|KNOW THE BEST IN SPORT|
|December 15-21, 2020|
Does Mercedes need Hamilton for 2021?
Lewis Hamilton (ENG, Mercedes-Benz) broke or tied some of the most important records in F1 this year: he sits first with Michael Schumacher (DEU) in total titles with seven, broke the records for most career wins, most pole positions, most podiums, most races in the points, most races led from start to finish…His numbers probably put him as the best sportsman in the world at the moment and the most successful F1 driver of all time.
But Hamilton has not renewed a contract for 2021. He earns 76 Million USD a year (Fox Australia) and rumor has it that his contract talks have not been smooth. In a year that has been catastrophic for car manufacturers, reducing a salary as high as Hamilton’s is certainly a way to cut costs when the car manufacturer is proposing a 20% reduction of their staff (TheBestF1).
One week ago, George Russell (ENG) replaced Lewis Hamilton for a race due to a positive covid test by the World Champion and he impressed even though he had never scored a point in Formula 1. He led most of the race and was in contention for winning all throughout. And Valtteri Bottas (FIN) finished in a solid second place of the standings.
A Mercedes team without Hamilton could still fight for a World Championship next year considering that they will still have the fastest car and they could have a couple of strong drivers if they were to hire Russell. But the result we see does not allow us to fully grasp how much of an asset Hamilton is to the team: his leadership, feedback, mental strength, commitment, racecraft, and strategic thinking might be unmatched by any other driver. Sure, Mercedes looked as if they could have won last week but they did not in the end. A Racing Point driven by Sergio Pérez (MEX) beat them, proving it takes more than just a fast car.
Lewis Hamilton wants to continue on the team. Mercedes certainly wants him on board. They are a partnership that is already one of the greatest in history of sport and they have all the incentive to continue making history together. Yes, Mercedes could be a World Title contender without Lewis but they would not be pushing the limits of what has been humanly made in the past. This is a shot of once in a lifetime and all parties involved know it. In the end, they will have to make numbers and come to an agreement but any of the two losing one another would not mean “things as usual” and would be a wasted chance to be the indisputable greatest team and driver of all time. And no other driver can offer that.
|Five things to know from last week|
- Ryan Moore historic in Hong Kong. Jockey Ryan Moore (ENG) became the fourth person to win the Hong Kong International races slam. He won the Hong Kong Vase (riding Irish-trained Mogul (ENG)) and Sprint (riding Danon Smash (JPN) at the Turf World Championships and finished third at the Cup and Mile, which he has won before. Review last week’s Horse Racing action (The Sportspedia)
- The rains down in Africa. Nicky Catsburg (NED) has had a great year winning the 24 Hours of Nürburgring, a World Touring Car Cup race and two Intercontinental GT Challenge Races: the 8 Hours of Indianapolis and the Kyalami 9 Hours. That last win with Augusto Farfus Jr (BRA) and local driver Sheldon van der Linde (ZAF) under the South African rain gave him and Farfus the Championship, while Porsche took the manufacturers title. Read the report (The Sportspedia)
- Nakamura’s Speed Chess. Hikaru Nakamura (USA) won the Speed Chess Championship for a third time by defeating exciting Maxime Vachier-Lagrave (FRA), who had defeated Magnus Carlson (NOR) one day prior. The Frenchman played very well but Nakamura took it 16-12. Read our report (The Sportspedia)
- Oh! An-tho-ny Jo-shua! Some fans were present to witness Anthony Joshua succesfully defend his WBO World, WBA World and IBF World, and IBO Heavyweight Championships by knocking Kubrat Pulev (BGR) out. Joshua looked complete and totally dominated a strong Pulev, who had only lost to Wladimir Klitschko (UKR). Everything looks set for a unification fight against Tyson Fury (ENG). In the US, Chris Colbert (USA) successfully defended his World Boxing Association Super Featherweight Interim World Title by Knocking Jaime Arboleda (PAN) out in 11 rounds in a fight full of bombing exchanges (Read our report).
- eSports world. Several esports had big tournaments Shane Hendrixson (USA) made his #1 status valid by taking the Pro League Season 2: Stage 1 Finals. Cho “Trap” Sung Ho (KOR) won the AfreecaTV GSL Super Tournament (Starcraft II) beating all the top Korean players. Sayed “Tekken Master” Hashim Ahmed (BHR) won Mortal Kombat’s Dragon Temple, and Sato “glory” Kenta won the Hearthstone World Championship. Cycling also had its Esports World Championship and a rower beat some of the best cyclists in the world using leg-powered Zwift (Watch the highlights – UCI).
|GLOBAL PODIUM OF THE WEEK|
|Gold: Felix Loch|
Felix Loch remains unbeaten at the Eberspächer FIL Luge World Cup. This week he won two gold medals (Singles and Team Relay) at the World Cup in Oberhof, Germany, where he broke the track record. He was won all four individual gold medals this season and two out of three relay golds. He looks unbeatable.
Watch the Oberhof World Cup runs (FIL Luge)
|Silver: Martins Dukurs and Alexander Tretiakov|
(Latvia and Russia, Luge)
Martins has been unbeatable at the BMW IBSF World Cup, winning all three Skeleton World Cup races. This time he tied for gold with Alexander Tretiakov (RUS) at the Innsbruck track in Austria. This was Dukur’s 57th Skeleton World Cup win -#1 of all-time-, and the Tretaiakov’s 18th.
Watch their World Cup runs highlights (IBSF)
|Bronze: Marte Olsbu Røiseland|
Marte Olsbu Røiseland won two golds at the IBU Biathlon World Cup in Hochfilzen, Austria. She won the Pursuit to take the Biathlon World Cup lead and was also part of the Team Relay, which won gold after a bad performance last week. The Norwegian relay team had won all World Cup races this calendar year before last week. She also finished a solid fourth in the sprint.
Watch the women’s Pursuit highlights (IBU)
|GLOBAL SPORTS AGENDA|
Boxing is stacked with World Championship fights, including the only fight this year for the World’s #1 Pound for Pound fighter, Saúl Álvarez (MEX), who faces unbeaten World Champion Callum Smith (ENG). Hyun Mi Choi (KOR) seeks to extend her 12-year-old World Title reign on her US debut.
NFL might have some playoff-defining games but they are unlikely to be as good as Monday Night’s Browns 42-47 Ravens defined with a goal kick, with two seconds to go.
The LPGA has its last tournament of the year right after A Lim Kim (KOR) took the US Open yesterday, coming back from a five-stroke deficit.
World Snooker has another ranking tournament and Mark Selby (ENG) seeks to win his 12th final just as he beat Rory O’Sullivan (ENG last week at the Scottish Open.
Bobsled, Skeleton and Monobob will have their World Cups and Series. Will anyone beat the Germans in Bob or Monobob, or Martins Dukurs (LAT) in Men’s Skeleton?
New Zealand beat West Indies to move to first in the Test Cricket World Ranking but the winner between Australia and India this week will be topping the World Championship.
Russia is dominating the Wrestling World Cup but can we see another upset such as the one we saw with Kiryl Maskevich (BLR) stunning Olympic Champion Chakvetadze (RUS) by 10-0?
FIS World Cup (Italy x2, France)
NFL Regular Season
Scotiabank Champions League Quarterfinals and Semifinals
CONMEBOL Copa Libertadores Quarter Finals
World Athletics Combined Events Challenge – Meeting de la Réunion
FIA World Cup for Cross Country Bajas (Hail Baja 2, Saudi Arabia)
Trophée Andros – Andorra (x2)
NASCAR México Finale – Puebla, México
Turismo Carretera Finale – San Juan, Argentina
Super Formula Finale – Fuji, Japan
FIBA 3×3 World Tour Final
WPSBA World Snooker Tour – World Grand Prix (England)
Bobsled & Skeleton:
BMW IBSF World Cup Austria
IBSF Women’s Monobob World Series Latvia
World Boxing Council World Cruiser Title – Ilunga Junior Makabu (DRC) vs Olanrewaju Durodola (NGA)
World Boxing Association, vacant World Boxing Council World Super Middle Titles – Saúl Álvarez (MEX) vs Callum Smith (ENG)
interim World Boxing Association World Super Light Title – Alberto Puello (DOM) vs Cristian Rafael Coria (ARG)
interim World Boxing Council World Bantam Title – Emmanuel Rodriíuez (PUR) vs Reymart Gaballo (FIL)
International Boxing Federation World Fly Title – Moruti Mthalane (ZAF) vs Jayson Mama (FIL)
World Boxing Association World Light Fly Title – Carlos Canizales (VEN) vs Jesús Silvestre (MEX)
World Boxing Organisation World Minimum Title – Wilfredo Méndez (PUR) vs Alexis Díaz (VEN)
Women’s International Boxing Federation, interim World Boxing Council World Female Super Middle Titles – Christina Hammer (DEU) vs Sanna Turunen (FIN)
International Boxing Federation World Female Super Feather Title – Maiva Hamadouche (FRA) vs Nina Pavlovic (SRB)
World Boxing Association World Female Super Feather Title – Hyun Mi Choi (KOR) vs Calista Silgado (COL)
World Boxing Organisation World Female Fly Title – Debora Anahí López (ARG) vs Ayelen Micaela Alejandra Granadino (ARG)
Men’s T20i Men’s T20i New Zealand vs Pakistan
2019–21 ICC World Test Championship Australia vs India
FIS World Cup Germany
2020-2021 UCI Cyclo-cross World Cup Belgium
Red Bull Dune Dusters
Arena of Valor (King Pro League Fall 2020)
PUBG Mobile Global Championship Season 0
Starcraft II: TeamLiquid StarLeague 6
ESL IEM Global Challenge
League of Legends All-Star 2020
Apex Legends Global Series Online Playoffs
World Cup Ski Cross (Switzerland, France)
LPGA Tour – CME Group Tour Championship
Horse Racing (Flat):
Gran Premio Copa de Plata, Gran Premio Félix de Alzaga Unzue, Gran Premio Joaquín S. de Anchorena, Gran Premio Carlos Pellegrini,Gran Premio Provincia de Buenos Aires (Argentina)
XXI Hándicap Pura Sangre, XLI Clásico Criadores Mexicanos Pa, XLI Clásico Criadores Mexicanos Po (México)
Asahi Hai Futurity Stakes (Japan)
Clásico Agustin Mercado Reverón (Puerto Rico)
Qatar Derby (Qatar)
Cape Guineas (South Africa)
Los Alamitos Futurity (USA)
Horse Racing (Jump):
Long Walk Hurdle (England)
FIL World Cup Germany
FIL World Cup Natural Track Austria
Auto Race – Speed King Decision Battle (Sanyo, Japan)
Nordic Combined Skiing:
World Cup Austria
Clipper Round the World Yacht Race Leg 9
Tropheé Jules Verne
Gran Turismo 2020 World FInals
F1 Esports Virtual Grand Prix Series (x3)
rFactor2 GT Pro Series
World Cup Women (Austria)
World Cup Men (Switzerland)
FIS World Cup Parallel Giant Slalom, Italy
FIS World Junior Championship (Austria)
World Surf League Women’s Championship Tour, Billabong Pipe Masters presented by Hydro Flask (Hawai’i)
World Surf League Big Wave – Jaws Championship Pe’ahi (Hawai’i)
UWW Individual World Cup
*This agenda is based on official information at time of publication. All events are subject to change and/or cancellation.
Sport’s best values
|Excellence: Paolo Rossi|
QUOTE OF THE WEEK
“Both of these guys are absolute savages…When you look at typical Mexican fighters, [Moreno] is the prototype. He is exactly what you think of when you think of real Mexican fighters. He looked damn good tonight…Tonight, we put on a potential Fight of the Year and potential greatest fight ever in this division’s history…You absolutely, positively do that rematch…”
Dana White (USA)
After the UFC Flyweight World Title fight between Deiveson Figueiredo (BRA) and Brandon Moreno (MEX), which ended on a draw