There are “too many dudes” in the paddock at Formula One races and the series needs to improve access for women, Mercedes driver Lewis Hamilton said on Thursday.In the leadup to Sunday’s Australian Grand Prix, the three-times champion Briton, and other leading drivers, were asked for their wish-lists for the championship and Hamilton had little hesitation championing a more inclusive track-side environment. (Also read: Lewis Hamilton looks for fast start to new Formula One season)”A Miami race and more ladies in the paddock,” the 32-year-old said at the pre-race media conference.”More access for the women, there’s too many dudes in the paddock.” (Also read: Mercedes look to make early statement in Australia)Hamilton was more for turning back the clock when it came to the series’ power units, however, agreeing with Red Bull driver Daniel Ricciardo’s wish for no more “electric engines” in Formula One.The current generation of quieter and more fuel-efficient V6 turbo hybrid power units, while technologically impressive, have failed to win over some fans who miss the noisier V8 engines. (Also read: Valtteri Bottas out to make the most of dream chance at Mercedes)Hamilton was less sold on McLaren driver Fernando Alonso’s ironic suggestion that teams be given “equal engines”.The 35-year-old Alonso was frustrated with the poor performance of the Honda-powered McLaren cars during winter testing, having already endured two bleak seasons since returning to the team in 2015.”I don’t agree with that one,” Hamilton said of Alonso’s wish.”Not electric and not Honda,” he quipped, drawing a murmur from reporters.advertisementMost Formula One fans will wish for a more competitive series this year after Mercedes swept the drivers’ and constructors’ championships for the last three seasons running.The only serious on-track rivalry has been between Hamilton and his now-retired team mate Nico Rosberg.Hamilton won 10 of 21 races last season, including the last four in succession, but was still runner-up behind German champion Rosberg, who has been replaced by former Williams driver Valtteri Bottas.A raft of technical changes, including fatter tyres and aerodynamic enhancements, have raised hopes rivals can bridge the gap with the Silver Arrows.Bookmakers are less convinced, with many installing Hamilton as unbackable favourite to win a fourth world title and also the race at Albert Park on Sunday.Hamilton has deflected the hype onto Ferrari, which had fast lap times and impressive reliability during winter testing.He said he would relish a title fight from Ferrari’s four-times world champion Sebastian Vettel this season.”It’s interesting to see, Sebastian is usually a lot more hype,” Hamilton said, eliciting a half-smile from the German sitting a metre away from him at the media conference.”I can tell he’s trying to keep a lid on it.”More teams and more drivers up the front fighting for wins, that’s what racing is all about. I’m hoping that’s the case.”
By Poonam Mehra(Eds: updating with Punam Yadavs quotes)Gold Coast, Apr 8 (PTI) The gold rush continued in weightlifting for India as Punam Yadav added a fifth to the tally with a top finish in the 69kg category of the 21st Commonwealth Games here today.Yadav, a bronze-medallist in the 63kg category at the 2014 Glasgow edition, lifted a personal best of 222kg (110kg+122kg) to claim the top spot ahead of Englands Sarah Davies, who finished with 217kg (95kg+122kg).Davies went for a 128kg lift in her final clean and jerk attempt in pursuit of gold but could not complete her attempt.The bronze medal was won by Fijis Apolonia Vaivai with an effort of 216kg (100kg+116kg).”I was expecting a good fight but from Fiji not England. I was a little nervous when Sarah went for 128kg in her final lift. She was capable of pulling it off,” Yadav said after the medal ceremony.”But then its all about fate, I got what was my destiny and she got what was her destiny. Thankfully our physio was allowed inside for sometime for strapping my knee, I have slight pain there,” she added.Yadav, a native of Uttar Pradesh, had claimed a silver at last years Commonwealth Championships, her first event after making the jump from 63kg to 69kg category.”I came to India camp in 2014 after taking up weightlifting on the insistence of my elder sister. She got me into it,” she said when asked about her initiation into the sport.advertisementThe 22-year-old, who finds it tough to even remember her own phone number, was quite candid about her family, which she says, is financially stable now after her 2014 Glasgow medal.”My father took a loan at that time to support my training but now we repaid that after my medal. He doesnt do anything apart from pooja paath at home, my mother is a housewife. Me and my sister, we run the finances of our house.”We are a normal financially stable family. We were not that great some years ago but we are alright now. I am working with the Indian Railways now,” she added proudly.Earlier, Mirabai Chanu (48kg), Sanjita Chanu (53kg), Sathish Sivalingam (77kg) and Venkat Rahul Ragala (85kg) had claimed gold medals in the ongoing edition. PTI PM BS BS BS
Beijing: China will likely unveil a new supersonic drone and intercontinental ballistic missiles at a military parade next week marking 70 years of Communist Party rule, according to Paris-based researchers. The October 1 procession will display the army’s “unprecedented” conventional and nuclear ballistic capabilities, said the Paris-based Foundation for Strategic Research in a report based on images analysed by Geo4i. The People’s Liberation Army (PLA) has tried to keep its plans under wraps — even moving tanks in the dead of night during dress rehearsals — but the France-based researchers used satellite images to spot hardware likely to be shown off next week. Also Read – Saudi Crown Prince Salman ‘snubbed’ Pak PM Imran, recalled his private jet from US: ReportOn Tuesday President Xi Jinping will preside over what Beijing has promised to be the biggest military and civilian parade in the history of the country. The Chinese defence ministry says 15,000 troops will march next week, and 580 pieces of military hardware will be displayed — as well as more than 160 aircraft. Beijing has denied the procession will be an aggressive display of power, but the French report said the show of force will demonstrate the “quantitative and qualitative modernisation” of China’s ballistic arsenal. Also Read – Iraq military admits ‘excessive force’ used in deadly protestsThe research used images from the Yangfang military base in the suburbs of Beijing, which has replicas of Tiananmen Square and the southern gate of the Forbidden City to prepare for military parades. The report says 36 ICBM-type missiles appeared during the rehearsals. One of the missiles is the DF-41, which is the first Chinese solid-fuel propelled intercontinental missile to carry a heavy payload and cover the entire US territory, the foundation said. The ICBM could carry up to 10 warheads, compared to three that can be carried by the DF-31AG missile. China could also use the parade to display 16 DF-17s, a likely short-to-medium-range missile that works as a launcher of the DF-ZF hypersonic glider, which is hidden under a tarp in the satellite images. The glider is believed to be able to carry conventional and nuclear devices, and be able to dodge anti-missile systems. “The emergence of such a system would have a considerable impact, highlighting China’s progress in designing hypersonic non-strategic gliders, a segment in which Russians and Americans are lagging behind,” the foundation said.