August 23rd, 2010
10:22 PM ET

Ferrari's spat with Lauda is unseemly and unnecessary

Niki Lauda's spat with Ferrari is diverting attention away from a great battle for the F1 championship.
Niki Lauda's spat with Ferrari is diverting attention away from a great battle for the F1 championship.

In the absence of any action on the track for a month, the world of Formula One has instead been sidetracked by an unseemly spat between two of its household names.

The war of words between Ferrari and three-time world champion Niki Lauda seems all the more cheap and unnecessary given the Austrian won two of his titles with the Italian team in the 1970's and was a decade later appointed to a consultancy role by current Ferrari chairman Luca Di Montezemolo.

The controversy was sparked by the continuing fall out from the German Grand Prix, when Ferrari appeared to instruct their Brazilian driver Felipe Massa, who was leading the race, to allow teammate Fernando Alonso, in second, to overtake him.

The actual words used by Ferrari’s race engineer Rob Smedley over the radio were as follows: "Fernando is faster than you. Can you confirm you understand?" Seconds later, Massa slowed down, Alonso moved into the lead and the Spaniard went on to take the checkered flag.

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Filed under:  Motorsport
August 23rd, 2010
05:30 PM ET

Home hopes distant ahead of U.S. Open

John Isner proved a hero at Wimbledon but can he become a grand slam winner at Flushing Meadows ?
John Isner proved a hero at Wimbledon but can he become a grand slam winner at Flushing Meadows ?

In the not so distant past, the U.S. Open was dominated by American tennis legends such as Pete Sampras and Andre Agassi and before that John McEnroe and Jimmy Connors, but going into next week's final grand slam home hopes are slim at best.

Andy Roddick may have moved back into the top 10 in the world rankings and Mardy Fish pushed Roger Federer all the way in the Cincinnati final, but it's really hard to make a case for a home player to triumph at Flushing Meadows.

Strip away the Williams sisters (Serena is injured for the final grand slam of the year) and Roddick and the cupboard is worringly bare, and none of that illustrious trio is getting any younger.

The USTA, rather like their counterparts at the LTA in Britain, has come under heavy criticism for not producing the successors to the likes of Sampras and Agassi, or even Roddick, despite the huge revenues raked in by their home grand slam.

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Filed under:  Tennis