Tuesday 12 December 2017

Button buzzing after first drive

F1: Jenson Button is convinced he has "a good base" on which to build a more solid start to the new Formula One season.

Button yesterday had the honour of being the first to put the new McLaren, the MP4-27, through its paces at the Circuito de Jerez in southern Spain.

Compared to a year ago, when McLaren ran last season's car for the first time in Jerez, which staged the second test, Button was all smiles.

Last February, the team soon realised they had blundered with the novel concept of their exhaust that put them on the back foot.

A year on, and after completing 60 laps, Button was a happy man -- in particular as there were no issues with balance and grip, the kind of areas that usually plague new cars.

"There are no niggly areas with the car, which is nice. It's quite different to last year," Button said.

Cav' off mark for Sky

CYCLING: World champion Mark Cavendish claimed his first victory with Team Sky when he won a sprint in the third stage of the Tour of Qatar yesterday.

Cavendish, who joined the British team this season, beat Belgian Tom Boonen at the end of a 146.5km ride from Dukhan to Al Gharafa Stadium, with Lithuanian Aidis Kruopis coming home third.

"I had Bernie (Bernhard) Eisel and (Juan Antonio) Flecha there in the final with me to just keep me in position," said Cavendish, who at 26 years old already has 20 Tour de France stages to his name.

Manxman Cavendish was ill just before the start of the race.

Arthur eager for Ashes

CRICKET: The next Ashes series cannot come quick enough for Australia coach Mickey Arthur after his side whitewashed India and England were beaten 3-0 by Pakistan.

Australia lost the last Ashes series 3-1 on home soil in 2010-11, prompting a major overhaul of Australian cricket, which included the appointment of Arthur.

Buoyed by a 4-0 rout of India in their recent Test series, as well as England's 3-0 loss to Pakistan, Arthur joked he would like an earlier opportunity to test his resurgent side against the English.

"I wouldn't mind it actually. I wish it was this summer in England," Arthur said.

Lennox advises Haye

Boxing: Lennox Lewis has warned David Haye that he could further tarnish his reputation if he comes out of retirement and rushes straight into a fight with either of the Klitschko brothers.

Lewis said: "He should come back, but he should not think about the Klitschkos right now.

"He should beat a couple of other people, so people actually think: 'yeah, you know, he can do it this time, he can beat a Klitschko'."

NBA: Indiana 104 Utah 99, Miami 107 Cleveland 91, Boston 94 Charlotte 84, Milwaukee 105 Phoenix 107, Minnesota 86 Sacramento 84, Golden State 116 Oklahoma City 119.

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