Miami, China to host sprint races in 2024 F1 season
Warner angst adds spice to Australia’s cricket summer
THE Miami and Chinese Grands Prix will host sprint races in the 2024 Formula One season, organisers announced on Tuesday.
There will be six sprints for the second straight year, after the format was added in 2022 to three race weekends.
The Azerbaijan and Belgian races will miss out on the Saturday sprint having held one each in 2023.
“The addition of Shanghai will be a challenge for the teams and drivers as Formula One heads back to China for the first time since 2019, while a sprint in Miami will add a new dimension to an enthralling weekend,” said
HOME Tests against an undermanned Pakistan may struggle to excite even the most ardent Australian cricket fan, but angst over David Warner’s farewell tour has given the series a welcome boost.
Since his Test debut against New Zealand in 2011, Warner has been front and centre in Australian cricket, whether as a poster boy for brilliance or a whipping boy for the team’s occasional transgressions.
The 37-year-old is in the spotlight once again as he looks to bow out of Test cricket on his own terms amid considerable doubt over his place in the side.
Former teammate Mitchell Johnson gave voice to that doubt with a sledgehammer column that highlighted Warner’s waning output in Tests and suggested selectors were too close to the lefthander.
While Johnson’s takedown drew a scathing response from some media pundits, many in the Australian cricketing community feel a lingering discomfort more than five years on from the Newlands ball-tampering scandal.
“Sandpaper-gate” was arguably the nadir of Australian cricket in the modern era, with Warner adjudged villain-inchief after a Cricket Australia integrity probe.
Opening partner Usman Khawaja spoke for many when he said Warner, along with fellow ball-tampering conspirators
Mohammed Ben Sulayem, president of motorsports’ governing body, the FIA.
The US, Austrian, Brazilian and Qatari Grands Prix will again host sprints, which offer eight championship points to the winner.
Max Verstappen will bid for a fourth straight drivers’ world title next year after a record-breaking 2023 season in which he won 19 of the 22 races and four sprints.
Verstappen and his team Red Bull dominated the podium this season to extent that it has been hard to predict who will their biggest rival be come next season. | AFP Steve Smith and Cameron Bancroft, had “paid his dues” by serving a 12-month suspension.
Yet plenty of fans would agree with Johnson that indulging Warner with a “hero’s send-off” in the third Test at his home Sydney Cricket Ground would be hard to swallow.
Warner remains saddled with a lifelong leadership ban following Newlands, despite his campaign last year to have it rescinded.
That came to nothing when he angrily pulled out of the process, accusing a Cricket Australia-appointed panel of seeking to dredge up unsavoury details about “Sandpaper-gate”.
He has kept his counsel amid the recent furore, declining interviews while allowing his long-serving manager James Erskine to defend his character and return fire at Johnson.
Warner may hope his bat will do the talking, much as it did during the recent World Cup in India when his mountain of runs helped Australia to a record sixth title.
Test runs have been much harder to come by in recent years, barring a brilliant double-century in his 100th Test at the Melbourne Cricket Ground against South Africa nearly a year ago.
Former captain Ricky Ponting later said that would have been Warner’s ideal swansong. |
African News Agency