#1 is just so intense right von Cl11234566 30.11.2019 06:15

World championship leader Nico Rosberg set the pace from Lewis Hamilton by two tenths of a second as the Mercedes team-mates battle for the title recommenced at the Japanese GP on Friday morning. Five days after Hamiltons spectacular engine blow-up in Malaysia handed Rosberg a 23-point championship lead, it was the German who led the early running at Suzuka with his advantage on both the soft and medium tyres two tenths of a second.I thought that was a very confident start from Nico, said Sky F1s Johnny Herbert. You could see when the car was riding the kerbs there was a lot of positivity. Mercedes overall advantage over the field was ominous - a full second over next best Ferrari - at a circuit they have dominated on in F1s hybrid turbo era.Distracted Hamilton under fireBut Malaysia winners Red Bull are expecting another competitive weekend on a circuit that also plays to their aero strengths and they played themselves in gently in P1 with Daniel Ricciardo and Max Verstappen fifth and sixth respectively after only running the slower medium tyres. Ricciardo trialled a new front wing on his RB12, with downforce well rewarded around the sweeping figure-of-eight Suzuka circuit.The two-by-two order was maintained by Force India in seventh and eighth, who also set their best times on mediums, with Fernando Alonso ninth for McLaren despite an early spin at Spoon curve which damaged his rear wing. The Spaniard is running the engine upgrade Honda trialled at Sepang.Romain Grosjean also made contact with the barriers, at the ever-tricky second Degner, but his crash was more concerning with the brakes once again appearing to cause fundamental problems on his Haas car. The Frenchman crashed out of last Sundays race when his brake discs exploded.The brakes didnt brake, deadpanned Grosjean, who has said he will back off in his radio criticisms of the cars handling and performance. Meanwhile, although Jolyon Palmers luck had appeared to turn with his first F1 points finish at Sepang, the Renault driver hit fresh misfortune in Practice One as an electrical fault meant he propped up the timesheet after completing just 13 laps.Practice One timesheet1. Nico Rosberg, Mercedes, 1:32.4312. Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes +0.2153. Sebastian Vettel, Ferrari, +1.0944. Kimi Raikkonen, Ferrari, +1.3865. Daniel Ricciardo. Red Bull, +1.6816. Max Verstappen, Red Bull, +1.9487. Nico Hulkenberg, Force India, +2.0998. Sergio Perez, Force India, +2.3369. Fernando Alonso, McLaren, +2.57210. Valtteri Bottas, Williams, +2.95011. Daniil Kvyat, Toro Rosso, +3.01512. Carlos Sainz, Toro Rosso, +3.24113. Jenson Button, McLaren, +3.24614. Romain Grosjean, Haas, +3.25715. Felipe Nasr, Sauber, +3.53616. Felipe Massa, Williams, +3.73817. Esteban Gutierrez, Haas, +3.78818. Marcus Ericsson, Sauber, +3.86319. Kevin Magnussen, Renault, +4.39120. Esteban Ocon, Manor, +5.36621. Pascal Wehrlein, Manor, +5.53522. Jolyon Palmer, Renault, +5.561 Also See: What music do the drivers listen to? Get a Sky Sports weekend pass Japanese GP TV times The Formula 1 Gossip column Arky Vaughan Jersey . The Cavaliers first-year forward will miss at least three weeks with a strained left knee, the latest setback for the No. Ralph Kiner Jersey . 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Cron hit an RBI single on the first pitch he saw in the major leagues, doubled his second time up and hit a tiebreaking RBI single in the sixth inning to lead the Los Angeles Angels to a 5-3 victory over the Texas Rangers on Saturday night.(SportsNetwork.com) - The gloves are off for those drivers and teams that remain in the Chase for the Sprint Cup championship. That was quite obvious in Sundays race at Texas Motor Speedway, where Jeff Gordon and Brad Keselowski were involved in one of the most memorable brawls in NASCARs history. Texas was the second race in the Eliminator Round of the Chase. Eight drivers are currently in the playoff field, but after next Sundays event at Phoenix International Raceway, the field will be trimmed to just four drivers who will battle for the Sprint Cup Series championship on Nov. 16 at Homestead-Miami Speedway. This year, NASCAR radically changed its format for the Chase, which included an expanded field of 16 drivers and a series of elimination rounds. In the next chapter of NASCARs Boys, Have At It, mayhem broke out on pit road after the race had concluded at Texas. While Jimmie Johnson was heading to victory lane, his Hendrick Motorsports teammate, Gordon, parked his car right next to Keselowski on pit road and then approached him to express his displeasure for an incident that occurred in the closing laps. Gordon, who is attempting to win his fifth series title this year, held the lead for the restart in the first of two green-white-checkered finishes, but Keselowski bumped into him while battling for position following the restart. Gordon suffered a flat tire from the contact and then spun out in turn 3. He ended up finishing one lap down in 29th, while Keselowski placed third. At first, Gordon had heated words with Keselowski while crew members from both of their teams were engaged in a shoving match. Then second-place finisher Kevin Harvick approached Keselowski from behind and pushed him. That sparked the big brawl with plenty of punches being thrown. Kevin likes everybody to fight for some reason, Keselowski said. I came here to race, not to fight. I raced as hard as I could, and these guys just didnt like it. Harvick also was irritated with Keselowski for his actions on the track. If youre going to race like that, youre going to have to man up at some point, Harvick said of Keselowski. Hes done it several times. Cant just turn around and let everybody fight all the time without you in there. Have to stand up for your actions at some point yourself. Both Gordon and Keselowski suffered cuts and bruises to their faces and lips during the altercation. There wasnt a conversation, Gordon said. You cant have a conversation with (Keselowski). He gets himself in this position, and he has to pay the consequences. Im going to race him the same way he races me. That kind of stuff is just uncalled for, and Im not going to stand for it. NASCAR is reviewing the incident, and penalties could be forthcoming. NASCAR senior vice president of competition and racing development Robin Pemberton said the sanctioning body will look at the film of the fight and determine what, if any, actions will be taken. We knew the new (Chase) format was going to put a lot of pressure on people to perform and make aggressive moves and decisions out there on the racetrack, Pemberton said. You could see the result of that after the race. Were going to take our time, and weve got a lot of film to review and things like that. The important thing is to make the right decision at the end of the dday.dddddddddddd Pemberton did note that NASCAR had no issue with Keselowski making contact with Gordon after the restart. To them (NASCAR), Im sure its a racing incident, but to me, its just a bunch of crap, Gordon said. The kid (Keselowski) is just doing stuff way over his head. Thats just uncalled for. Youre racing for a win and a championship. You dont go slam someone and cut their left-rear tire. If thats what it takes, then no problem. We can do the same thing to him. This is the second time in this 10-race Chase that Keselowski has been in a physical altercation with another competitor. After the Oct. 12 night race at Charlotte had ended, Denny Hamlin had to be restrained from going after Keselowski in the garage area and then Matt Kenseth started a fight with Keselowski between a pair of team haulers. Keselowski intentionally bumped Hamlin from behind and attempted to spin him out during the cool-down lap after the two tangled multiple times following the last restart with two laps to go. Then on pit road, Keselowski purposely ran into the back of Kenseth before he bumped Tony Stewart from behind. NASCAR fined Keselowski $50,000 and placed him on probation for four races for his actions at Charlotte. The following week, he won the elimination race for the Contender Round at Talladega Superspeedway, which automatically advanced him into the Eliminator Round. Well go through these battles, Keselowski said. Ive gone through them before and come out stronger. Ill go through them again and come out stronger, a better racecar driver. But what Im not going to do is back down. Im not going to get in the spot where I was in 2013 where I tried to be exactly what they all wanted me to be, because what they want me to be is a loser, and Im not here to lose. Im here to win. That means Im going to have to drive my car, harder, stronger, faster than everybody out there. Thats what I feel like I did (Sunday at Texas). There were no punches thrown at Charlotte, as Kenseth managed to put Keselowski in a headlock before Kenseths team members were able to pull him away. Kenseth was not penalized. With the brawl at Texas being more physical than the skirmish at Charlotte, NASCAR might hand down stiffer penalties. You shouldnt punch somebody, Pemberton said. Everybody gets together, and when youre holding on to each other and grabbing and this, that and the other, its one thing. When punches are landed, thats a different scenario. Two years ago in the Chase race at Phoenix, Gordon and Clint Bowyers teams were involved in a post-race fight after Gordon intentionally wrecked Bowyer in the closing laps. Gordon was not suspended for the season finale at Homestead, which he won, but he received a $100,000 fine and a loss of 25 points for his actions. The series is now heading to Phoenix, but who knows what will happen there this weekend. Everything is just so intense right now, Harvick said. Everybody is just kind of throwing caution to the wind to do all they can for their team. Everybody is racing as hard as they can. Just glad to be in the mix. Just 18 points separate the eight drivers who are still in the Chase. With none of them winning at either Martinsville or Texas, all four positions for the championship race at Homestead have yet to be determined. ' ' '

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