Will Mattia Binotto reinvigorate unruly Ferrari’s F1 fortunes? | Giles Richards

Ferrari’s new team principal has just five weeks before testing in Barcelona but his appointment is perhaps the best they have made in recent years

Precious little time remains for the new Ferrari team principal Mattia Binotto to grasp the reins of his singularly demanding prancing horse. Having been chosen to replace Maurizio Arrivabene on Monday, it is just five weeks before Formula One hits the ground running at the first test in Barcelona.

Nor is that his only concern, he takes on the most high-profile management role in the sport, under intense scrutiny and demanding the greatest results. A task compounded by inheriting a Scuderia that has been unruly, skittish and left once more licking its wounds after defeat last season. Yet Ferrari’s decision to go with Binotto was positive and bold, perhaps it is the best they have made in recent years.

Related: Ferrari replace team principal Maurizio Arrivabene after poor season

Related: Michael Schumacher turns 50, FA Cup third-round shocks and sneaky drinks | Classic YouTube

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Source: Formula 1

Ferrari may replace team principal Maurizio Arrivabene

•Mattia Binotto expected to take reins after disappointing season
•Chief technical officer Binotto has been at Ferrari since 1995

Ferrari are expected to replace their team principal, Maurizio Arrivabene, with their chief technical officer, Mattia Binotto, but have refused to comment on speculation that they are to do so. The team had previously denied there was any change of leadership expected, despite failing to mount a season-long challenge to Mercedes in 2018 but reports claim the Scuderia has already dispensed with Arrivabene.

Ferrari responded with no comment when asked by the Guardian on the veracity of the reports and the team have yet to make any official statement. Arrivabene, however, has recently overseen two seasons in which the Scuderia have been found wanting against Mercedes. Last year in particular, despite having the quicker car for considerable periods, a series of driver errors by Sebastian Vettel were compounded by team mistakes that saw their challenge falter and Lewis Hamilton take the title with two races remaining.

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Source: Formula 1

Niki Lauda admitted to hospital with flu five months after lung transplant

• Triple F1 world champion had life-saving operation in August
• Mercedes’ non-executive chairman missed part of last season

The three-times Formula One world champion Niki Lauda has been admitted to hospital with flu just five months after a lung transplant.

Lauda, 69, underwent the life-saving operation in August before he was released for rehabilitation nearly four months later. He has been in his role as Mercedes’ non-executive chairman since 2012 but his poor health meant he missed the second half of last season.

Related: Niki Lauda: ‘James Hunt would not push you off the road. We trusted each other’

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Source: Formula 1

Michael Schumacher turns 50, FA Cup third-round shocks and sneaky drinks

The German legend in F1 – and chariot – action, plus: shock cup exits, tumbling, sneaky drinks and dazzling darts

1) Today, Michael Schumacher turns 50. He won a grand prix for the first time at Spa in 1992 for Benetton. He’d go on to win five more in Belgium, and another 85 elsewhere. He didn’t win at Spa in 1998 though, and was ultra-keen on telling telling David Coulthard all about it after colliding with the Scot. (They made up in later years.) His ludicrously storied career could keep you occupied for days. To start you down the rabbit-hole, here’s a look at his cars that took the chequered flag at Spa. Schumacher v Senna in the Brazilian’s backyard in 1992. Tears post-race at Monza in 2000 after equalling Senna’s tally of 41 race wins. He didn’t win the Australian Grand Prix in 1994, but his collision with Damon Hill in Adelaide decided the championship in his favour. A fabulous ding-dong with Jean Alesi at the Nürburgring in 1995. Stunning overtaking to squeak by Mika Hakkinen at Monza in 1998. Fast hands in the cockpit on his pole lap in Malaysia in 1999. Keeping Fernando Alonso at bay at Imola in 2006. He retired following a dominant decade with Ferrari that season, but after being tempted back first by the makers of Asterix at the Olympics Games for a chariot-racing cameo, and then by Mercedes, he waved goodbye again three seasons later with a farewell lap at Interlagos.

2) Ladies tumbling! Men tumbling! Ascoli goalkeeper Filippo Perucchini: stumbling! Fielders fumbling, too, before one of the weirdest run outs of the festive season which saw Alex Carey dismissed after two failed attempts to fell the stumps at the other end. Elsewhere, in the Big Bash, there was a big bash to the helmet for Jason Sangha after a mean delivery from Jhye Richardson. Jos Buttler, meanwhile, is having loads of fun.

10 out of 10 for effort on this! pic.twitter.com/LUq485Ia6Y

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Source: Formula 1

Michael Schumacher 'in very best of hands' says family of F1 great

  • Family issues rare comment on former driver’s condition
  • ‘We are doing everything humanly possible to help him’

The family of the seven-times Formula One world champion Michael Schumacher has assured fans he is being well cared for as they prepare to celebrate his 50th birthday on Thursday.

Schumacher, who retired from racing in 2012, has not been seen in public since he suffered severe head injuries in a skiing accident five years ago. The German is being cared for at home in Switzerland.

Related: Michael Schumacher’s son progresses to bring hope in tragic F1 tale | Richard Williams

Related: Fiorano anniversary recalls F1 legend of Michael Schumacher and Ferrari | Richard Williams

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Source: Formula 1

Michael Schumacher’s son progresses to bring hope in tragic F1 tale | Richard Williams

Mick Schumacher, whose legendary father suffered a brain injury five years ago, is making his own name in motor racing

A few months ago Damon Hill was waiting in a lounge at Heathrow airport, watching the departure board for news of his scheduled flight to Cologne. He had been invited to the opening of a museum dedicated to the career of Michael Schumacher, his old rival. The flight was delayed. And then delayed some more.

He was sitting with another invited guest. This was Ross Brawn, the engineer who masterminded all of Schumacher’s seven world titles: two with Benetton, five with Ferrari, hardly one of them without controversy. “We’ve never really brought up some of the things that went on and that might be interesting to know,” Hill said on the phone this week. “But as you get older, you look back and it all seems mad. It’s so intense, everyone wants to win, and some people cross the boundary. It’s a choice people make.”

Related: 19 for ’19: unmissable sporting events to mark in your diary

‘I got glimpses of a softer and more generous, likeable guy. But as a racer he was always hard

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Source: Formula 1

19 for '19: unmissable sporting events to mark in your diary

World cups will feature prominently in what promises to be a spectacular sporting year

More than 7,000 athletes from 170 nations are due to compete at the largest multi-sport event for people with intellectual disabilities and one which in 2019 celebrates its 50th anniversary. There will be 24 different individual and team disciplines, ranging from athletics and badminton to cycling and kayaking, and Great Britain is expected to send over a team large enough to compete in every one.

Related: Sports prospects of 2019: the women set to shine in the year ahead

Related: Sports prospects of 2019: the men set to shine in the year ahead

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Source: Formula 1

McLaren trust teenager Norris to embrace challenge and help team up F1 grid | Giles Richards

Norris will become the youngest British driver to compete in F1 and his reassuring maturity will be tested, given team’s plight

When Lando Norris takes to the grid for the Australian Grand Prix next season he will, at 19, become the youngest British driver to compete in Formula One. It is a daunting enough prospect and one that is accompanied by a level of pressure, expectation and scrutiny that would weigh heavily on the most experienced drivers. Norris will take to the wheel of a McLaren as the team try to put a disastrous season behind them and begin the process of returning to the front of the grid.

Having endured a woeful year with a car that was fundamentally flawed and their sixth without a win, it proved too much for Fernando Alonso who called time on his F1 career. There is absolutely no doubt at McLaren just how painful it has been as the team’s chief executive officer, Zak Brown, admitted. “This has obviously been a difficult season,” he said. “We’re all glad it’s over. It is not one we will look back on with fond memories.”

Related: Zak Brown hopeful McLaren are on road to recovery after lean years | Giles Richards

Related: Lando Norris: ‘Growing up watching Lewis, McLaren was my favourite car’ | Giles Richards

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Source: Formula 1

F1 exploring options for a London GP, says Ross Brawn

• ‘We’d like London to complement Silverstone, not replace it’
• Grand prix would likely be on periphery of the city, not central

Ross Brawn, Formula One’s head of motorsport, has again raised the prospect of holding a race in London but insisted it need not be at the expense of the British Grand Prix at Silverstone, whose contract ends next year.

Brawn, who is tasked with plotting the future of the sport for owners Liberty Media, said the idea is being revisited – but not in central London.

Related: Vietnam to host F1 grand prix in Hanoi street race from 2020

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Source: Formula 1

Harry Kane tipped for BBC’s top gong but history may point to a surprise | Sean Ingle

The England striker is favourite to win Sports Personality of the Year but footballers do not have a great record in the event

Ever since England reached the semi-finals of the World Cup, Harry Kane has been a smouldering favourite for the BBC Sports Personality of the Year award. The Spurs striker has already won the golden boot. No wonder many believe he is a shoo-in to lift the famous silver-plated trophy of a four-turret lens camera engraved with many legends of British sport.

Yet history reminds us that footballers and Spoty do not always mix. For while 18 track and field stars have walked away with the award in its 64-year history – with Formula One drivers claiming it seven times and tennis players six – footballers have done so on only five occasions.

Related: BBC Sports Personality of the Year: who should win five top awards? | Observer writers

In its 65th year, there are changes afoot for the BBC’s flagship sports review

Related: Dina Asher-Smith a real contender for BBC Sports Personality of the Year

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Source: Formula 1

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