Category Archives: Formula 1

Kwese Signs Super Eagles Captain Mikel Obi as Brand Ambassador

Econet Media’s pan-African broadcast network, Kwesé has signed John Obi Mikel as the first official brand ambassador for the brand. The former UEFA Champions League, Premier League and now Chinese Super League player, will represent the dynamic broadcaster’s services and initiatives across the continent starting with the upcoming 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia™.

Considered one of Nigeria’s most accomplished players, Mikel will feature in Kwesé’s upcoming advertising campaigns which will encompass print, television and radio.

Having first launched its service in 2016, Kwesé is the continent’s fastest growing media business with a diversified offering that includes Africa’s largest free-to-air channel, Kwesé Free Sports, a pay TV satellite network, Kwesé TV, mobile services and digital all under one roof. With a strong presence across sub-Saharan Africa through its various platforms, Kwesé is arguably Africa’s most exciting and innovative broadcaster.

Kwese Signs Super Eagles Captain Mikel Obi as Brand Ambassador

“In choosing the right personality to partner with our brands we wanted someone who embodies what we stand for as an African broadcaster. Mikel represents exceptional sporting talent and is loved by fans across the continent. His commitment to excellence and his work to improve the sporting talent of the next generation of athletes made him the perfect choice for us,” expressed Joseph Hundah, President and Group Chief Executive Officer of Econet Media.

One of only two African players to have won Europe’s top two continental club competitions when he was part of Chelsea’s Europa League-winning team in 2013, Mikel enjoyed over a decade of service for the Blues – a midfielder making 374 appearances for the team. His accolades include being a two-time recipient of the African Young Player of the Year award (2005, 2006) as well as the Chelsea Young Player of the Year award (2007, 2008).

There is no denying Mikel’s impressive sporting career, however his most rewarding role is that of founder of the Mikel Obi Africa Children’s Sports Foundation. The foundation seeks to alleviate poverty by empowering young Africans through sports. This includes nurturing sporting talent in the areas of football, rugby, tennis, cycling, basketball, cricket, hockey and athletics. Foundation beneficiaries have access to a range of specialist coaches and teachers providing them with a unique opportunity to hone their skills. Extending beyond athletic support, the foundation also assists children with an interest in sports sciences, nutrition, physiotherapy and the like to realise their dreams and forge a better future for themselves and their families.

As part of the partnership with Mikel, Kwesé will join the impressive list of international bodies and associations investing in growing the network of Mikel Obi Africa Children’s Sports Foundation academies across Africa.

Kwese Signs Super Eagles Captain Mikel Obi as Brand Ambassador

Commenting on his association with Kwesé, John Mikel Obi said, “It’s a pleasure and honour to be asked and today become the official ambassador of Kwesé TV, a subsidiary of Econet Media. I am proud to become a member of the Econet Media family and the face of Kwesé TV globally. I am excited to work with a media network that is redefining broadcasting in Africa, bringing pay as you watch TV, Free to air TV and digital programming.

As in my football career, it was important to me to represent an organisation that puts fans and/customers first, power, pride, strength and most importantly, a consistent winner”
Kwesé viewers can look forward to seeing one of their favourite African footballer on Kwesé’s screens in due course, starting with the 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia™ campaign.

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Bolanle Ambode Women Football Championship Hots Up As Group Matches Begins.

The maiden edition of the ongoing Bolanle Ambode Women Championship group stage matches kick-off today, Monday at the Soccer Temple, Agege Stadium, Lagos.

Photo credit – Justina Aniefiok

After an explosive and entertaining round of preliminary matches which produced a whopping 19 goals in six matches, the stage is set for the round robin games with Papa Queens taking on Vision Queens while Phoenix Queens will slug it out with Young Talènt 99 in group A matches.

In the other group, Jagunmolu Queens confronts Lakeside Queens for the maximum three points as the young Goldenswan Ĺadies will have their hands full engaging experienced Ijamido Queens amongst other fixtures.

Anthony Adeboye, the SSA to the Governor on Sports expressed satifaction with the standard and the disciplinary attitude of the teams, adding that with the talent seen on display so far the future of women football in Lagos and Nigeria in paticular is very bright.

Photo credit – Justina Aniefiok

Adeboye whose office powers the championship thanked the Lagos State first lady, Mrs Bolanle Ambode for her support and commitment to the girl child development and growth.

He also give kudos to some local governments and LCDA’s that has shown support to the championship, promising a sumptuous grand finale at the newly re-developed and CAF approved Agege Stadium end of the month.

Photo credit – Justina Aniefiok

Group A
Papa Queens.
Vision Queens
Phoenix Queens
Young Talent 99

Group B
Jagunmolu Queens
Lakeside Queens
Goldenswan Ladies
Ijamido Queens

World’s Best Driver Play TTX at Formula One Chinese Grand Prix in Shanghai

The world’s best Formula One drivers got the chance to play the newest form of table tennis TTX today against Chinese table tennis legend WANG Liqin before the Chinese Grand Prix in Shanghai, China.

Fernando ALONSO, who drives for the team of McLaren Honda, Daniel RICIARDO and Max VERSTAPPEN from Red Bull Racing, and Felipe MASSA who drives for Williams all tasted the new revolution of the sport.

Alonso, a double World Champion, also regarded as one of the greatest racers in the world, along with the other stars today enjoyed TTX as he smashed away some balls against Olympic Champion and Chinese table tennis legend WANG Liqin. This unique event, organised jointly by Formula One and the ITTF, was held at theShanghai International Circuit in front of a huge audience and guests from international media.

Recalling the experience on playing TTX, Daniel RICIARDO stated, “It was really cool playing against an Olympic Champion. I have never played table tennis like this with no rubber and heavier and bigger balls before. Made it a lot easier and more fun, especially on a windy day like today!”

For a Formula One fan WANG Liqin, it was thrilling to enjoy the game he loves the most in its cooler form, TTX.

“It was a big honor to play with the driver as I love Formula One. It was a lot of fun and I really enjoyed it,” said WANG Liqin

The world’s best drivers taking on table tennis legend Wang Liqin!

TTX, launched at the eve of the start of the 2016 Rio Olympic Games, is a cooler, youthful and fun version of table tennis. It is designed in a way that the sport can be played literally anywhere. It features a bigger and heavier balls and simplified rackets with less spin, TTX is suitable for outside conditions.

Seamaster is TTX’s exclusive commercial partner and is working along with the ITTF to develop the equipment and technology to bring TTX to the world. With the best racers in the world enjoying TTX the way it should be enjoyed, this fun version of table tennis is slowly drawing attention to all and is the game to be enjoyed anywhere and everywhere.

US Firm Liberty Media Acquires Formula 1

Liberty Media Corporation announced Wednesday afternoon that it as acquired Formula One from a group led by CVC Capital Partners, which bought the majority stake in the racing organisation in 2006.

The total price paid will be $8.5 billion, $4.4 billion being the determined equity value of F1 and $4.1 billion in debt.

Chase Carey, who helped launch Fox Sports in the mid-1990s and also served as CEO of DirecTV, will become the new chairman of Formula One. Bernie Ecclestone, who will make roughly $230 million from his 5.3 percent stake in the business, will stay on as CEO. The 8.5 percent stake his family trust has in the business is now worth $375 million in the cash out.

formula-1-f1

CVC Capital Partners comes away with approximately $6 billion from its $2 billion purchase a decade ago.

Like the Atlanta Braves and SiriusXM, which Liberty also owns, the investment will be converted into a tracking stock that will allow investors to invest in the F1 business.

Red Bull’s Max Verstappen Given ‘Gentle Warning’ By FIA

Max Verstappen has been given a “gentle warning” about his driving in the wake of his controversial behaviour in the Belgian Grand Prix.

FIA F1 director Charlie Whiting called in Verstappen for a discussion on Friday ahead of the Italian Grand Prix.

Red Bull team boss Christian Horner said Whiting had told Verstappen he risked disqualification.

“Charlie was keen to show him a video of Spa. It was a gentle warning,” Horner said.

“Like any 18-year-old the criticism [from other drivers] seems to be going in one ear and out the other. He really doesn’t care,” added Horner.

Max Verstappen photo credit: JaumeEG  https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0/legalcode
Max Verstappen
photo credit: JaumeEG
https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0/legalcode

“We’re all here talking about it and it’s that spirit he’s got that is bringing fans trackside.”

The meeting follows a series of aggressive defensive moves by Verstappen this season, which has led to
complaints from some drivers, in particular the teenager’s late move in defence against Ferrari’s Kimi Raikkonen at the Belgian Grand Prix.

Max Verstappen Vows Not To Change “Over-Aggressive” Driving Style

Max Verstappen says he will not alter his style despite criticism from his fellow drivers that he is over-aggressive.

Ferrari’s Kimi Raikkonen said the 18-year-old Red Bull driver would cause “a massive accident sooner or later” if he does not change.

He made his comments after the tussle between them in Belgium last Sunday.

Max Verstappen photo credit: JaumeEG  https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0/legalcode
Max Verstappen
photo credit: JaumeEG
https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0/legalcode

Verstappen said before this weekend’s Italian Grand Prix: “It is not because others tell me I have to change my driving style that I will change.”

He added: “Let’s say you put Ibrahimovic up as a defender, would he like it just because other people think he’s a better defender? I don’t think he will listen to those guys. If he likes to attack, he wants to attack.”

Raikkonen repeated on Thursday that Verstappen’s driving was “not correct”.

The 2007 world champion said: “I have nothing against Max. He is doing a good job and he is fast but there are certain things that are not correct if you have to slow down and brake at full speed.”

The incident in question happened on the 200mph Kemmel straight on the Spa-Francorchamps track.

Raikkonen was attacking Verstappen, who waited in the middle of the track before moving to defend when the Ferrari driver made his decision which side to attack.

Many drivers feel Verstappen’s move was too late to be acceptable.

There is no specific rule about moving late in defence, although article 27.8 of the sporting regulations states: “Manoeuvres liable to hinder other drivers, such as deliberate crowding of a car beyond the edge of the track or any other abnormal change of direction, are not permitted.”

Raikkonen called for more consistency from stewards as to how they guard such incidents.

“It’s quite clear what the rules are. Sometimes you feel it is not correct what happens on the circuit but the biggest problem is that it is not always the same,” he said.

“We always discuss it and it is a bit up and down and that could be improved.”

Raikkonen and Ferrari team-mate Sebastian Vettel have discussed their concerns about Verstappen’s driving in private with FIA F1 director Charlie Whiting on Thursday, while the issue is also expected to be raised in the drivers’ briefing on Friday afternoon.

Mercedes driver Nico Rosberg said: “It’s a difficult one. Important is to be consistent with the judgements. That is always going to be difficult because no situation is the same, but it can always be
improved.”

“We have seen some inconsistencies recently and Max is on the limit. It’s obvious with Kimi having to hit the brakes full on on the flat-out straight otherwise there would have been a shunt. That needs to be discussed and I’m sure it will be a big topic in the meeting.”

McLaren driver Fernando Alonso thought the move was just about acceptable.

Max Verstappen photo credit: Morio https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0/legalcode
Max Verstappen
photo credit: Morio
https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0/legalcode

He said Verstappen had moved “very late” but that because it was only the one move allowed in the rules “everything fits”.

The two-time champion added that he had been more upset by Verstappen’s controversial defence of his position against Raikkonen in July’s Hungarian Grand Prix because he had changed line while in the braking zone.

Alonso said all other drivers agreed this was not acceptable and they had discussed this in their briefing at the following race in Germany.

Formula1 Needs Greater Equality Among Teams – Sebastian Vettel

Sebastian Vettel says the main thing Formula One needs is greater equality among teams.

The Formula1 driver believes F1’s biggest issue is inequality between teams. Vettel’s team Ferrari earns the most from the sport’s central revenue streams, but the four-time world champion said he would like to see all outfits more closely matched.

“I think if there was more equality between the teams we would also have better racing,” Vettel said when
asked how he would improve the sport.

“Obviously there’s been a lot of talk about what to do, we’ve had the example of qualifying and now we’re talking about race formats and new regulations. Equally, if we’d find a simple approach to allow all the teams to race very close to each other – I’m not saying all the cars should be the same because that would go against the nature and my understanding of Formula One, a smaller spread of the field would help us to
race harder, race more.”

Vettel thinks cars should be designed to make following easier amid fears the addition of more downforce in 2017 will limit overtaking.

“Also, if we’d have cars that would allow us to race more, and by that I mean cars that we could follow closer than we can now – aerodynamics are a great thing, it gives you a great sensation with the cornering speeds we reach, but the way they are currently set it’s very difficult to follow another car.”

Sebastian Vettel  photo credit: exit1979 https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nd/2.0/legalcode
Sebastian Vettel
photo credit: exit1979
https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nd/2.0/legalcode

“These are a couple of fundamentals, but to have a simpler approach to Formula One, make it a bit more raw and wild, it would be great for us, the fans at the track and the people at home, and I’m talking about the cars and the sound.”