Saturday 27 May 2017

In brief: Hamilton worry over McLaren car

Motorsport

Lewis Hamilton has expressed concerns that McLaren are already playing catch-up this season.

Hamilton and team-mate Jenson Button were all smiles as they played with McLaren's new supercar, the MP4-12C, on a wet and cold day at Dunsfold Aerodrome in England.

Focusing on development, McLaren launched this year's challenger a few days later than their main rivals, Red Bull Racing, Ferrari and Mercedes, which led to them missing the first test in Valencia.

In the subsequent tests in Jerez and Barcelona, the team have been plagued with reliability issues which have cost them track time.

With a final four-day test to come in Barcelona next week, Ferrari and Red Bull have completed double the mileage of McLaren, and that is a worry.

"Of course we'd love to have had more mileage, but there is a real balance," said Hamilton.

"We've good things in the pipeline, and we definitely improved in the last couple of days' testing. We've not done the mileage at the beginning but hopefully we can pick up on reliability and the downforce is on its way."

Meanwhile, F1 supremo Bernie Ecclestone has put forward the possibility of running the recently postponed Bahrain Grand Prix in the summer break.

The race, scheduled for March 13, was called off last week due to political unrest in the Gulf kingdom.

Cycling

Mark Cavendish is hoping to scale even greater heights in 2011 after he announced a packed schedule that will take in all three Grand Tours and the world championships.

Starting with the Milan-San Remo classic this month and moving on to May's Giro d'Italia, the Briton will then turn his attention towards July's Tour de France and the world championships in September.

Cavendish will also defend his green jersey at the Tour of Spain in August.

Olympics

The International Olympic Committee has rejected Iran's complaint that the logo for the 2012 Olympics resembles the word Zion and is racist.

"The London 2012 logo represents the figure 2012, nothing else," the IOC said in a statement.

The London logo, launched in 2007, shows the numbers 2012 in four jagged figures. Zion is a term that refers to the Biblical land of Israel and Iran does not recognise Israel. Iran made the complaint in a letter to IOC president Jacques Rogge.

"Certainly other countries, including Islamic nations, will react to this racist logo," said the secretary general of Iran's Olympic committee Bahram Afsharzadeh.

He warned the IOC that "negligence of the issue from your side might affect the presence of some countries, especially Iran".

Irish Independent

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