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Formula 1: China Cancels the 2023 GP amid Covid-19 Restrictions

CHINA: Formula 1 management announced on Friday that the 2023 Chinese Grand Prix will not take place in the next season due to the ongoing COVID-19 situation in the country.

China’s COVID policy impacts Formula 1’s race schedule

Due to China’s zero-COVID policy, the country’s Formula One race scheduled for 16th April of next year has recently been the point of discussion. 

As per sources, recent unrest events in China, including public protests against the Covid-19 restrictions put forth by the government, influenced the decision not to proceed with the race.

Due to the cancellation, the status of F1’s record-breaking 24-race season is uncertain. Formula 1 is in consulting multiple options about the practicality of filling the space. However, F1 management may leave it unfilled and drop to a 23-race calendar.

Formula 1 intends to decide in the coming weeks, with a final decision likely to be made in the new year. No timeline is yet established by F1; however, it can come up with a decision before Christmas.

China has not hosted a Formula 1 race since 2019. It was one of the major international sporting events to be cancelled in 2020 in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic.

Zhou Guanyu became the first Chinese driver in Formula One this year, making his debut with the Alfa Romeo team. However, he won’t be able to race on his home track for at least another year.

Per the original Formula 1 calendar, the Chinese GP was the fourth event on the calendar for next year on April 14-16. The 2023 Chinese Grand Prix would have ended what would have been a four-year hiatus since Formula 1 last came to China.

Formula 1 has determined that the situation in China prevents it from proceeding with the race, despite ongoing dialogue in recent weeks to try to find a solution given the restrictions that are currently in place.

With China’s cancellation, there will now be a four-week gap between the race in Australia on 2nd April and the one in Azerbaijan on 30th April.

Also Read: Abu Dhabi GP: Max Verstappen Ends Record-breaking Season with 15th Victory

After a 3 year Delay, Tesla Delivers Its First Electric Semi-truck Batch

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UNITED STATES: Tesla’s semi-trucks, first shown off as a concept in 2017, were supposed to be made in 2019. However, Tesla put them on hold for several reasons, including the COVID-19 pandemic and a global shortage of parts.

PepsiCo representatives received the first batch of trucks. They had immediately reserved 100 Semis after its announcement in 2017.

Five years after the EV manufacturer first displayed it to the public, the first Tesla Semi trucks were delivered to customers on Thursday at the company’s Gigafactory in Sparks, Nevada.

According to Tesla, four independent motors on the rear axles power the Semi. It can go from a standstill to 60 mph in 20 seconds and has a 500-mile range on a single charge.

There have been orders in the low dozens from companies like Walmart and FedEx, and prices may start at $150,000.

Standing on a stage surrounded by four Tesla Semis, two of which were emblazoned with the logos of Frito Lay and Pepsi, Musk emphasized the necessity of reducing carbon emissions generated by global shipping.

However, after giving the cause of combating climate change lip service, he quickly switched to his distinctive style of showmanship.

Musk listed a few features that he claims will make the ‘Semi’ the most desirable and efficient truck on the road.

Musk stated that Tesla would incorporate the truck’s 1,000-volt powertrain architecture into its future product development.

Regenerative braking improves battery efficiency, traction control prevents jack-knifing, and an automatic clutch ensures smooth highway driving in the Semi.

Musk revealed over the weekend that one of Tesla’s battery-powered class 8 semi-trucks had travelled 500 miles with 81,000 pounds of cargo fully loaded.

Musk clarified at the event that the Semi completed the trip without the need to recharge the vehicle’s battery.

Before they can be widely adopted, battery-powered electric vehicles will face significant obstacles, including weight restrictions and the availability of convenient charging stations.

For instance, truck stops are largely unprepared to deal with electric tractor-trailers’ enormous battery capacity and power requirements.

Musk discussed Tesla’s current product lineup at the event, which has often coped with criticism for being stale compared to other automakers, frequently releasing updated versions of previous models.

Musk said that Tesla was different from other car companies while standing in front of a picture of the company’s lineup, which included the upcoming Cybertruck and a mysterious vehicle named “Robotaxi.”

Also Read: Elon Musk Sells $3.95 Billion Worth of Tesla Shares Days after Buying Twitter

FIFA World Cup 2022: Croatia Holds Belgium to a Goalless Draw, Qualifies for Knockouts

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QATAR: Belgium’s “golden generation” were eliminated from the World Cup after their 0-0 draw with Croatia knocked them out of contention for the last 16. Morocco, who defeated Canada in the other Group F match, topped the table. 

Croatia vs Belgium faceoff ends in a scoreless tie

Romelu Lukaku hit the post and missed many scoring opportunities in the match. After finishing third four years ago and leading the world rankings up until recently, Roberto Martinez’s team was well off the pace in Qatar. 

Despite an improved performance in the second half that led to a series of Lukaku opportunities, they could not get the win they needed to stay afloat in the tournament after Morocco beat Canada.

Lukaku, a sub for the second half, hit the inside of the post of the open goalpost. He then headed over from a Kevin De Bruyne cross, followed by a wide flick from close range, and chested the ball to the goalkeeper inside the six-yard box. Josko Gvardiol later beat him to a loose ball from a similar distance.

After the match ended, the record goal-scorer for Belgium broke down in the arms of Belgium’s manager, Thierry Henry, and afterward punched a board out of the Belgian dugout in disappointment.

His compatriots, however, had been less than impressive themselves, with just a very close offside call denying Croatia a penalty spot in the first half. Goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois had to work hard in the second half to fend off Croatian strikers.

Martinez dropped captain Eden Hazard amid rumours of conflict in the Belgian squad after their 2-0 loss to Morocco in their previous group match. The changes didn’t affect the goalless streak of the team.

This talented group of Belgian footballers may have missed their chance to win trophies because 15 of their 26 players are over 29 years old.

Croatia will need to make significant personal improvements if they want to repeat their run to the final in Russia. However, they are still in the running for a last-16 matchup with the winner of Group E, where Spain leads.

Also Read: FIFA World Cup 2022: Morocco Defeats Canada 2-1 Emerging as Toppers of Group F

FIFA World Cup 2022: Morocco Defeats Canada 2-1 Emerging as Toppers of Group F

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QATAR: With the 2-1 victory over Canada, Morocco rose to the top of Group F at the World Cup. The victory secured its first appearance in the round of 16 since 1986. Canada was already out of the World Cup before the match on Thursday.

Morocco bags the victory with a blazing finisher

Morocco, which needed to win or draw their final Group F match to advance to the knockout stages, scored after four minutes when Hakim Ziyech took advantage of Milan Borjan’s poor clearance.

Midfielder Ziyech effortlessly chucked the ball over the stranded goalkeeper, supported by a raucous Moroccan crowd.

Borjan was forced to chase Moroccan forward Youssef En-Nesyri for the ball by central defender Steven Vitoria’s weak back pass, putting Borjan in an unpleasant position.

En-Nesyri looked in ominous touch throughout the first half. He doubled Morocco’s lead in the 23rd minute by beating Borjan at the near post after running onto a long ball from Achraf Hakimi.

In the first half’s stoppage time, En-Nesyri hit a volley into the Canadian goal, but the goal was ruled offside, thus disallowing it. Morocco finished first in Group F and will play the second-place finishers in Group E. 

In the 40th minute, Moroccan defender Nayef Aguerd accidentally scored Canada’s first World Cup own goal by flicking a cross from Sam Adekugbe past his own goalkeeper Yassine Bounou.

Canada, the United States, and Mexico will serve as co-hosts of the 2026 World Cup after exiting their first World Cup without a victory since 1986.

Morocco was placed in a group with tough opponents like Croatia and Belgium, who finished second and third in the 2018 World Cup, respectively. However, they were able to take four points off the European teams before holding on to win their final group game against Canada.

Morocco will now play with Spain, Japan, Costa Rica, or Germany, whichever ends up as the runners-up in Group E.

Also Read: FIFA World Cup 2022: Argentina Beat Poland 2-0, Qualifies for Round 16

Cost Cap Controversy: Alfa Romeo’s Fred Vasseur Takes a Dig at Christian Horner

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UNITED KINGDOM: Alfa Romeo’s team principal, Fred Vasseur, recently made fun of Christian Horner over the cost cap saga, saying that he can now spend “five times nothing.” 

With their sixth-place finish in the constructors’ championship, the Alfa Romeo team made an additional $10 million in the 2022 Formula 1 season.

Fred Vasseur was one of the more vocal team principals as reports of Red Bull breaching the 2021 cost cap regulations arose in the second half of the 2022 Formula 1 season. 

The FIA later confirmed the allegations after it found Red Bull guilty of exceeding the cost cap by $2.2 million, despite team boss Christian Horner’s insistence that the overspending had “zero benefits” in terms of the performance of the RB16B.

Fred Vasseur is eager to see what he can accomplish using the money received from the FIA after their decent showing in 2022.

Taking a dig at Christian Horner, Vasseur said that one of his co-workers felt that two million was nothing. He added that the team now has “five times nothing.”

With everything on the line, Alfa Romeo led Aston Martin by five points heading into the season finale in Abu Dhabi. It was clear from the practise sessions and qualifying that the Aston Martin had the better pace.

Alfa Romeo couldn’t outscore Aston Martin in the race despite using a “very defensive” strategy, according to driver Valtteri Bottas.

The two teams finished the season tied on points. However, Bottas’ P5 finish at the Emilia Romagna GP put Alfa Romeo ahead of the two.

As things stand, the Frenchman who, according to expectations, will join Ferrari in January may not be in charge of that “five times nothing.”

On Tuesday, Ferrari announced Mattia Binotto’s departure, ending months of speculation over his future in light of Ferrari’s championship failure.

According to reports, Christian Horner and Andreas Seidl had already rejected Ferrari when they spoke a year ago. Franz Tost and Gerhard Berger have also turned down the Italian team’s offer.

Vasseur is currently Ferrari’s main pick to supplant Binotto, with the group supposedly currently in conversation with him to arrange his Alfa Romeo exit. However, Alfa Romeo must be willing to release the 54-year-old from his contract.

The Hinwil-based team has advanced from the bottom row of the standings grid to P6 thanks to Vasseur’s solid leadership.

Also Read: Red Bull Agrees to Cost Cap Infringement Penalty with FIA

Climate Activists Worldwide Deflate Tyres of over 900 SUVs to Protest “Luxury Emission”

ITALY: Climate activists are deflating SUV tyres to make it impossible to “own a huge polluting 4×4” in urban cities.

A group fighting climate change called Tyre Extinguishers claims to have deflated nearly 900 SUVs and 4x4s worldwide.

The statement released by the group says that on November 28 and 29, the group deflated the tyres of over 900 polluting SUVs in eight countries.

In March, Tyre Extinguishers announced that it had started its campaign against 4x4s by attacking SUVs in 13 locations across the UK.

The group believes that off-roading automobiles are a “climate catastrophe.” They contribute more to pollution and are more of a threat to pedestrians than regular cars.

According to the group, cities do not require them, so they contribute to climate change because of their use for “vanity and conspicuous consumption.”

Marion Walker, the group’s spokesperson, said that governments and politicians had failed to protect the environment from the “massive, unnecessary vehicles” at the time of its first attack.

At the end of October, the organisation claimed to have deflated 10,000 SUV tyres since March.

Over 900 Sport Utility Vehicle (SUV) tyres were deflated worldwide during the “largest ever night of action against SUVs,” organised by climate activists Tyre Extinguishers.

The United Kingdom had the most deflated SUV tyres (340), followed by Switzerland (172), Germany (124), France (112), Sweden (72), and the United States (52).

The group carried out its actions in Amsterdam and Enschede, Netherlands; Paris and Lyon, France; Berlin, Bonn, Essen, Hanover, and Saarbrucken, Germany; Bristol, Leeds, London, Dundee, and Malmo, Sweden; Innsbruck, Austria; Zurich, Winterthur, and New York, USA; and Malmo, Sweden.

The move comes at the same time as the protests by Just Stop Oil. Just Stop Oil protesters have been slow-walking around London’s downtown and climbing onto freeway gantries to prevent new oil and gas projects from moving forward.

Also Read: MG Hector Facelift: Images of New SUV Leaked ahead of 2023 Launch

FIFA World Cup 2022: Australia Shocks Denmark 1-0 in the Final Group D Match

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QATAR: Australia advanced to the round of 16 for the first time since 2006 thanks to Mathew Leckie’s game-winning goal against Denmark in their last Group D match on Wednesday.

Australia’s winning spree in the 60th minute finalized Denmark’s defeat

After a scoreless first half in which Denmark seemed active and had more possession of the ball, Australia scored in the 60th minute when Leckie got through the Danish defence and spun into space before putting the ball home.

With six points, Australia tied for second place with France, the defending champions, who took first place in the group after Tunisia defeated them 1-0. Denmark came in last place with one point, with Tunisia in third with four points.

After two rounds, Graham Arnold’s team will play the winners of Group C, led by Poland. In their final group match on Wednesday, Poland takes on Argentina.

The Australians have reached the knockout stages just twice. The first time they did so was in 1996 when they lost 1-0 to Italy in the round of 16.

Kasper Hjulmand, the coach of Denmark, stated that his team’s performance against Australia was “too emotional” and lacked “quality.”

In the first half, Denmark had chances and could have led, but Australia goalkeeper Mat Ryan stopped Jesper Lindstrom’s close-range shot and Mathias Jensen’s attempt.

In the 19th minute, as the defender drilled the ball into the box, Australia’s defence gave Joakim Maehle space on the left. However, Ryan once more came to Australia’s rescue and kicked the ball away.

As forward Duke Mitchell shot from close range and forward Riley McGree had a shot saved by Kasper Schmeichel, Australia began creating opportunities and posing a threat to the Danish defence.

At the hour mark, Leckie timed his run perfectly to send the ball through Maehle’s legs and past Schmeichel to give Australia the lead.

Ten minutes later, the referee gave Denmark a penalty for a foul on Kasper Dolberg, and Denmark thought they had a chance to tie the score. The penalty was reversed by the referee, who raised the flag for offside.

Also Read: FIFA World Cup 2022: Tunisia Stuns Defending Champion France 1-0

FIFA World Cup 2022: Tunisia Stuns Defending Champion France 1-0

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QATAR: On Wednesday, a rejuvenated Tunisia stunned France, a team mostly made up of backup players. However, the North Africans’ 1-0 victory over the World Cup champions proved inadequate for them to advance to the knockout stages.

Tunisia’s victory mode defeated France

Tunisia roared onto the field to take on a disjointed French team with nine changes from the team that beat Denmark and needed to beat already-qualified France to advance. Denmark also needed to avoid defeat against Australia in the other Group D game.

However, Tunisia’s victory over the 2018 World Cup champions was insufficient to advance to the next round because Australia defeated Denmark 1-0 to secure second place in Group D. As a result, Tunisia maintains its regrettable record of never making it past the group stage in any of its six World Cup appearances.

Wahbi Khazri scored in the 58th minute when he dribbled into the box and slipped the ball past backup goalkeeper Steve Mandanda, the oldest Frenchman to play in a World Cup match at 37. The victory for Tunisia also ended France’s six-match World Cup winning streak.

Khazri said that Tunisia had a “bittersweet feeling” at the end of their World Cup journey because they were happy to have defeated France but saddened by the outcome of the other group game. Tunisia also had an early chance when Nader Ghandri scored from a free kick, but an offside disallowed the goal.

The fans at Education City whistled at the French national anthem before kick-off, indicating the level of hostility from the stands from the beginning. The same thing had occurred during a passionate friendly match between France and its former colony in Paris in 2008.

Didier Deschamps, the French manager, rested his star players for the final group game. He gave players who typically don’t feature in many games a taste of the action in the middle. However, France’s bench lacked cohesion, and the desperate to score Tunisia constantly pushed back and split the French back line wide open.

Khazri’s goal made Deschamps bring stars like Kylian Mbappe and Antoine Griezmann into the attack to inject fire into the lacklustre French performance. Mbappe and Griezmann energized the French, and Tunisia sat back in the hope of keeping their win helped them.

In the final minutes of their match, the winning team’s bench personnel and substitutes closely followed the other crucial group stage game. France continued hoping to avoid a defeat, but an offside call disallowed Griezmann’s late goal.

Also Read: Qatar FIFA 2022 World Cup: While Super Eagle Fails to Fly, Ghana, Cameroon, and Others Shines

MG Hector Facelift: Images of New SUV Leaked ahead of 2023 Launch

INDIA: Photos of the brand-new MG Hector Facelift have flooded the internet ahead of its January 2023 debut in India. 

However, until this point, all of the spy shots of the forthcoming SUV have featured a lot of camouflage. It is the first instance of the release of detailed pictures of the new MG Hector, and they clearly show the car’s exterior, showing off its design details.

The new SUV from the MG Hector stable will primarily compete with the Tata Harrier, Hyundai Alcazar, Mahindra Scorpio N, and Mahindra XUV700 models.

The pictures show that the new MG Hector has a lot of changes on the outside, like a completely new front fascia. The car’s front end is now more clearly defined, with details highlighted by sharp lines and angles. 

More specifically, the SUV’s bumper has high-mounted LED daytime running lights and a diamond-like pattern coated in chrome. The car’s housing for the split headlamp is pentagonal, continuing the design of the previous version.

On the side profile, the MG Hector Facelift continues as before, with 18-inch double-tone amalgam wheels similar to the ones seen in older models.

The MG Hector Facelift’s rear end features similar changes. The rear of the car now features a red stripe running across it. In addition, a new Hector badge is installed below the SUV’s number plate.

The interior of the MG Hector Facelift is likely to be completely redesigned. The SUV will have a 14-inch touchscreen, according to earlier leaked information.

Additionally, it is anticipated to include ADAS, a digital instrument cluster, and intelligent connectivity features.

However, the MG Hector Facelift will not alter the vehicle’s mechanical components from the previous model.

As a result, it will continue to use a 2.0-litre diesel engine with 170 horsepower and two 1.5-litre turbo-petrol engines with 143 horsepower, one of which features mild hybrid technology.

Also Read: Audi Launches New RS6 and RS7 Performance Series with Added Power and Torque

Mattia Binotto Quits as Team Principal of Scuderia Ferrari F1 Team

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ITALY: Ferrari has confirmed Mattia Binotto’s resignation as team principal of their Formula One team after months of pressure and growing speculation. 

After a championship in which Ferrari failed to meet early-season expectations and lost both world titles to Red Bull while in a strong position, Mattia Binotto had to cope with heavy criticism for how he handled things at Ferrari.

Charles Leclerc had two victories in the season’s first three races, giving him a 46-point lead over Max Verstappen in the standings. Ferrari was 49 points ahead of Red Bull.

However, as Red Bull re-established itself, reliability issues began to cost Leclerc and Carlos Sainz, his teammate, and the pressure mounted on Ferrari, which appeared to have no clue on how to tackle Red Bull’s resurgence.

As Formula One entered the summer break, there was speculation that Ferrari would return with a different team manager, but the Scuderia decided to stick with Binotto.

Ferrari failed to win any of the last ten races, despite Mattia Binotto stating that Ferrari could win them all and Charles Leclerc still having a chance of becoming the world champion.

He said he wasn’t worried about his future at Ferrari ahead of the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, but he admitted that it wasn’t in his hands. The Italian submitted his resignation on Tuesday, as was the case.

A brief statement from Ferrari announced that the team accepted the resignation of Mattia Binotto, who will relinquish his position as Scuderia Ferrari Team Principal at the end of 2022.

Binotto asserted that he maximised his abilities to assist Ferrari with getting back to the top of the grid.

Under Binotto, Ferrari won four races this season after enduring two difficult seasons in 2020 and 2021.

Ferrari said the process to identify the team’s new team principal is underway, and the team expects to finalise the candidate in the new year.

Since Ross Brawn has decided to retire from F1, speculation is that Alfa Romeo’s Fred Vasseur will lead the Italian outfit in the future.

Also Read: F1 Academy Launched by Formula 1: All-women Racing Series Will Debut in 2023