Hamilton, Verstappen, Mercedes nominated for Laureus Awards

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Lewis Hamilton, Max Verstappen and Mercedes have received nominations for the prestigious Laureus World Sports Awards following their successes in Formula 1 this year.

The Laureus Awards are held annually and recognize great sporting achievement, with previous winners of the main Sportsman of the Year award including Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal and Lance Armstrong.

From F1, Sebastian Vettel and Michael Schumacher have both been named Sportsman of the Year in the past, while Hamilton lost out to tennis star Novak Djokovic at this year’s ceremony in Beijing, China on April 15.

Earlier this week, Hamilton was named on the shortlist for Sportsman of the Year ahead of the 2016 ceremony following nominations from the world’s media.

Sprinter Usain Bolt, soccer greats Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo, basketball players LeBron James and Pau Gasol, British athletic stars Mo Farah and Greg Rutherford, cyclists Chris Froome and Alberto Contador, golfer Jordan Speith, boxer Floyd Mayweather and 2015 winner Djokovic will also be battling for top honors.

Verstappen has been nominated for the Laureus Breakthrough of the Year award, as won by Red Bull driver Daniel Ricciardo last year, and is up against golfers Jason Day and Brooke Henderson, swimmers Adam Peaty and Alzain Tareq, Australian jockey Michelle Payne and the Chilean men’s soccer team.

Finally, F1 constructors’ champions Mercedes has also received a nomination for the World Team of the Year award, but faces stiff opposition from the New Zealand men’s rugby team, FC Barcelona, the World Cup-winning USWNT, the Kansas City Royals, the New England Patriots, the Golden State Warriors and the Spanish men’s basketball squad.

To see the full list of nominations, click here.

Roger Penske discusses flying tire at Indy 500 with Dallara executives: ‘We’ve got to fix that’


INDIANAPOLIS – Roger Penske spoke with Dallara executives Monday morning about the loose tire that went flying over the Indianapolis Motor Speedway catchfence and into a Turn 2 parking lot.

The left-rear wheel from Kyle Kirkwood’s No. 27 Dallara-Honda was sheared off in a collision at speed as Kirkwood tried to avoid the skidding No. 6 Dallara-Chevrolet of Felix Rosenqvist on Lap 183 of the 107th Indianapolis 500.

No one seriously was hurt in the incident (including Kirkwood, whose car went upside down and slid for several hundred feet), though an Indianapolis woman’s Chevy Cruze was struck by the tire. The Indy Star reported a fan was seen and released from the care center after sustaining minor injuries from flying debris in the crash.

During a photo shoot Monday morning with Indy 500 winner Josef Newgarden at the IMS Yard of Bricks, Penske met with Dallara founder and owner Gian Paolo Dallara and Dallara USA CEO Stefano dePonti. The Italian company has been the exclusive supplier of the current DW12 chassis to the NTT IndyCar series for 11 years.

“The good news is we didn’t have real trouble with that tire going out (of the track),” Penske, who bought Indianapolis Motor Speedway in 2020, told a few reporters shortly afterward. “I saw it hit. When it went out, I saw we were OK. I talked to the Dallara guys today. We’re going to look at that, but I guess the shear (force) from when (Rosenqvist’s) car was sitting, (Kirkwood’s car) went over and just that shear force tore that tether. Because we have tethers on there, and I’ve never seen a wheel come off.

“That to me was probably the scariest thing. We’ve got to fix that. We’ve got to fix that so that doesn’t happen again.”

Asked by NBC Sports if IndyCar would be able to address it before Sunday’s Detroit Grand Prix or before the next oval race at Iowa Speedway, Penske said, “The technical guys should look at it. I think the speed here, a couple of hundred (mph) when you hit it vs. 80 or 90 or whatever it might be, but that was a pinch point on the race.”

In a statement released Monday to WTHR and other media outlets, IndyCar said that it was “in possession of the tire in Sunday’s incident and found that the tether did not fail. This is an isolated incident, and the series is reviewing to make sure it does not happen again. IndyCar takes the safety of the drivers and fans very seriously. We are pleased and thankful that no one was hurt.”

IndyCar provided no further explanation for how the wheel was separated from the car without the tether failing.

IndyCar began mandating wheel suspension tethers using high-performance Zylon material after a flying tire killed three fans at Charlotte Motor Speedway during a May 1, 1999 race. Three fans also were struck and killed by a tire at Michigan International Speedway during a July 26, 1998 race.

The IndyCar tethers can withstand a force of more than 22,000 pounds, and the rear wheel tethers were strengthened before the 2023 season.