Verstappen targets Schumacher and Vettel record amid cost cap fallout

By Sports Desk October 19, 2022

Formula One world champion Max Verstappen has history in his sights at the United States Grand Prix this weekend.

Crowned champion for the second successive season at the Japanese Grand Prix two weeks ago, Verstappen has the chance to further illustrate his dominance at the Circuit of the Americas.

Should he prevail in Austin, he will equal Sebastian Vettel and Michael Schumacher as the driver with the most wins in a single F1 season with his 13th victory,

Schumacher achieved the feat in 2004 for Ferrari, with compatriot Vettel matching him nine years later for Red Bull in the 2013 campaign.

Verstappen and Red Bull will look to make it lucky 13 amid the continued fallout over their cost cap breach last season.

Last week, the FIA announced Red Bull had been found guilty of a "minor" cost cap breach and a procedural breach.

There have been no details of any prospective penalties released by the sport's governing body, however, in a letter to the FIA, McLaren Racing CEO Zak Brown said the breach "constitutes cheating".

Brown's comments are likely to be the talk of the paddock in Texas this week, but Red Bull will look for their most emphatic riposte to come on the track.

They have won the last seven races. Only once, when they won nine in a row in 2013, have they gone on a longer run. An eighth successive victory would be the seventh-longest winning streak in F1.


FERRARI ANYTHING BUT RELIABLE

After initially threatening to produce a compelling title fight in both the drivers and constructors' championship, Ferrari have wilted miserably as Red Bull's main rivals.

Along with well-documented strategy struggles, reliability has been a big contributor to Ferrari's woes.

Carlos Sainz's form has encapsulated that point. He has retired in five of his last 16 races in the Formula One, as many as in his previous 61 appearances in the competition.

MERCEDES TO MAKE 2023 FIGHTBACK?

Lewis Hamilton has won five times in Austin but the seven-time world champion appears unlikely to challenge this year, with Mercedes still waiting for their first win of a dismal season.

Yet Hamilton is confident the Silver Arrows will bounce back next season and ensure that, unlike the much-maligned W13, their W14 car can return the dominant force of the modern era to the front of the grid.

"I think for us we know what the problems are with this car," Hamilton said. "I believe that we as a team, we've not gone from being world champions to not being able to build a good car.

"I have no doubt that we'll have a better car next year. Whether or not we've rectified every issue that we have this year, we'll find out when we get there."

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    Massimiliano Allegri said Juventus "never had a first half like" their poor showing against Monza on Sunday.

    The Bianconeri went in 2-0 down to the visitors at the break and were unable to turn it around in the second-half as Raffaele Palladino's men completed a league double over them.

    Goals from Patrick Ciurria and Dany Mota were enough for Monza to secure a 2-0 win at Allianz Stadium, following their 1-0 win against Juve earlier in the season in Palladino's first game in charge.

    Monza became only the second team ever to win both their first two games against Juventus in Serie A, after Inter in 1930.

    Speaking to the media after the defeat, Allegri said: "I'm angry, we can't concede goals like that. We've never had a first half like today.

    "We have to think about working on the field... we need to examine our conscience and start playing with intent again."

    It was the latest setback for Juve after being hit with a 15-point deduction in Serie A related to previous transfer dealings, and Allegri was left in no doubt how much work there is to do to rescue their season.

    "Reality says that we have 23 points, so we still have to win many more," he said. "This is reality, and if we don't look at it, we'll get hurt. 

    "We are all responsible for the performance... In [our last] three games [in the league] we won just one point and conceded 10 goals.

    "We facilitated the Monza goals, they came out with disarming ease. You can't allow them to get into the defence like we did. They got through us too easily.

    "We didn't have any reactions... The last few performances were not up to par, when you lose you have to lose in another way, [though] there was a different attitude in the second half."

  • Osasuna 0-1 Atletico Madrid: Simeone's men unspectacular but Saul maintains grip on top four Osasuna 0-1 Atletico Madrid: Simeone's men unspectacular but Saul maintains grip on top four

    Saul Niguez scored the only goal of the game as Atletico Madrid responded to their Copa del Rey elimination with an unconvincing 1-0 victory over Osasuna that maintained their grip on LaLiga's top four.

    Diego Simeone's side suffered a 3-1 extra-time loss to Real Madrid in the Copa quarter-finals on Thursday and were far from their best three days later at El Sadar.

    Jan Oblak had to keep Osasuna at bay in the second half, before substitute Saul's calm 74th-minute finish proved the difference as Atletico recorded a much-needed triumph.

    Victory moved Atletico three points clear of Villarreal and Real Betis in fifth and sixth respectively, while Simeone's side trail Real Sociedad – who play Real Madrid later on Sunday – by four.

    An offside flag rendered Oblak's impressive 23rd-minute save against Chimy Avila redundant before Jose Gimenez headed over a presentable chance from Antoine Griezmann's in-swinging corner at the other end.

    Aitor Fernandez repelled Griezmann from close range after a scramble inside the area, though neither side impressed during an otherwise drab first half.

    Griezmann forced another smart Fernandez stop with a low drive immediately after the interval, while Avila headed David Garcia's deep right-wing cross narrowly over.

    Oblak expertly denied Moi Gomez's back-post half-volley just past the hour, and that save proved pivotal when Saul raced onto Rodrigo De Paul's throughball to find the bottom-right corner and secure victory.

  • Newcastle complete £45m swoop for Gordon as Everton sell youngster Newcastle complete £45m swoop for Gordon as Everton sell youngster

    Anthony Gordon has completed his move from Everton to Newcastle United.

    Newcastle are reportedly paying £40million up front to Everton, with an additional £5m payable in potential add-ons.

    Gordon was the subject of intense interest from Chelsea at the start of this season, but Everton rejected their advances and had been hoping to tie the young forward to a new deal.

    However, Newcastle and Tottenham also enquired over the 21-year-old, and the Magpies solidified their interest this month.

    Gordon has signed what has been described as a "long-term" contract at St James' Park, becoming Newcastle's first signing of the January transfer window as Eddie Howe's team look to push on for Champions League qualification.

    The new recruit said: "Since I heard of the interest, I was always convinced Newcastle were for me."

    Speaking to NUFC TV, Gordon added: "I think the fan base and the city really suits me as a person, the way the team are playing under the gaffer at the minute really suits me, and the club just look like they're heading in the right direction.

    "I feel like it's a really big step. People haven't seen what I'm capable of yet. I think under the gaffer, and the way the club's going, I can really excel here."

    Newcastle head coach Eddie Howe expects big things, saying: "I'm delighted to sign Anthony – he's a top, top talent.

    "I'm really excited to work with him, to develop him, and I'm looking forward to seeing what he can do in a Newcastle shirt."

    Gordon's time at Everton ended disappointingly. The academy graduate performed well last season as the Toffees avoided relegation under Frank Lampard, but despite starting this campaign with two goals in the opening five Premier League games, his subsequent performances have been inconsistent.

    He missed training on Tuesday in what Stats Perform understands was a pre-authorised absence and was also absent from Finch Farm on Wednesday and Thursday, before returning to Everton's base on Friday.

    Cash-strapped Everton are 19th and sacked Lampard on Monday, with Sean Dyche being tipped to be named as his replacement, and Gordon was confronted by a group of fans outside Goodison Park following a 2-1 defeat to fellow strugglers Southampton on January 14.

    Gordon is Everton's joint-leading league scorer this term, with three goals, but he has created just eight chances for team-mates and has not provided an assist, recording just 0.5 expected assists across 16 appearances.

    Only Demarai Gray (51) has attempted more dribbles in Everton's squad than Gordon (41), but England Under-21 international Gordon has completed just 10 of those.

    Gordon has had 26 shots, second only to Gray among Everton players, and his tally of 16 on target tops the charts.

    Howe will believe he can rekindle Gordon's best form as he aims to add further spark to Newcastle's attack, having allowed Chris Wood to join Nottingham Forest.

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