SPIELBERG, Austria -- Red Bull doubts coming home will be an advantage, as Formula One returns to Austria this week for the first time in 11 years. . Team drivers Daniel Ricciardo and Sebastian Vettel finally ended Mercedes six-race winning streak by finishing 1-3 in the Canadian Grand Prix two weeks ago. But just when their F1 fortunes have taken an upturn, they dont believe their home track, the old A1 Ring redubbed the Red Bull Ring, will give them anything more than an emotional boost in the Austrian Grand Prix. Even then, teams that have been eating Red Bulls exhaust for the last four years are keen to pay them in kind on their home track. "It adds a bit of extra motivation," F1 leader Nico Rosberg of Mercedes admits. "It would be really special to win on the A1 Ring." Ricciardo and Vettel believe rival Mercedes will bounce back from its hiccup in Montreal, and go into the Austrian GP as deserved favourites. "The gap is still big," Ricciardo said on Thursday. "Weve got a bit of steam from the last race. Were all really excited - the home one for Red Bull - but (closing the gap) is still going to take a bit of time, its not going to happen overnight." Vettel thinks Mercedes is likely to have sorted out the technical mishaps from Montreal. "Everything else would surprise me," Vettel said, adding his teams goal was to get as close as possible to its dominant rival. "If a chance comes up like in Canada, we want to be right there to take it." Only engine troubles have stymied Mercedes this season. In Montreal, Rosberg and Lewis Hamilton had the same problem at about the same time, when their rear brakes overheated. While Hamilton went out, race leader Rosberg managed to limit the damage and lost just one place. "Its work in progress," Rosberg said of his team technicians trying to solve the problem. "We are confident its not happening again. We dont need to go extra conservative." Despite his second DNF of the season, Hamilton took positives out of the Canadian GP. "Weve only gained from that experience," the 2008 world champion said. "The cars been fixed so that wont happen again. ... We have a lot races ahead of us so a couple of DNFs are not concerning me too much now. I have done my optimum but there is still room for improvement." The Austrian GP was last held in 2003, when Michael Schumacher triumphed on his way to the sixth of his seven world titles. Only four drivers have raced on this circuit -- Jenson Button, Kimi Raikkonen, Fernando Alonso and Filipe Massa. It will be the first time for Ricciardo and Vettel. Although the track has been modified only slightly, the 11-year-old race data wont be much help as the series has drastically changed with the introduction of the hybrid cars. "To be honest, I dont remember anything ... I have no memories," Alonso said. "(It) is a very short circuit, so there are only five or six corners around here where you can make the time, so I expect all the cars to be very close. One or two tenths (in time), you can make a lot of places, so you just need to make a perfect lap." Teams will rely heavily on their simulations, and need to gather as much data as possible during practice on Friday and Saturday morning, especially on surface characteristics. Those could change between the first and second practices as rain has been forecast for Friday afternoon. At 4.3 kilometres, the track is one of the shortest on the calendar. However, it has fast straights and features only nine turns, with just the first three to be taken in low gear, and it includes two DRS zones -- after the second and the ninth turn. In these zones, drivers are allowed to alter the angle of their cars rear wing flap to reduce drag while attempting to overtake. Until the Canadian GP, Mercedes was racing in a league of its own. Rosberg leads with 140 points, Hamilton has 118, and next-best was Ricciardo, on 79. Vettel was fifth with 60, but he and Ricciardo are hoping coming home will make a difference. . -- Shanshan Feng was alone in her opinion about the pin positions in the Kraft Nabisco Championship. . The Incheon-based tea, of the Korea Baseball Organization said the deal for the 35-year-old Scott included a $50,000 signing bonus. Scott reached the major leagues with Houston in 2005 and hit 23 homers or more for Baltimore each year from 2008-10.(SportsNetwork.com) - The New York Islanders have lost ground in the NHL playoff race during a five-game slide and the club may have more bad news coming down the pike. But first, the struggling club hopes to avoid a sixth consecutive setback on Tuesday when it visits the Washington Capitals at Verizon Center. Watch the Islanders vs. Capitals live tonight on TSN2 at 7:30pm et/4:30pm pt. In addition to posting an 0-4-1 record during its current slide, the Isles are also having difficulty convincing winger Thomas Vanek to stay with the club and New York may wind up trading the Austrian winger. According to a report Monday in Newsday, Vanek, who is set to become an unrestricted free agent in July, has turned down a "substantial contract offer" from the Isles. The report also says New York general manager Garth Snow is fielding offers from teams looking to acquire the 30-year-old forward. Vanek was acquired from Buffalo in a trade on Oct. 27 and he has 15 goals and 38 points in 41 games with the Islanders after becoming part of a formidable top line with John Tavares and Kyle Okposo. If Vanek is dealt by the Isles, it will turn out to be a costly rental for the club. New York sent winger Matt Moulson to the Sabres along with a first-round pick in this summers draft as well as a second-rounder in 2015 to land Vanek. The NHL trade deadline for this season is March 5. The Islanders went 10-3-0 from Dec. 29-Jan. 21 before losing five in a row. The clubs last two losses came against the rival New York Rangers, who posted a 2-1 regulation win over the Isles in last Wednesdays outdoor game at Yankee Stadium before notching a 4-1 home win Friday night at Madison Square Garden. Derick Brassard and Brad Richards scored less than three minutes apart in the third period to support a strong effort from Henrik Lundqvist in the Rangers win over the Isles at MSG. Okposo had the lone score for the struggling Islanders, while Evgeni Nabokov stopped 33-of-36 chances in defeat. "We just looked like we ran out of gas," Tavares said. "We just didnt seem to have that extra gear when we needed it." With 50 points, the Isles are currently 13th out of 15 teams in the Eastern Conference and 12 points out of a playoff spot. Including tonights tilt, New York has three games left before the NHL breaks for the Winter Olympics. . After visiting Washington on Tuesday, the Isles will host Calgary and Colorado on Thursday and Saturday, respectively. After losing seven in a row from Jan. 12-24, Washington has recorded three wins over its last five games and is 3-1-1 during that stretch. The Capitals split a home-and-home series with Detroit over the weekend, losing Fridays road portion against the Red Wings 4-3 in a shootout before taking Sundays wild 6-5 overtime decision at the Verizon Center. Alex Ovechkin scored a power-play goal 2:37 into overtime to lift the Capitals to Sundays entertaining matinee battle in D.C. Red Wings defenseman Brendan Smith was called for tripping at the 1:26 mark of the extra session. The Capitals moved the puck around and John Carlson fed Ovechkin for a one-timer from the left circle. Ovechkin has scored seven times over his last nine games and he is leading the NHL with 39 goals. His next goal will give Ovechkin 40 or more markers in a season for the sixth time in his career and for the first time since he posted 50 in 2009-10. Joel Ward registered two goals and one assist on Sunday and Jason Chimera added a goal and two helpers for the Capitals, who overcame blowing a trio of two-goal leads to win for the third time in their last 12 games. "We came out great and they never gave up; they are a really good hockey team," said Washington head coach Adam Oates. Michal Neuvirth picked up the win despite surrendering five goals on 30 shots. The Capitals expect to be without defenseman Mike Green for a third straight game after he suffered a concussion last week against Columbus. Green tried to practice on Monday, but he left for the dressing room after 10 minutes. Washington forwards Mikhail Grabovski (sprained left ankle), Brooks Laich (groin), Eric Fehr (lower body) and Aaron Volpatti (upper body) are also questionable for tonights contest. The Caps, who are three points out of a playoff spot in the East, are 2-0 against the Islanders this season and have won three straight and five of the past seven games in this series. Washington is 8-2-1 in the past 11 encounters in D.C. ' ' '
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05 déc. 2019
six-race winning streak by
six-race winning streak by