independent

Saturday 25 October 2014

Will Hamilton rue Mercedes swtich?

Published 21/11/2012 | 16:56

IF Formula 1 is to ever break through in the United States then last Sunday's USA Grand Prix in Austin, Texas will have gone a long way towards making it possible. In a season of brilliant races this was up there was the very best.

The amount of overtaking, and indeed the variety of it, was breathtaking. The freshness of the track and the hardness of the tires that Pirelli brought to the venue, allied to some brilliant, mature driving by virtually all the drivers, conspired to give us an absolutely cracking race.

It was an event capped, of course, by a brilliant performance by Lewis Hamilton. Unless he wins again this weekend (a distinct possibility) it might well have been his last ever victory in a McLaren so it was defintely a bittersweet occasion for all involved.

McLaren will lament the loss of one of the top two or three (he's just behind Alonso in F1's present pecking order we would argue) drivers on the grid and Hamilton will be left to wonder when will he again grace the top step of the podium when he looks at how poorly the Mercedes team performed at the Circuit of the Americas.

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Former Tralee winners go in Irish Laurels 

IT is a wonderful tribute to Tralee Track that the last two winners of its juvenile classic, Vans Viking and Farloe Calvin, and the 2014 winner of the Race of Champions, Sidarian Blaze, are leading fancies in the final of the Connolly's Red Mills Irish Laurels (winner, €30,000) at Cork Track this Saturday. It was a pity the Liam Dowling-trained Green Prince didn't qualify from the first semi-final last Saturday, but, after a busy season to date, he certainly lost no caste in defeat and surely one of the three stars mentioned will carry off the top prize of €30,000.

Quietly still in the mix in the Puppy Derby 

THE Tralee 525yds record-breaker, Quietly, is still there with a chance of victory in the Dublin Coach Puppy Derby at Harold's Cross, the final of which will be run this Friday. He encountered serious trouble in the second semi-final last Friday and did really well to finish third . He is not without a chance in the final and, with a purse of €22,500 at stake, connections would recoup a very sizeable percentage of the very sizeable money they paid for him. He runs from trap 2 and it would really be something if he could finally upstage Farloe Bltz. Stranger things have...

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