Hamilton on the brink of sixth title after surprise win: 2019 Mexican Grand Prix Review

The Mexican Grand Prix has only been back on the F1 calendar since 2015, but it has already become a fan favourite. That is shown in the organisers winning the FIA best Promoter Award four years running and shown again by a spectacular podium show in the stadium section. Well, not if you’re Sebastian Vettel who was not impressed with the trophy (after 120 career podiums, that’s just ungrateful). With several dramatic twists, turns and controversial moments, the 2019 race delivered even if it was slightly underwhelming that tyre management became the main factor in the race.

Qualifying saw the first bit of drama and controversy. With Valtteri Bottas having a pretty scary crash at turn 13 late in Q3, the pole position shootout was essentially neutralised. However, Max Verstappen set a purple sector to take pole position. Red Bull had looked strong for much of the weekend but pole was a relative surprise. read more

Rowan’s Premier League Predictions 2019/20: October 25th-27th

The Premier League returned after the second international break of the season with intrigue and yet more VAR controversy. Should Saido Mane’s goal have been allowed, Wolves had two goals disallowed too as they drew wit Southampton and Liverpool lost their 100% start to the season. Manchester City closed the gap to 6 points while a Bernard inspired Everton (pictured above; image from the Premier League) got a much needed win against West Ham.

Michy Batshuayi scored the winner for Chelsea in midweek against last seasons semi-finalists, Ajax. [image from Evening Standard].

In midweek, there were wins for all the English sides competing in Europe. Manchester City swept past Atalanta 5-1, Liverpool past Genk in Belgium 4-1 Chelsea got a big win in the battle of the youngsters against Ajax (1-0) while Spurs got a result against Red Star Belgrade (5-0). In the Europa League, Manchester United got a win against Partizan Belgrade in Serbia (1-0), Wolves in Slovakia (2-1) and Arsenal saw past Portuguese side Vitoria SC; 3-2. read more

Long overdue win for Valtteri Bottas as Mercedes seal record equalling title: 2019 Japanese Grand Prix Review

There were so many questions heading into the Japanese Grand Prix at Suzuka this year and mostly, would we even have a Grand Prix. Typhoon Hagibis had already seen two Rugby World Cup games abandoned as a precaution. In the end, Qualifying was moved from its Saturday spot to Sunday morning before the race.

It has contributed to the debate of how the Grand Prix weekend should be structured as runners persist about how the Qualifying session could be edited. However, on track, Sebastian Vettel marched to a rather unexpected pole position and out-qualified Leclerc for the first time in nine. read more

Rowan’s Premier League Predictions 2019/20: October 19th-21st

After the second international break of the season which saw Belgium become the first few of six national teams to qualify for next summers Euro 2020, Premier League action returns!

The International break was marred by the racist abuse aimed at England players in Sofia n Monday. It is despicable and has no place in the game but there was a wider argument of whether they should have come off the pitch or played on. They played on and secured a 6-0 win but it is horrendous. Gareth Southgate’s side is all set to be there next summer while Scotlands chances are lying on a knife-edge after they lost to Russia before getting an obligatory win over San Marino. Northern Ireland were unfortunate against Holland and unfortunately may miss out altogether whole it is still all to play for Wales and the Republic of Ireland.

With the Premier League’s return, that means that so too are the prediction posts. In these posts, I make predictions and compare them against those made by the pundits each week for BBC Sport (Mark Lawrenson) and Sky Sports (Charlie Nicholas it seemed this season) as well as the BT Script. For this, I use the point system used by Sky for their Super 6 game which is 5 points for the correct score and 2 points for the correct result. read more

Preview Talking Points coming into the Japanese Grand Prix

With five races remaining of the 2019 F1 season, it is the turn of Suzuka to host the 16th round of the Championship with the Japanese Grand Prix. Situated in Ino, the famous figure of eight circuit has seen some entertaining and decisive races over the years with no fewer than 12 world champions ships being decided in Japan but could the 2019 edition add to that?

The Drivers Championship
The top five of the Drivers Championship. [Image from BBC Sport].

Well, in the Drivers Championship, it cannot. After his surprise win in Russia, Lewis Hamilton is almost o the verge of a sixth world championship. Hamilton sits top of the standings on 322 points with a 73 point lead over his teammate Valtteri Bottas in 2nd. With Bottas not winning a race since round four in Azerbaijan and the recent set of races going against him, it would seem his title challenge is over. Charles Leclerc is in third with 215 points, 34 adrift of Bottas in second so it looks a very long shot for Ferrari’s young superstar to mount a very late title challenge. read more

Rowan’s Premier League Predictions 2019/20: October 5th-6th

After a difficult start of VAR being used in the Premier League, we eventually saw it at its best in allowing Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang’s equaliser against Man United stand after the linesmen gave what was quite a ridiculous offside. Leicester were in rampant fashion in the second half of their encounter with Newcastle as they put them to the sword, 5-0. Saturday saw some entertaining football as Man City won at 3-1 while Wolves got their first win of the season against Watford (pictured above, image from Reuters UK) and Liverpool connoted their 100% start to the season but only just. There were draws at Aston Villa and Bournemouth while Frank Lampard got his first league win at Stamford Bridge as Chelsea boss.

Serge Gnabry scored four as Bayern Munich stormed to a 7-2 win over Spurs in midweek. [Image from Sky Sports].

Midweek was one that Tottenham Hotspur fans would want to forget as they conceded 7 at home for the first time in the clubs history as Bayern Munich won 7-2. There were wins for Chelsea, Manchester City and Liverpool in the Champions League against Lille, Dinamo Zagreb and Red Bull Salzburg respectively though Liverpool just about won after letting a three-goal lead slip. In the Europa League, Wolves did well to get a surprise win over Besiktas in Turkey while Arsenal impressively defeated Standard Liege 4-0 at home but Manchester United were disappointing against Ditch side AZ Alkmaar. read more