Lewis Hamilton held the advantage over Nico Rosberg, his Mercedes teammate, throughout the Australian Grand Prix in Melbourne on Sunday. Diego Azubel / EPA
Lewis Hamilton held the advantage over Nico Rosberg, his Mercedes teammate, throughout the Australian Grand Prix in Melbourne on Sunday. Diego Azubel / EPA

Lewis Hamilton and Mercedes showing ominous signs with storming Australia GP victory



Mercedes-GP dominated like no team had ever done before in Formula One in 2014, winning a record 16 races, taking 10 one-two finishes and claiming 18 pole positions.

The biggest challenge the German team was always going to most likely face this season was attempting to improve on it, but judging by Sunday’s one-two finish for Lewis Hamilton and Nico Rosberg at the Australian Grand Prix, it seems they are going to have a good go at achieving just that.

Anyone hoping that teams such as Williams, Red Bull Racing and Ferrari had been able to close the gap to Mercedes in the 112 days since the Etihad Airways Abu Dhabi Grand Prix concluded the 2014 season would have been sorely disappointed by Sunday’s race.

Hamilton and Rosberg were never challenged as they competed in an almost private duel for the race win at the front in Melbourne.

In the opening stages they were more than a second faster than anyone else on the track, and although their pace did slow as they looked after fuel management and dealt with tyre degradation, it was clear that both drivers had extra speed at their disposal.

Hamilton held the advantage throughout over Rosberg, other than one lap when he made his sole pit stop, after converting pole position into the lead at the start.

Though Rosberg was never more than 3.5 seconds adrift of Hamilton, he was not able to get the margin to less than a second as Hamilton controlled the gap throughout to pick up the 34th win of his career and second at Albert Park.

It was a similar narrative to 2014 in that the pair were well matched for much of the race, but the 2014 world champion had the edge and got the 25 points, with Rosberg again quick but not quite fast enough to beat the man sharing the same machinery as him.

“Nico was quick throughout the race. In terms of tyres, we did not know how far they could go,” Hamilton said. “When Nico turned up the heat I was able to react, which was good.”

Such was the comprehensiveness of Mercedes’s speed advantage, with Ferrari’s Sebastian Vettel best of the rest in third place 34.5 seconds adrift and with only five cars on the lead laps, that Hamilton and Rosberg attempted to do some public relations damage limitation for the sport in the post-race news conference by claiming they did expect to be challenged by their rivals this season.

“I think the Ferraris have taken a huge step forward and have made one of the biggest steps,” Hamilton said. “I anticipate we might have a good fight with them at some stage this year.”

Rosberg added: “It would be good if they can come a bit closer ... as long as they don’t get too close.”

The comments received short shrift from Vettel, who replied to Rosberg: “Be honest, do you really hope so? Seriously? You finish 34 seconds ahead of us and you hope it’s going to be closer? You hope you’ll slow down?”

It was still an encouraging day for Ferrari and Vettel in their first race together since the four-time world champion joined the team from Red Bull during the winter.

He overtook Felipe Massa’s Williams, who had run third in the early stages, during the pit stops to get ahead of the Brazilian, and Ferrari would have had both cars in the top five had a botched pit stop for Kimi Raikkonen not forced the Finn to pull over and stop with his left rear tyre not properly attached.

“We have to focus on ourselves and make sure what we have learned from this weekend we take into the next races,” Vettel said.

“The most important thing is if we finish, we finish right behind Mercedes. We need to confirm that in the next race. That is priority No 1.”

The second round of the season is in Malaysia on March 29.

gcaygill@thenational.ae

Follow our sports coverage on Twitter @NatSportUAE

Company Profile

Name: HyveGeo
Started: 2023
Founders: Abdulaziz bin Redha, Dr Samsurin Welch, Eva Morales and Dr Harjit Singh
Based: Cambridge and Dubai
Number of employees: 8
Industry: Sustainability & Environment
Funding: $200,000 plus undisclosed grant
Investors: Venture capital and government

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Director: Nikhil Nagesh Bhat

Starring: Lakshya, Tanya Maniktala, Ashish Vidyarthi, Harsh Chhaya, Raghav Juyal

Rating: 4.5/5

COMPANY PROFILE

Name: Xpanceo

Started: 2018

Founders: Roman Axelrod, Valentyn Volkov

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Industry: Smart contact lenses, augmented/virtual reality

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Investor: Opportunity Venture (Asia)

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Key figures in the life of the fort

Sheikh Dhiyab bin Isa (ruled 1761-1793) Built Qasr Al Hosn as a watchtower to guard over the only freshwater well on Abu Dhabi island.

Sheikh Shakhbut bin Dhiyab (ruled 1793-1816) Expanded the tower into a small fort and transferred his ruling place of residence from Liwa Oasis to the fort on the island.

Sheikh Tahnoon bin Shakhbut (ruled 1818-1833) Expanded Qasr Al Hosn further as Abu Dhabi grew from a small village of palm huts to a town of more than 5,000 inhabitants.

Sheikh Khalifa bin Shakhbut (ruled 1833-1845) Repaired and fortified the fort.

Sheikh Saeed bin Tahnoon (ruled 1845-1855) Turned Qasr Al Hosn into a strong two-storied structure.

Sheikh Zayed bin Khalifa (ruled 1855-1909) Expanded Qasr Al Hosn further to reflect the emirate's increasing prominence.

Sheikh Shakhbut bin Sultan (ruled 1928-1966) Renovated and enlarged Qasr Al Hosn, adding a decorative arch and two new villas.

Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan (ruled 1966-2004) Moved the royal residence to Al Manhal palace and kept his diwan at Qasr Al Hosn.

Sources: Jayanti Maitra, www.adach.ae

Top 10 most competitive economies

1. Singapore
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3. Denmark
4. Ireland
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How to wear a kandura

Dos

  • Wear the right fabric for the right season and occasion 
  • Always ask for the dress code if you don’t know
  • Wear a white kandura, white ghutra / shemagh (headwear) and black shoes for work 
  • Wear 100 per cent cotton under the kandura as most fabrics are polyester

Don’ts 

  • Wear hamdania for work, always wear a ghutra and agal 
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The National Archives, Abu Dhabi

Founded over 50 years ago, the National Archives collects valuable historical material relating to the UAE, and is the oldest and richest archive relating to the Arabian Gulf.

Much of the material can be viewed on line at the Arabian Gulf Digital Archive - https://www.agda.ae/en

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KEY DATES IN AMAZON'S HISTORY

July 5, 1994: Jeff Bezos founds Cadabra Inc, which would later be renamed to Amazon.com, because his lawyer misheard the name as 'cadaver'. In its earliest days, the bookstore operated out of a rented garage in Bellevue, Washington

July 16, 1995: Amazon formally opens as an online bookseller. Fluid Concepts and Creative Analogies: Computer Models of the Fundamental Mechanisms of Thought becomes the first item sold on Amazon

1997: Amazon goes public at $18 a share, which has grown about 1,000 per cent at present. Its highest closing price was $197.85 on June 27, 2024

1998: Amazon acquires IMDb, its first major acquisition. It also starts selling CDs and DVDs

2000: Amazon Marketplace opens, allowing people to sell items on the website

2002: Amazon forms what would become Amazon Web Services, opening the Amazon.com platform to all developers. The cloud unit would follow in 2006

2003: Amazon turns in an annual profit of $75 million, the first time it ended a year in the black

2005: Amazon Prime is introduced, its first-ever subscription service that offered US customers free two-day shipping for $79 a year

2006: Amazon Unbox is unveiled, the company's video service that would later morph into Amazon Instant Video and, ultimately, Amazon Video

2007: Amazon's first hardware product, the Kindle e-reader, is introduced; the Fire TV and Fire Phone would come in 2014. Grocery service Amazon Fresh is also started

2009: Amazon introduces Amazon Basics, its in-house label for a variety of products

2010: The foundations for Amazon Studios were laid. Its first original streaming content debuted in 2013

2011: The Amazon Appstore for Google's Android is launched. It is still unavailable on Apple's iOS

2014: The Amazon Echo is launched, a speaker that acts as a personal digital assistant powered by Alexa

2017: Amazon acquires Whole Foods for $13.7 billion, its biggest acquisition

2018: Amazon's market cap briefly crosses the $1 trillion mark, making it, at the time, only the third company to achieve that milestone

Email sent to Uber team from chief executive Dara Khosrowshahi

From: Dara

To: Team@

Date: March 25, 2019 at 11:45pm PT

Subj: Accelerating in the Middle East

Five years ago, Uber launched in the Middle East. It was the start of an incredible journey, with millions of riders and drivers finding new ways to move and work in a dynamic region that’s become so important to Uber. Now Pakistan is one of our fastest-growing markets in the world, women are driving with Uber across Saudi Arabia, and we chose Cairo to launch our first Uber Bus product late last year.

Today we are taking the next step in this journey—well, it’s more like a leap, and a big one: in a few minutes, we’ll announce that we’ve agreed to acquire Careem. Importantly, we intend to operate Careem independently, under the leadership of co-founder and current CEO Mudassir Sheikha. I’ve gotten to know both co-founders, Mudassir and Magnus Olsson, and what they have built is truly extraordinary. They are first-class entrepreneurs who share our platform vision and, like us, have launched a wide range of products—from digital payments to food delivery—to serve consumers.

I expect many of you will ask how we arrived at this structure, meaning allowing Careem to maintain an independent brand and operate separately. After careful consideration, we decided that this framework has the advantage of letting us build new products and try new ideas across not one, but two, strong brands, with strong operators within each. Over time, by integrating parts of our networks, we can operate more efficiently, achieve even lower wait times, expand new products like high-capacity vehicles and payments, and quicken the already remarkable pace of innovation in the region.

This acquisition is subject to regulatory approval in various countries, which we don’t expect before Q1 2020. Until then, nothing changes. And since both companies will continue to largely operate separately after the acquisition, very little will change in either teams’ day-to-day operations post-close. Today’s news is a testament to the incredible business our team has worked so hard to build.

It’s a great day for the Middle East, for the region’s thriving tech sector, for Careem, and for Uber.

Uber on,

Dara

Naga

Director: Meshal Al Jaser

Starring: Adwa Bader, Yazeed Almajyul, Khalid Bin Shaddad

Rating: 4/5


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