troy Snyman had to make do with 11th after fighting for the lead on the final lap of the under-13 Final.
Known as the Olympics of Karting, the Grand Finals play host to the champions or next in line of Rotax Max national championships from around the world, who are handed identical equipment to determine the best Max karters in the world.
Ott Tanak takes WRC crown in Spain
Toyota's Ott Tanak became the first Estonian driver to win the world rally championship when he finished second in Spain on Sunday, ending the sport's 15-year domination by French Sebastiens.
A generation has grown up knowing no other champion than Sebastien Loeb, who won nine titles in a row, or Sebastien Ogier, who took another six successive crowns.
Tanak is Toyota's first drivers' champion since Frenchman Didier Auriol in 1994.
Tanak scored five bonus points in the final Power Stage to extend his lead over Hyundai's Rally of Spain winner Thierry Neuville to 36 points with one more round in Australia remaining worth a maximum 30.
Neuville beat Tanak by 17.2 seconds in the rally, based around Salou on Spain's eastern coast, for his third win of the season with team mate Dani Sordo third and just 0.4 behind Tanak.
"It’s difficult to say the pressure I felt this weekend, it was next level.
To manage all this and get through it has been the target of my life. When you are on the verge of this you cannot imagine it," Tanak told the wrc.com website.