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NAOMI OSAKA WITHDRAWS FROM WIMBLEDON BUT WILL COMPERE AT THE OLYMPICS

NAOMI OSAKA WITHDRAWS FROM WIMBLEDON BUT WILL COMPERE AT THE OLYMPICS

Naomi Osaka has withdrawn from Wimbledon but will still compete at this summer’s Olympics in Tokyo. The world number two has been taking time away from the court since withdrawing More »

EURO 2020: DE BRUYNE LEADS BELGIUM TO COMEBACK WIN OVER DENMARK

EURO 2020: DE BRUYNE LEADS BELGIUM TO COMEBACK WIN OVER DENMARK

Kevin De Bruyne came off the bench to fire Belgium into the last 16 with a comeback victory over Denmark on an emotional night in Copenhagen. Playing for the first More »

BUFFON RETURNS TO PARMA AFTER 20 YEARS AWAY

BUFFON RETURNS TO PARMA AFTER 20 YEARS AWAY

Gianluigi Buffon has returned to Parma on a free transfer 20 years after leaving the club to join Juventus, it was announced on Thursday. The 43-year-old goalkeeper left Juve at More »

ERIKSEN TO HAVE HEART STARTER DEVICE IMPLANTED

ERIKSEN TO HAVE HEART STARTER DEVICE IMPLANTED

Denmark midfielder Christian Eriksen will get a heart starter device implanted after his collapse during their Euro 2020 opener against Finland on Saturday, the team’s national team doctor said in More »

ITALY BECOMES THE FIRST TEAM TO QUALIFY FOR THE KNOCKOUT STAGES AFTER WIN OVER SWITZERLAND

ITALY BECOMES THE FIRST TEAM TO QUALIFY FOR THE KNOCKOUT STAGES AFTER WIN OVER SWITZERLAND

Italy became the first team to qualify for the knockout stages of Euro 2020. Roberto Mancini’s side showcased themselves as possible contenders for the title after a dominant 3-0 win More »

SERGIO RAMOS SET TO LEAVE REAL MADRID AFTER SIXTEEN YEARS WITH THE SPANISH CLUB

SERGIO RAMOS SET TO LEAVE REAL MADRID AFTER SIXTEEN YEARS WITH THE SPANISH CLUB

Real Madrid have confirmed Sergio Ramos will leave the club. The 35-year-old, who has been with Madrid since 2005, will depart at the end of his contract this summer. The More »

 

PEREZ WINS AZERBAIJAN MOTOR GP AFTER VERSTAPPEN AND HAMILTON CRASH OUT

Sergio Perez won a dramatic Azerbaijan Grand Prix after Max Verstappen crashed out from the lead with just five laps remaining following a horror tyre failure and Lewis Hamilton threw away second place to finish 15th.

Verstappen looked poised to race to the flag following a slow pit stop for Hamilton, but a terrifying rear-left puncture sent the Red Bull driver out of control and into the concrete wall on the right-hand side of the start-finish straight.

Verstappen was able to walk away from the high-speed crash, kicking the tyre which had failed, with the safety car deployed.

The race was then suspended on lap 49 of 51 after Red Bull sporting director Jonathan Wheatley urged FIA race chief Michal Masi to red-flag the event fearing another devastating puncture.

Indeed, questions will now be asked of Formula One’s tyre supplier, Pirelli, after Lance Stroll also suffered a high-speed blowout on lap 31.

The drivers were permitted to take on fresh rubber for what was effectively a two-lap race before Hamilton launched a gung-ho move on Perez for the win only to run down the escape road at the opening corner in a plume of tyre smoke.

“I am so sorry, guys,” said the world champion.

Sebastian Vettel rolled back the years to drive from 11th to second to claim Aston Martin’s best result of their return with Pierre Gasly third for AlphaTauri.

Hamilton’s late mistake means Verstappen remains four points ahead of the British driver after the opening six rounds.

Hamilton started from second before taking the lead at the beginning of the third lap when he roared past pole-sitter Charles Leclerc on the start-finish straight.

Verstappen and team-mate Perez followed suit on laps seven and eight to put the pressure on Hamilton, who had been unable to build a gap in a Mercedes which has largely been off the pace this weekend.

Hamilton then made his sole stop on lap 11, but with Gasly pitting at the same time, the seven-time world champion’s release was delayed.

The Mercedes driver’s pit-stop took 4.6 seconds, paving the way for Verstappen to take the lead of the race when he pitted for fresh rubber on the following lap. Hamilton’s slow stop also enabled Perez to leapfrog him.

While Verstappen remained unchallenged at the front, Hamilton hustled Perez, but despite being faster than the Mexican in the final sector he was unable to find a way past.

On lap 31, Stroll suffered the first terrifying puncture. The high-speed failure sent Stroll’s Aston Martin into the concrete wall on the left-hand side of the pit-straight, but while the Canadian sustained extensive damage to the front of his car he emerged unscathed from the horror crash.

The safety car was deployed for five laps to clean up the debris, with Verstappen executing the perfect re-start to leave Perez trailing.

Behind, Vettel, who ran longer in his first stint to lead the race for a brief period, then fought his way past Leclerc and Gasly to move up to fourth.

Verstappen was in complete cruise control – on course to move 16 points ahead of Hamilton – until the dramatic late turn of events on the Caspian Sea.

The race was suspended for 30 minutes and ahead of the re-start Hamilton told his team “you have to remember this is a marathon not a sprint”, seemingly content to take second and his 18-point haul.

But the seven-time world champion sensed an opportunity to pass Perez and win the race at the first bend only to run off the circuit.

Leclerc finished fourth ahead of McLaren’s Lando Norris with Fernando Alonso sixth. On a day to forget for Mercedes, Valtteri Bottas was only 12th.

“I am so happy,” Perez said. “Normally Baku is pretty crazy. I am sorry for Max because he did a tremendous race and deserved the win.

“At the restart, I had a poor start and Lewis was alongside me but I broke as late as I could and it didn’t work for him.”

Vettel said: “It means a great deal to finish on the podium.

“It has been a tough start (to the season for Aston Martin) but we had good pace and that was the key.

“It is a great day and I am over the moon. We didn’t expect to be on the podium.”