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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    Gleison Bremer said his Juventus team-mates have pledged to ignore the Bianconeri's off-pitch woes after scoring the winner in Thursday's Coppa Italia quarter-final against Lazio.

    Bremer diverted Filip Kostic's cross home with a glancing header on the stroke of half-time as Juve clinched a 1-0 win over the Biancocelesti, teeing up a semi-final tie against Inter.

    The win provided welcome relief for a side sitting 13th in Serie A after being issued with a 15-point deduction last month, a sanction which has been compounded by a three-game winless run in the league. 

    Speaking after his goal sent Juve to their eighth Coppa Italia semi-final in nine seasons, Bremer admitted off-pitch issues had impacted the team in recent weeks, but revealed the squad's pledge to rediscover their focus.

    "I'm happy with this goal, but it was important to go through at this moment," the Brazil international told Mediaset.

    "We know we've played two games not up to par, but we talked to each other and what happens off the pitch cannot spill onto the pitch. The club will take care of it, we will take care of the pitch. 

    "Juventus are a top-level team, let's score as many points as possible and see where we'll be at end of the championship. 

    "At the beginning of the year we lost a little something, then we spoke and we found each other."

    Since the Coppa Italia quarter-finals became one-legged affairs in the 2008-09 season, Juve have won nine of their 10 such fixtures at home, the only exception being a 2011 defeat to Roma.

    Coach Massimiliano Allegri hailed Juve's mentality after the hard-fought victory, highlighting the improvements made since Sunday's shock defeat to Monza. 

    "The most important thing is the attitude, which was missing in the first half against Monza, where we conceded two easy goals," Allegri said.

    "The boys were good. They are responsible. They must understand that to win matches, in addition to tactics and technique, you need the right spirit. 

    "Today we won many tackles, we arrived first in duels, we defended well and played in an orderly and patient manner against good pressure from Lazio."

    Juventus were without Paul Pogba for Thursday's win, with the midfielder seeing his second debut for the club delayed once more after suffering another minor injury.

    Allegri does not expect him to return against Salernitana on Tuesday, saying: "Pogba is unlikely to be available in Salerno, because he's been doing little or nothing for a week. We hope to have him back as soon as possible because he's a player we count on. 

    "I've been in the world of football for 50 years. When things go against you, then you have to be patient to get out of it."

  • Juventus 1-0 Lazio: Bremer sends embattled Bianconeri to Coppa Italia semi-finals Juventus 1-0 Lazio: Bremer sends embattled Bianconeri to Coppa Italia semi-finals

    Juventus cast aside their recent woes to tee up an enticing Coppa Italia semi-final against Inter on Thursday as Gleison Bremer's first-half header guided them to a 1-0 win against Lazio.

    The Coppa Italia appears to represent Juve's best chance of silverware this season after a 15-point deduction ended their slim Serie A title hopes, and the hosts were good value for their win after dominating for long periods.

    Massimiliano Allegri's men missed two good chances before hitting the front on the stroke of half-time, with Bremer flicking Filip Kostic's inch-perfect delivery home.

    Juve were rarely troubled at the other end as Maurizio Sarri's visitors disappointed in the final third, and they will face their Derby d'Italia rivals across two legs in the last four after this routine win.

    Kostic drew a fingertip save from Luis Maximiano as Juve got on top after a tight opening to the contest, before Adrien Rabiot headed straight at the goalkeeper when left unmarked just before the half-hour mark.

    The Bianconeri made their pressure count one minute before the break as Bremer met Kostic's inswinging cross with a glancing header, which beat Maximiano to nestle in the bottom-left corner.

    Luis Alberto saw a long-range strike deflect narrowly over as Lazio improved following the half-time introduction of Pedro, while Danilo Cataldi worked Mattia Perin with a 25-yard free-kick.

    Juve substitute Moise Kean forced Maximiano into action at his near post following a rapid break with 20 minutes remaining, as the hosts looked to put the game to bed.

    Adam Marusic fizzed a long-range effort wide of the bottom-right corner as Lazio continued to hunt a leveller, but that was as close as they came to breaking down a resolute Juve backline.

  • McCarthy takes on Cowboys play-calling duties as EVP Jones calls for 'something different' McCarthy takes on Cowboys play-calling duties as EVP Jones calls for 'something different'

    Head coach Mike McCarthy will take over play-calling duties for the Dallas Cowboys next season, it has been confirmed.

    The shift in responsibilities comes after the departure of offensive coordinator Kellen Moore, who left at the start of this week and has joined up with the Los Angeles Dodgers.

    His exit followed the departures of six others, including assistant head coach Rob Davis and offensive line coach Joe Philbin, in the wake of the Cowboys struggling offensively in a 19-12 loss to the San Francisco 49ers in the Divisional round game.

    McCarthy's evolving role had been anticipated and was verified by team owner and general manager Jerry Jones and executive vice-president Stephen Jones on Wednesday.

    Jerry Jones said: "This is the logical step to build on it and use what we've established, if you will, the foundation of the things we've got. This is the time for us to build on it. That's what this is, a building step."

    Moore had been the Cowboys' offensive coordinator since 2019, with Dallas leading the NFL in total yards in 2019 and 2021, also having the league's top-ranked scoring offense last season at 31.2 points per game.

    The Cowboys finished the 2022 regular season ranked fourth in the NFL in scoring (27.5 points per game) and 11th in total offense (354.9 yards per game), but the team managed just 282 total yards and one touchdown in the loss to the 49ers.

    Dallas have not advanced past the Divisional round of the playoffs since winning the Super Bowl following the 1995 season.

    Quarterback Dak Prescott had a career-worst 15 picks over the season, and Stephen Jones called for sweeping changes to be made, saying: "Sometimes in order to take the next step, you have to get uncomfortable.

    "Sometimes for Dak to take the next step, he might have to get uncomfortable and do something different.

    "For Mike to take the next step, he’s got to do something different. For us to take the next step, same thing.

    “If you keep doing the same thing over and over again and expect different results, good luck."

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