Archivo de la etiqueta: Racing

Last Week in Sports (Dec. 2- Dec. 7)

SOCCER

It was the farewell Landon Donovan wanted and most of the United States soccer fans though he deserved. The L.A. Galaxy, a team that had been Donovan´s home for many years with the exception of a short period when he went to play in England. On December 7th the captain of the team had the chance to step off the pitch on a high note and another championship on his impressive resumé. The game was as close as it was expected, New England Revolution made the trip to Carson to try and ruin a party they had already lost against the same team two other times. First half went by scoreless but in the second half the home team took the lead at the 70th minute while New England reacted quickly and tied it up before regulation time was over.

Even though the night was supposed to belong to captain America, his teammate Robbie Keane (named MLS MVP) had better plans for himself and scored the championship winning goal in overtime. That meant L.A. would earn their fifth championship trophy and Donovan his sixth MLS title.

In Mexico the final is now set between Club América and Tigres. Both teams took advantage of being better placed than their rivals in the general standings. America only needed a 3-0 win halfway through the week against Monterrey to pretty much clinch their championship ticket with a scoreless draw in the second game. Tigres did not score a single goal in the whole series and that was enough for them to leave Toluca buried in the semifinals. Now it will be the first time both teams face-off in the final series, but the third time America makes it to the final stage in the last four tournaments.

NFL

Coming into week 14 the Eagles were in a position that pretty had the Cowboys praying for a miracle to stay in the hunt for a playoff game. That miracle came pretty soon and the Seahawks tamed the Eagles on the road 24 to 14. Now both NFC East teams have a 9-4 record and will meet in Philly next Sunday Night for a game that could decide who makes it to the playoffs. The Cowboys will finally finish over .500 in the season after beating the Bears at Soldier Field on Thursday Night. It was a big game for SMU alum Cole Beasley that had two big touchdowns. 179 was the total yardage that DaMarco Murray covered during the game with one touchdown. That performance In a night where the Cowboys won 41-28 has #25 tied with legendary Emmitt Smith for 11 games in one season rushing for over 100 yards. Finally the San Francisco 49ers fell in the “Battle of the Bay” to the Oakland Raiders in Oakland by 24 to 13.

ALPINE SKI

With cooler temperatures some sports shut down for the winter but some others are just heating up. That is the case of Alpine Skiing and this week in Beaver Creek, Colorado some of the Giant Slalom greatest stars put their skills to the test. Even though the competition was done in American snow, that was not a reason for the Europeans to put their best foot forward in foreign ground. Out of the top ten athletes, eight came from overseas. The hopes of the home crowd not only rested on the American athletes but there was one that carried most of the pressure coming into the gates. Ted Ligety, who had four metal screws inserted into his hand after an accident in training just over two weeks ago had a performance nothing short of impressive.After staying within the top five after the first round, he took down Alexis Pinturault from France and Marcel Hirscher from Austria for a fifth win in the mountains of Colorado and his 23rd win in the World Cup Series.

FORMULA 1

Even though the season is over there are two stories to talk about here. The first one involving the future of Jenson Button with McLaren. While Fernando Alonso is coming into his old team, it is unknown who will be his teammate in the grid. After tests in Abu Dhabi, the high chairs of McLaren have not made a decision. They first said it would come at the beginning of December, then set the date for December 3rd and nothing happened, then nothing has been said and the speculation is even getting Jenson nervous. Meanwhile the decision could be taking some time after Kevin Magnussen proved to have great skills while driving for the British team and it could mean he is a better option if you are looking for years down the road.

Over 60 trophies were stolen from the Red Bull’s headquarters this past weekend by a group of six burglars. Christian Horner, the team’s sporting director reported that no one in the facility was injured but that the damage was not measured in the number of trophies stolen but the amount of work everyone in the factory had put in to make the drivers win those trophies. Until today there is no news about the whereabouts of the trophies or the people who committed the crime.

NBA

Hard to believe that one of the leagues best teams right now is the Golden State Warriors. After beating Chicago on the road last Sunday they reached a 12 game wining streak. They have only lost two games and even though the season is still young the team might be heating up for some big things no one expected them. Toronto Raptors are leading the Eastern Conference. The team has not been so consistent in racking up wins but lucky enough other teams in their conference have not found a rythm. Kevin Durant is back to play with the Thunder after healing from his injury, his team really needs him before its too late. Dallas had a busy week last week with four games and managed to win three of them. Miami lost all of its four games last week and sure hopes to bounce back this week.

F1 Season Finale Preview

Yas Marina in Abu Dhabi will once again be the host circuit of the Formula 1 Season. Throughout the year there has been huge criticism on the engine sounds after downgrading from a V8 to  V6 while limiting fuel consumption to 100 kgs. per race. But it will be the first time in F1 history that any race in the calendar gives double points. Regularly the first place would take 25 points, second place 18 points, third place 15 points, 12 for fourth, 10 for fifth, 8 for sixth 6 for seventh, 4 for eight, 2 for ninth and 1 for tenth. The easiest way to understand this is to just multiply the available points for each position times two.

This will highly benefit the constructors points who will earn money needed for the development of their 2015 cars and secure a spot in the starting grid at Melbourne next year. While Mercedes already took the title in this category, Ferrari would like a god share of the prize after a disaster of a season in 2014, but right now they are sitting in fourth. Way behind the close to perfect performance by Mercedes is Red Bull in second place. The team that had dominated the Formula for the past four years with Vettel winning pretty much every race, including the one in Yas Marina in 2010 to claim the first of his four world titles has now picked most of its (Red Bull) 373 points via Daniel Ricciardo, who came from Toro Rosso and is the only pilot this season to know what it means to win besides Nico Rosberg and Lewis Hamilton. Vettel won his last race in the season finale at Sao Paulo last year.

In third place comes a team that has been performing above the expectations many critics had before the season started. Williams assembled a team that may not be getting many podium finishes but is definitely doing things right. Valterri Bottas is currently in sixth place, helping out a veteran Felipe Massa who is eight in the drivers championship score important points for a team where I can say the combination of a veteran like Massa and a upcoming talent like Bottas has paid off nicely.

Fourth place as already mentioned is currently held by the only team that has not missed a Formula 1 season since 1950, Ferrari. Here, even with having two world champions like Fernando Alonso and Kimi Raikkonen behind the steering wheel, the results have been way below what was expected. Zero wins for a historic team is beyond unacceptable. Apparently the car has not favored the drivers and while Alonso regularly finishes in the top-5, his teammate usually has a hard time scoring any points. The spaniard heads into Abu Dhabi for his last race with the team, Sebastian Vettel is set to take his spot.

It is no longer a rumour that Alonso will be driving with the fifth place of the constructor’s championship. McLaren has just had a couple of good races this season but besides that consistency has been an issue for a team lead by world-champion Jenson Button. The british driver is currently in the seventh spot, but his teammate barely fits into the top-10. Both drivers have an uncertain future after what happens in Yas. Alonso recently declared that he would like Button to be his teammate, but with a very expensive contract the spaniard seems to be requesting from the british team, the safer bet for McLaren from a financial standpoint would be to let Jenson go and probably retire. The decision is set to come in December.

In sixth place we find Sahara Force India. A team that seems to be happy with both of his drivers as it is almost a sure thing that both Sergio Perez and Nico Hulkenberg will return with the team for 2015. Hulkenberg has been more consistent than Perez who has had a rough last four races scoring only two points and retiring on the first lap at the U.S. Grand Prix. In Bahrain, the mexican claimed the first podium finish for the team. Nico has picked up points in every but three races this season. I do feel that keeping both drivers is the right call, specially with the F1 heading to Mexico next year.

Toro Rosso, the “driving-school” of Red Bull can call it a good year with Jean-Eric Vergne and Daniil Kvyat as their drivers and hoping that the squad doesn’t suffer any changes for next season. Even though both drivers are outside the top-10 with Vergne leading the charge at 13th, they are taking advantage of the poor performance by even better-funded teams like Lotus which is eight in the constructors championship. Lotus will not suffer changes to its squad coming next season. They just announced that despite their troubles to fight for the top spots on the grid they are keeping both Pastor Maldonado and Romain Grosjean.

With only two points we find Marussia in the ninth spot.The team has not been competing since the U.S. Grand Prix. In Russia they only had one driver after Jules Bianchi , who was yesterday declared out of coma, suffered a horrific accident at the Japan Grand Prix. He will hardly drive in F1 again but he did manage to get those two points for his team in the streets of Monaco. The team will not see action at the Yas Marina circuit but unless Sauber and Caterham don’t score any points they will keep their position and could get money from Bernie Ecclestone and the F1 organization for next year.

Sauber, a team that runs with a Ferrari engine is about to close the 2014 season without a single point. After Esteban Gutierrez had a strong finish to his 2013 season he has not found any type of success in 2014. It was recently announced that he did not come in the plans for the team coming 2015 so he is either looking at Marussia or a practice pilot spot, unless a big surprise sets him in a better team. He was expected to run for Lotus but that will not happen. The team will face a complete renovation for 2015 with even Adrian Sutil stepping down. Marcus Ericsson and Felipe Nasr will be the new drivers for the swiss team.

At the end we find Caterham. with Kamui Kobayashi and Will Stevens. Another team that has gone scoreless for the past 18 races including the two they had to forfeit due to financial difficulties. With a crowdfunding campaign and the help of Bernie Ecclestone they will be back for at least the season finale, without 2015 being a sure thing, and obviously the drivers not knowing if they have a secure seat.

Finally, one of the most interesting things about the Yas Marina race is that it starts during the day and ends at night, making it harder for the drivers to choose an adequate visor. The circuit has many curves, but long enough straightaways to provide good spaces for overpassing. Seeing cars crash is a common site in this circuit, which could compromise the fight for the drivers championship between Rosberg and Hamilton. The latter one has the lead but the first one has the ambition. On sunday, at 7:00 am lights will be out and 55 laps later we will know who is the new F1 Champion.

Nico Rosberg (left) could win his first F1 ChampionshIp at Abu Dhabi.
Nico Rosberg (left) could win his first F1 ChampionshIp at Abu Dhabi.

Screen shot 2014-11-21 at 12.33.29 PM

From a Joke to Formula 1

I am trying really hard to put into words what this week meant to me. In my short career I have worked at Cowboy’s games, UFC events, NBA Playoffs. At the end of the day none of them come close to the United States Formula 1 Grand Prix.

This week was a dream within a dream which will be impossible to forget. Working at a Formula 1 Race is by far the best job in the world. I came back to the United States thanks to F1. The way it all began was kind of a joke. I was looking for tickets to come to the United States Grand Prix in Austin as a fan but without a job it was hard to afford. I tried looking for freelancing jobs that could send me there but that also did not work. I had been wanting to go to this race for the past two years but it just wasn’t happening. I then had the idea of asking a friend, that had worked there the year before if she was going back, unfortunately for her, she wasn’t. Then as a joke I asked if I could take her spot. Before I knew it I was being contacted by a german tv station to help out at the USGP. I did not think twice, and said yes to the offer no matter the conditions.

I knew I was heading to a big event but many times the expectation I have of something does not live up to its hype. Formula 1 definitely lived up to it and even surpassed it. Here is why.

The first day was pretty simple with the exception of buying groceries for about 40 people, it took forever but we got it done and then headed to the circuit where I saw where the media outlets from around the world were setting up. Then went up to the tower that overlooks the where you can see the whole circuit. It is an iconic part of the Circuit of the Americas I got to experience without making a long line. The next day the highlight was going for a run around the circuit. I’ve ran around the “Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez” a few times but this is a much more complex race track. More curves and more hills where turn one is by far the hardest one even for the cars but once you get up there the view is great. It was a short run but I loved every step of it.

On thursday I started to meet some of the drivers as I realized I had access to the paddock. That when I was starting to really realize when I was getting into and it would just get better. Just that night, since I was working for a german tv station we got to do an exclusive interview with 4-time world champion Sebastian Vettel. Even though I did not understand what was going on during the interview (all in german) I was just happy to be there.

On friday I spent most of my day in the van driving the crew around the circuit and barely had a chance to see the F1 cars in action but I did get to meet even more pilots that day and walk around the pits while the teams were getting ready for the second round of practice sessions. At that moment I knew this was already better than what I expected to do this week and I still had the two most important days ahead of me. I had heard a lot about the low sound that the cars make this year since they have downgraded to a V6 engine and have a 100 kg limit on fuel for every race. I remembered well how in the French GP of 2006 I was barely able to hear a thing after the race but this time my ears never popped no matter how close I could get.

Saturday was a bit more hectic as it was the first time the station would broadcast live so everything had to be done quick and in time. Traffic started to become an issue as more people were coming to COTA. That day the highlight was meeting Pamela Anderson, one of the VIP guests at the race and someone who was really easy to talk to and approach. At the end of the day out of nowhere I met Nico Hulkenberg who was riding his bike while his mechanics ran around the track in a small race for media and F1 entourage I was not aware off. This was done at the same time as the paddock girls rehearsed the routine for the national anthem ceremony. Now the countdown was on for the big day.

Having to buy groceries at 8 am was the start of probably the most exciting day in my post-college life or probably my life. I headed out to the track a few minutes before 10 and made it there around 10:30 thanks to me avoiding a close to one mile line to get to the circuit, if not I probably would have been in line for about another hour. I unloaded the car and then headed to the paddock to help out the production crew and later on we went into the track for the driver’s parade. It was an awesome experience to have all the drivers walk right in front of me. Then walked along the pit lane while mechanics were making the final touches on the cars. Continued with going to turn one to watch the beginning of the race and then to the hospitality suite of Mercedes. For the next hour I walked around the track to see the race from different points and just before the race was over I had the chance of seeing the finish from the Mercedes garage. It was just the icing on cake that was needed to make it an almost perfect week which was slightly damaged when Sergio Perez was out after the first lap.

Things slowly unwinded from that point on, but it was just the right moment to think about everything that went on in the past six days. I was and still am at a loss of words to say how I really feel about it. I knew it really happened since it is now a thing of the past but something I will remember for a lifetime. I went to heaven and came back, I lived in a fantasy world for six days that I will never forget for as long as I live. All I know is that I am beyond lucky to have this on my resume from this point on. It was a job that definitely took me further than I could ever imagine.

Standing next to a legend. Niki Lauda.
Standing next to a legend. Niki Lauda.
Running on the track was definitely a highlight.
Running on the track was definitely a highlight.
A picture with Nico Rosberg was probably one of the highlights.
A picture with Nico Rosberg was probably one of the highlights.

Last Week in Sports (10/13/14 to 10/19/14)

Here is a look at some of the most important stories in the world of sports this past week.

NFL

Once again I will start things off by talking about the Dallas Cowboys. The team was coming off an impressive victory on the road against the reigning Super Bowl Champs, the Seattle Seahawks. They had a bumpy week that started with Joseph Randle being caught stealing underwear and cologne at a store in the Dallas/Fort-Worth area (he will now endorse it). The next day a survey came out stating that the team owned by Jerry Jones was no longer America’s team, but now the Denver Broncos held that title. Pretty sure if that same survey was handed out today the Cowboys would recover that spot. Playing their first division game of the season against the New York Giants they had a shaky first half but a very solid second. DeMarco Murray  ran for 126 yards becoming the first player to go over 100 for seven consecutive games in the history of the NFL. Tony Romo had another great day in Arlington passing for 279 yards and three touchdowns. The Cowboys are now 6-1 after beating the Giants 31-21. Last time they started this well was in 2007.

On the Sunday Night Football game history was made. Peyton Manning tied Brett Favre’s record of 508 career touchdown passes and just moments later he went for a record setting 509 on a third and goal opportunity. Demaryius Thomas caught the ball that from now on will be displayed in Canton, Ohio at the NFL Hall of Fame museum. Manning would leave the game but not before he threw one more touchdown pass (510) against the San Francisco defense. It was a historic night at Mile High Stadium in Denver, Colorado where the dominant 42-17 win by the Broncos will hardly be remembered by the score.

WATCH: Peyton Manning 509 TD Pass

SOCCER

Euro 2016 Qualifiers continued early this week. Germany can’t find a way to play like it did to achieve the World Cup title just a few months back and was tied by Ireland in the last minutes of the game for a 1-1 draw. A header from Cristiano Ronaldo helped his national team (Portugal) get three points on its visit to Denmark 1-0. A game determined by UEFA (the European association that regulates soccer in Europe) as a high-risk match proved to be just that. Serbia hosted Albania hoping politic turmoil in between both nations did not affect the game but it was a drone flying over the field carrying a flag from Albania the last straw that angered Serbian players. One of them pulled the flag down and when that happened all hell broke loose and there was a big fight among players and those on the bench as well as in between fans in the stands. That way Martin Atkinson from England had no other choice but to suspend the game. While Albanian players were received as national heroes, Serbia wants UEFA to award them an automatic win. Chances are both teams get suspended from competition from now in.

In Mexico the national league is only four games away from going into playoffs. America played Monterrey hoping to get a win after two straight games without it. They did just that playing against a team that was in second place before the game and now sits in the fifth spot after. Monterrey after losing 0-2 against the leaders of the competition has let Toluca, Atlas and Tigres stand in the way between them and the top of the leaderboard. Chivas, one of the most popular teams in the league hired a new coach, (the same one that could not get Mexico to the World Cup) José Manuel de la Torre. They played León  who won the last championship setting the stage for a great comeback but in the end 2 goals from “La Fiera” and one from “El Rebaño” just made things worst .

In Spain the soccer world is getting ready to see Real Madrid play Barcelona in what is said to be the biggest rivalry around a soccer ball that there is in the world. Before that happens this past weekend Madrid played Levante in what seemed to be target practice for the team managed by Carlo Ancelotti. Two goals from Cristiano Ronaldo, one from James Rodriguez, one from Isco and another one from Javier “Chicharito” Hernández (his 3rd with Madrid), sealed a 5-0 victory the week prior to “El Superclásico”. On the other side, Messi is just one goal away from tying Telmo Zarra as the player with the most goals in “La Liga”(250). He scored once in the 3-0 win against Eibar and refused to be substituted late in the second half.

BASEBALL

It doesn’t matter how you get there as long as you get there. That is probably what both teams that will be playing in the MLB World Series told themselves after clinching a spot for the Wild Card game on their respective divisions a few weeks back. The Kansas City Royals have not been defeated in their first postseason run in 28 years. The team swept Oakland, L.A. Dodgers and the Orioles. The San Francisco Giants are a bit more used to playing this far into the season. They recently were crowned champions when playing against the Texas Rangers in the 2011 World Series. This time around they beat Pittsburgh in the Wild Card game, 3-1 in the series against the Washington Nationals, and 4-1 against the St. Louis Cardinals where the last game came down to the wire but a three-run home run by Travis Ishikawa in the bottom of the ninth inning sealed the deal at home for the Giants (6-3). The 2014 World Series between the Kansas City Royals and the San Francisco Giants starts this tuesday.

On a quick note, the Texas Rangers announced Jeff Banister as their new skipper after Ron Washington resigned late in the 2014 Season due to personal problems after eight years leading the Rangers clubhouse leader. Banister comes from Pittsburgh hoping to bring the Rangers back to the postseason, an instance they have not showed up to in the past two campaigns.  I will address his personal story in a later date.

GOLF

Major championships were over a while back in the PGA Tour this year but that doesn’t golf players have stayed at home since then. This past weekend in Las Vegas, Nevada at the Shriners Hospitals for Children Open, Ben Martin took the win finishing 20 strokes under par, just two strokes below his closest competitor Kevin Streelman. Mexico’s rookie Carlos Ortiz played in his second tournament as a PGA pro and that did not seem to matter. The former Mean Green golfer finished tied for 18th spot with 11 strokes below par. He is now 33rd in the Fedex Cup Rankings.

RUNNING

Just three weeks ago the Marathon world record was shattered in Berlin, Germany. This past sunday, Abraham Cheroben was aiming to do the same with Zersenay Tadese’s World Record of 58:23. The 21-year-old Kenyan ran the Medio Maratón Valencia with that goal. “I’m satisfied with my win but I’m not totally happy because I was targeting a world record today. I’m convinced I can break the 58-minute barrier for the distance”, were the Cheroben’s words right after the race that has been won by Kenyans the past nine editions. His time of 58:48 is the fastest time for anyone who has ran this distance the past two years.

CAR RACING

The Formula 1 is on a two week break from racing. While the Formula travels from Europe to America in Mexico City representatives from “Tilke”, a german architecture firm presented the design of the new “Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez” track which will be used to host the “Mexico Grand Prix” on November 1st of 2015 per the preliminary calendar. The track is expected to be the second fastest in the world just behind the historic Monza circuit in Italy. Cars should be able to reach a top speed of 328 kms/h and organizers expect to receive over 120,000 fans at the track’s grounds on race day.

WATCH: F1 Mexico Grand Prix Track Design

In NASCAR Brad Keselowski took the checkered flag at the GEICO 500 in Talladega. 32 of the 43 drivers that started the race finished in the same lap that the leader did. Matt Kenseth who is also fighting for the Sprint Cup championship made it finished just 0.141 seconds behind Keselowski. With just four races to go in the season it is Joey Logano from Team Penske who leads the pack. He finished 11th at Talladega in a race that had 38 lead changes.

RACQUETBALL

Mexican racquetball player Paola Longoria had not made major headlines in Mexico until last night when she lost against the American Rhonda Rajsich at the Stockton Pro Am (11-9, 5-11, 14-12, 5-11, 11-4). The reason this was important was because it meant the end to a 152 game winning streak from the mexican superstar. Oddly enough it happened against the same person she had lost to in may of 2011. Since that game Longoria had not lost a single match until now. Longoria’s chance to restart her streak will come at the Central American Games in Veracruz, Mexico from november 14 to the 30th.

Last Week in Sports (10/06/14-10/12/14)

Starting today, every monday I will be posting a summary of the most important news in the world of sports over the weekend.

NFL

Even though we still have to wait to see how the Monday Night Football game pans out to be, it will hardly overtake the show that Seattle and the Dallas Cowboys displayed yesterday at CenturyLink Field, the house of the 12th man. (considered the second loudest stadium in the NFL right behind Arrowhead Stadium in Kansas City)

Dallas was coming off an overtime win over the Houston Texans at home but was expected to face an even harder test on the road against the Super Bowl XLVII Champions.  Things did not start well for the team managed by Jason Garrett and due to a couple of mistakes early in the game, they fell behind 10-0. The underdog responded quickly with some great plays by Tony Romo and came back to take the lead 10-17 before halftime. A fielding mistake by the special teams and a mistimed pass by Travis Frederick were key mistakes to give hope to the Seahawks and turn things around in their favor 20-17. Cowboys came back to tie but another field goal by the Seahawks gave the lead to a team that was getting lucky.

The key play of the game happened with less than five minutes to go in the game. 3rd and 20 for the Cowboys and Tony Romo avoids a couple of sacks to find Terrance Williams 23 yards away. Williams makes the best catch of the game right on the borderline of the field having his toes save him from an incomplete pass. In that same series DeMarco Murray takes the ball for a touchdown and gives the Cowboys its 5th win of the season. They will play division rivals (New York Giants, Washington Redskins) the next two weeks before traveling to London to play the Jaguars.

SOCCER

With most club activity suspended for the week due to FIFA Dates national teams in North and South America played friendly games while teams in Europe continued Euro 2016 Qualifiers. Mexico played Honduras on thursday and won 2-0 with goals from Oswaldo Alanis and “Chicharito” Hernández who is now just nine goals behind Jared Borgetti as the all-time best national team scorer. On sunday they played Panama and with the first goal of Erik Torres with the national team they took the win (1-0).

Among other important results Landon Donovan said farewell to the U.S. Men’s National Team. He played his last 40 minutes with the jersey he wore 157 times and 19 of them as the captain of the squad. After not being included by Jurgen Klinsmann to play in the World Cup the decision of retiring was clear for the best soccer player to ever represent the red, white and blue on a soccer field. Unfortunately after a memorable night Ecuador’s Enner Valencia tied the game in its final stretch for a 1-1 draw.

Brazil beat Argentina in what is probably the biggest rivalry in soccer at an international level. Diego Tardelli scored both goals for the “Verde Amarela”. Messi had a chance from the penalty spot to temporarily tie the game but he missed. This friendly game was played in Beijing, China.

In Euro 2015 Qualifiers scores Spain beat Luxemburg 4-0 after falling 2-1 earlier in the week to Slovakia. England had an easy week winning 5-0 over San Marino and 1-0 over Estonia. France beat Portugal 2-1 even with Ronaldo on the pitch but even more shocking Germany lost against Poland 0-2.

MLB

We are approaching the very end of a very long baseball season and surprises keep popping up. Probably the biggest one is that the L.A. Dodgers aren’t in the hunt for a World Series anymore. Now the Kansas City Royals are back to a spot they are not very used to be in. They are facing the Orioles in the American League Championship Series who are also pretty unfamiliar with this stages. Their rival in the biggest stage in baseball will come from the winner between the San Francisco Giants and the St. Louis Cardinals who are playing to reach the National League Championship Series to access the World Series.

F1

A very unusual week unfolded in Formula 1. Most people have now seen or heard the accident in which Marussia’s driver Jules Bianchi was involved back in the Japan Grand Prix. Today Bianchi is still in critical condition in a hospital in Japan and is being supervised by a medical team lead by two doctors provided by Ferrari. Most of the people that surround F1 races say they are having a tough time dealing with the situation. But the show must go on and Russia welcomed the highest category in auto-racing for the first time. A circuit with lots of turns and few spaces to overpass other drivers built around the same Olympic Park that hosted the recent 2014 Sochi Winter Olympics.

It was again the Mercedes drivers who occupied the top two positions . Lewis Hamilton came in first after leading the whole race and Nico Rosberg finished second in a competition where most cars only needed one stop Marussia only had Max Chilton’s car on track as a tribute to his teammate. Unfortunately he had to abandon the race early on due to technical difficulties. With the 1-2 for Mercedes Benz drivers, the team secured the Constructors Championship with three races to go in the season. Apparently Russia is having to pay $50 million as a hosting fee per year for this new venture. Next up is the United States Grand Prix in Austin (special coverage from the Circuit of the Americas, stay tuned).

TENNIS MASTERS

Roger Federer has shown the world he is not done playing great tennis. The swiss who for a very long time had ranked number one in the world won the Shanghai Masters for the first time in his career after defeating Frenchman Gilles Simon 7-6 (8-6) 7-6 (7-2). A close match that was mostly defined by Federer’s efficiency from the net taking 24 of 35 points. With the absence from Nadal in the tournament, combined with this result, Federer is now second in the ATP Rankings just behind Novak Djokovic.

CHICAGO MARATHON

There were close to ideal conditions in the “Windy City” yesterday for the Bank of America Chicago Marathon. No world-records were broken, nor even course records and that is mostly due to a highly conservative pace from the leaders on both the women’s and men’s side of the field. It was a Kenyan podium on the men’s side with Eliud Kipchoge taking first place with a time of 2:04:11. Followed by Sammy Kitwara and Dickson Chumba less than a minute behind. On the women’s side Rita Jeptoo won the race with a 2:24:35 Rita Jeptoo (KEN) 2:24:35, Mare Dibaba came second and Florence Kiplagat finished third. Jeptoo from Kenya also clinched the 2013-2014 World Marathon Majors title.

OTHERS

Finally mexican golfer Carlos Ortiz made his PGA debut at the Frys.com Open in Napa Valley, California. The University of North Texas alumni and “Web.Com Player of the Year”finished with a scorecard of one stroke under par to rank 57 allowing him to rank 56 in the PGA Tour. Also Paola Longoria from Mexico won the U.S. Open in racquetball after defeating María José Vargas from Argentina 3-0 at Minneapolis. It is Longoria’s fifth U.S. Open title and 150th consecutive win for the player from San Luis Potosi.

Changes at the Speed of F1

When the 2014 Formula 1 Season started in march there were big changes to what we were used to see before. For the first time in a very long time Sebastian Vettel wasn’t the winner and he still hasn’t managed to be on top of the podium with less than half the season remaining. The sound of the new engines was widely criticized by fans which now creates part of its power by a Energy Recovery System. On the bright side we have seen a tougher competition among the whole field with the exception of the Mercedes Benz drivers who have won all but three races of the season so far.

Ferrari has not been the same team ever since Michael Schumacher left the team. They have not lived up to its name and Stefano Domenicali resigned from his position as team principal of the Ferrari Formula One team on mid-august. Marco Mattiacci, former president and CEO of Ferrari North America replaced him. Fernando Alonso has done more for the team than what his car has to offer. The two-time world champion has repeatedly performed at a world-class level but will not be with the “Cavallino Rampante” starting next season. Four-time F1 World Champion Sebastian Vettel is about to make his move to Ferrari official any minute. Alonso could be going back to McLaren.

I’ve been following Formula 1 for a bit now and I can assure you that this one has been the most exciting one. Besides Lewis Hamilton, Nico Rosberg and Daniel Ricciardo being the only three pilots who have won races this far, the battle for second to 23rd place is always up for anyone. Mexican driver Sergio Perez is having his best season. He finished third in Bahrein and has been able to rack up some points in nine races currently sitting on the tenth spot overall. Esteban Gutierrez had a strong finish in the 2013 season, but the changes to his car have not been positive and so far he has no points, either has his teammate Adrian Sutil. Hamilton leads the board just ten points over Rosberg.

Just to show how tough these drivers are, they have endured extreme temperatures in places like Singapore and a close typhoon in Japan. At the first one Danii Kyvat and Kevin Magnussen reported burns and dehydration during the night race. That was nothing compared to what happened in Japan. The race started under a yellow flag due to the heavy rain. After a short pause it resumed and it was impressive to see how short of a visibility range drivers had along the course while still driving over 200 km/h.

The race was about to end when Adrian Sutil lost control of his car on turn 12 and crashed with a safety wall. There was a provisional yellow flag issued (which should have resulted in the safety car immediately). One lap later Jules Bianchi lost control of his Marussia in the same exact spot. The result was him crashing against the crane that was lifting Sutil’s car at around 160 miles per hour. it took a while for the press to know what was going on since there was no video of the incident.

What should have been a week of celebration in the wake of the first Russian Grand Prix ever, has been a week where Bianchi is fighting for his life in Japan and all the attention is on increasing an already tight security around Formula 1 plus really knowing what happened in what is surely Bianchi’s last lap ever as a F1 driver. Some experts say that race should have not even happened under the conditions it was raced in.

Sergio Perez at the Japan GP under heavy rain conditions. (Force India)
Sergio Perez at the Japan GP under heavy rain conditions. (Force India)

But now Russia is set to host a Grand Prix. Next year Mexico will have the return of the highest category in automotive racing come to a city where many stories were written. Austin is setting itself as one of the driver’s favorite places to race at with just two years in existence, the rumor is New York could be next and it could actually be a street-circuit and not on an actual track. You can already tell safety will be made an even higher priority from now on at old and new circuits.

Safety measures are bound to change, but what spectators around the world hope that does not change is the excitement of the current F1 season. Many of us were tired of the dictatorship that drivers like Vettel and Schumacher had at every race. If Bernie Ecclestone wants more fans to tune into F1 activities, a season as exciting as this one should be a common situation.

But for now lets just hope Jules Bianchi survives a horrifying incident. #ForzaJules

Viewer Discretion is advised to watch this link containing the crash of Jules Bianchi.

Top 5 Drivers: 1) Lewis Hamilton, 2) Nico Rosberg, 3) Daniel Ricciardo, 4) Sebastian Vettel, 5) Fernando Alonso

Top 5 Constructors: 1) Mercedes, 2) Red Bull, 3) Williams, 4) Ferrari, 5) Force India

Races to go: 4 (Russia, United States, Brazil, Abu Dhabi)