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Rediff.com  » Sports » Sports Shorts: Woman F1 driver Wolff sidelined after four laps

Sports Shorts: Woman F1 driver Wolff sidelined after four laps

Last updated on: July 04, 2014 18:07 IST

Sports Shorts: Woman F1 driver Wolff sidelined after four laps

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Susie Wolff became the first woman driver in 22 years to take part in a Formula One race weekend on Friday but her involvement in British Grand Prix practice lasted barely 20 minutes.

On a bad morning for Williams, who finished third and fourth in Austria the weekend before last, Brazilian Felipe Massa then brought out the red flags after a heavy crash that also ruled him out of the rest of the session.

Wolff, wife of Mercedes motorsport head Toto, managed just four laps before an oil pressure problem forced her to park up by the side of the track on a sunny but breezy morning at Silverstone.

She was still the first woman to take part in any stage of a grand prix weekend since Italian Giovanna Amati tried and failed to qualify with Brabham in 1992.

Italian Lella Lombardi, in 1976, was the last woman to race in Formula One.

Massa spun and hit the wall hard near the exit to Stowe corner with just over an hour of practice remaining, bringing the session to a halt. The Brazilian was unhurt in the impact but the car suffered heavy damage.

"I'm fine. I hit the outside of the kerb and it just pushed me inside," said the former Ferrari driver, who will be starting his 200th race this weekend but first at Silverstone with a British team.

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Image: Williams Formula One driver Susie Wolff of Britain wipes her face after her car broke down
Photographs: Phil Noble/Reuters

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Saina moves up to 7th spot in badminton world rankings

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Following her victory in the Australian Open Super Series, ace India shuttler Saina Nehwal climbed a notch to the seventh position in the latest world rankings.

Her compatriot PV Sindhu dropped out of the top 10 after after being knocked out at the quarter-final stage in Australia.

Sindhu fell a place to 11th spot.

The upper half of the women's singles table remained unchanged with China's Li Xuerui, Shixian Wang and Yihan Wang sitting in the top three spots.

In the men's section, Parupalli Kashyap dropped a place to be the best-placed Indian at 21. Lee Chong Wei is still men's singles No 1.

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Image: Saina Nehwal plays a dribble at the net
Photographs: Matt King/Getty Images

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Gatlin beats Gay in 100mts at Lausanne Diamond League

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Former world 100 metres champion Tyson Gay finished second behind fellow American Justin Gatlin on his return to competition after a one-year doping ban at the Lausanne Diamond League meeting on Thursday.

Gatlin, the 2004 Athens Olympics gold medallist who was later banned for four years for doping, clocked a season's best 9.80 seconds while Gay clocked 9.93. American champion Mike Rodgers, who has also served a drugs suspension, was third in 9.98.

Gay was cleared to compete in the Swiss lakeside city after the international federation decided it would not contest the United States Anti-Doping Agency's decision to halve his ban. The 2007 world gold medallist tested positive for a steroid at last year's U.S. championships.

"I'm happy to be back on the circuit, I didn't miss a beat," Gay told reporters. "I felt very welcomed by my fellow athletes, it's great to make a return with 9.93.

"Lausanne is always a great competition. At this stage I'm not very clear where I will get to compete this season but my goal is to compete as much as I can and to remain healthy."

On a perfect summer's evening, Grenada's Olympic champion Kirani James set a personal best of 43.74 seconds in the men's 400 metres to join his American rival LaShawn Merritt on equal fifth place in the all-time list. Merritt finished second in 43.92.

"The conditions were perfect, the crowd was brilliant, and I am very happy," James said. "I'm very happy to run a national record, it's always something to be proud of. LaShawn was strong and he pushed me."

Frenchman Pascal Martinot-Lagarde clocked a personal best of 13.06 seconds in the men's high hurdles, the second fastest time in the world this year, and New Zealand's Olympic and world champion Valerie Adams extended her winning streak in the women's shot put to 51 with an opening mark of 10.42 metres.

World record holder Barbora Spotakova of the CzechRepublic produced her season's best with a throw of 66.72 metres in the women's javelin.

In the final event of the evening, Ukraine's Bohdan Bondarenko won the latest battle between the world's elite male high jumpers before failing with three attempts on Cuban Javier Sotomayor's 21-year-old world record mark of 2.45 metres.

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Image: Justin Gatlin of USA celebrates with fans after winning the Men's 100m race at the IAAF Diamond League Athletics meeting 'Athletissima' in Lausanne, Switzerland, on Thursday
Photographs: Philipp Schmidli/Getty Images

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Ferdinand set to sign for QPR, says Redknapp

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Former England centre back Rio Ferdinand has agreed to sign for promoted Queens Park Rangers, manager Harry Redknapp has said.

Ferdinand, a free agent after leaving Manchester United at the end of last season, is working as an analyst for the BBC at the World Cup finals in Brazil.

"Rio has agreed to join us and we're hopeful of getting that one over the line when he gets back from the World Cup," former West Ham United and Tottenham Hotspur manager Redknapp told the Daily Telegraph.

"I can't foresee any problems with it and we'd be delighted if we can get it done soon.

"He's been a player at the top of our list since he left Manchester United and he would give the whole place a lift with his quality and experience."

Redknapp, who gave Ferdinand his professional debut with West Ham in 1996, is aiming to strengthen his QPR squad for their return to the Premier League next season.

He wants to pair Ferdinand with Steven Caulker and the Telegraph said QPR had agreed to pay the eight million pounds ($13.61 million) escape clause in the CardiffCity captain's contract.

"We've agreed a fee with Cardiff and it's now up to Steven to decide his next move," Redknapp said.

"I know him well from Spurs and he's always been a tremendous prospect. Hopefully that's another one we can get done."

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Image: Rio Ferdinand
Photographs: Nicky Loh/Getty Images

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Bolt, Fraser-Pryce named to Jamaica's Commonwealth team

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Usain Bolt and Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce were named to Jamaica's 68-member team for next month's Commonwealth Games, a source with the Jamaica Athletics Administrative Association said on Thursday.

Both sprinters, who each received medical exceptions to miss last week's Jamaican senior trials, have only been entered to compete in the 4x100m relays, the source told Reuters.

In early June Bolt withdrew from meetings at the Ostrava World Challenge and Paris Diamond League meet because he felt his conditioning was not at his required standard.

The inclusion of six time Olympic gold medallist Bolt and twice Olympic 100 metres champion Fraser-Pryce in the July 23-Aug. 3 event in Glasgow, Scotland, is a boost for organisers of the multi-sport Commonwealth Games.

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Image: Usain Bolt
Photographs: Getty Images

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Raikkonen likely to retire at end of 2015

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Ferrari's Kimi Raikkonen, the 2007 Formula One world champion, said on Thursday he expects to retire when his contract runs out at the end of 2015.

The fan favourite, who won his title with the Italian glamour team in 2007, returned to Maranello this season on a two-year contract.

However, the Finn has struggled to match team mate Fernando Alonso in the eight races so far with only 19 points to the Spaniard's 79 and a best finish of seventh.

"Until my contract is finished and then I will probably stop. That is what I think is going to happen," the 34-year-old said when asked by reporters how long he expected to stay at Ferrari.

Raikkonen took two years out of Formula One to compete without much success in the world rally championship, returning with Lotus in 2012.

"When I feel it's time to finish Formula One, it's time to finish that," he said. "Even doing something else at the same time makes no difference because obviously the decision is about F1 and if it is the right time to stop."

The championship is approaching the halfway point, a stage where speculation about likely driver moves starts to pick up speed.

Raikkonen's results have inevitably focused attention on the famously taciturn driver while Alonso's future at Ferrari has also been questioned after apparent overtures from his former McLaren boss Ron Dennis.

Jenson Button, the 2009 champion, is out of contract with McLaren at the end of the season - but has said he wants to stay - while Lotus' French driver Romain Grosjean is starting to feature in the rumour mill. 


Image: Kimi Raikkonen
Photographs: Clive Mason/Getty Images

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