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Novak Djokovic drops major hint at Australian Open return

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Novak Djokovic drops major hint at Australian Open return

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Speaking to Serbian outlet Sportal, 21-time Grand Slam champion Novak Djokovic spoke on the possibility of playing at the Australian Open, about the challenges he encountered this year, Carlos Alcaraz and more…

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Novak Djokovic is currently in Belgrade preparing for the final stretch of the 2022 season. The former world number one confirmed his participation at the The Paris Masters, where he will be seeking his seventh title, as well as the Nitto ATP Finals in Turin, where he is looking to equal Federer’s record of six titles.

“HOPING FOR A POSITIVE ANSWER” – AUSTRALIAN OPEN PARTICIPATION STILL THE NO 1 QUESTION

When it comes to Djokovic, though, most of the public eye is focused on whether he will be able to participate at the Australian Open in 2023 – the question being whether his three-year ban on seeking a visa will be lifted.

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“I AM OVER WHAT HAPPENED THIS YEAR AND I JUST WANT TO PLAY TENNIS, IT IS WHAT I DO BEST. AUSTRALIA HAS ALWAYS BEEN THE PLACE WHERE I HAVE PLAYED MY BEST TENNIS, THE RESULTS SPEAK FOR THEMSELVES, SO I AM ALWAYS EXTRA MOTIVATED TO GO THERE. THIS TIME EVEN MORE…”

— Novak Djokovic

Novak Djokovic drops major hint at Australian Open return

“When it comes to Australia, there are some positive signs, but unofficially,” 35-year-old Djokovic told Sportal. “We are communicating through my lawyers in Australia. In fact, they are communicating with the authorities in charge of my case. I hope to have an answer in the next few weeks – whatever that answer might be, but of course I am hoping for a positive one – so that I have enough time to prepare for the start of the season, if that start is going to happen in Australia.”

Djokovic, nine-time champion in Melbourne, is focused on the future and does not want to dwell on the past.

“I really want to go there, I am over what happened this year and I just want to play tennis, it is what I do best. Australia has always been the place where I have played my best tennis, the results speak for themselves, so I am always extra motivated to go there. This time even more, so.

“I am hoping for a positive answer.”

It was an awkward year for Djokovic filled with experiences he has not encountered before, but there were bright spots: he was also able to win his 21st Grand Slam title at Wimbledon, for starters.

“It was a very interesting year, peculiar,” Djokovic, currently ranked seventh in the world, said. “I always strive to draw positive things from whatever the experience is, that is part of my character and my approach to life. I know that everything that happened in Australia and afterwards – the way people have treated me, which did not feel nice and it is something I have never experienced before in my life – has helped me to learn some valuable lessons.

“Lessons about myself, about life and about the way I should move on in this world, especially in the tennis ecosystem.”

Novak Djokovic drops major hint at Australian Open return

Djokovic says that above all, his love for the sport or tennis is what guides him through the difficult times.

READ MORE: So much that even the Rafa Nadal Tennis Academy has reacted to…

“Many masks  have fallen, so to say – throughout this process, it was  interesting for me  to observe   the   way some   people   behaved   towards   me   this   year.   I   keep   going,   motivated   and inspired,” he said. “I love this sport, I love giving it my all in every practice because every day is different, and there is always some sort of excitement, some sort of unknown, it is a challenge. The young guns are coming, they are hungry for success, so that is something that gives me extra motivation as well.”

“IT IS A GOOD THING THAT THEY HAVE NOW OPENED THE BORDERS FOR THE UNVACCINATED FOREIGNERS TRAVELING TO AUSTRALIA. I HAVE THAT BAN, I HOPE IT WILL BE LIFTED. AS I SAID, IT IS NOT IN MY HANDS, I HOPE THE PEOPLE IN THE AUSTRALIAN GOVERNMENT WILL GIVE A POSITIVE ANSWER, THAT IS ALL.”

— Novak Djokovic

DJOKOVIC: “I NEVER TRIED TO BE DISRESPECTFUL”

Djokovic reiterated  that   he   hopes   things   will   go  back  to  normal   regarding  rules   for  entering Australia and the United States, so that he is allowed to play there again.

“Some of the biggest tournaments in the world are held there… I respect that everyone has a different way of thinking in relation to my situation and my circumstances. After all, I have never offended anyone or ever tried to be disrespectful in any way. I always tried to show that it is important for everyone to have the right and freedom of choice.

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Mick Schumacher feels up to the Hamilton cockpit

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Inspiredlovers Screenshot_20240225-155832 Mick Schumacher feels up to the Hamilton cockpit Sports  Mick Schumacher

Mick Schumacher feels up to the Hamilton cockpit

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Lewis Hamilton’s cockpit will be vacant at Mercedes in 2025. Mick Schumacher is also a candidate for successor. He feels ready for the task.
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The change from Lewis Hamilton will free up a cockpit from 2025 that very few people in the Formula 1 paddock had expected. Theoretically, Mercedes is in no hurry to find a suitable successor; the list of candidates is long.

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Mick Schumacher is also on the list, after all, the 24-year-old is a reserve driver at Mercedes. Therefore, it is logical that he is at least in the selection. However, he should only have outsider chances.

However, he feels ready to succeed Hamilton. After all, the shoes to fill are huge given Hamilton’s seven world championship titles (six of which he won with the Silver Arrows).

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“It is of course a position that brings with it a lot of pressure. But in terms of feeling, I’m a match for her,” said Schumacher in an interview with RTL/ntv and sport.de. “But it’s not my decision.”

In any case, a lot will happen, says Schumacher: “My chance is here. “I don’t know how big it is yet,” he emphasized. “I think it will also depend a bit on performance. Hopefully I can recommend myself. I think a few people out there know how good I am.” Schumacher will compete in the World Endurance Championship with Alpine in 2024.

Schumacher said he had “brief” contact with Mercedes team boss Toto Wolff: “We will certainly be able to talk a little more in the next few days.”

Formula 1 presentations
February 12th: Aston Martin
February 13th: Ferrari
February 14th: Mercedes
February 14th: McLaren
February 15th: Red Bull Racing

Formula 1 winter tests
02/21 until 23.2. in Bahrain

Formula 1 World Championship 2024
02.03. Bahrain GP, ​​Bahrain International Circuit, Sakhir
09.03. Saudi Arabia GP, Jeddah Corniche Circuit, Jeddah
24.03. Australian GP, ​​Albert Park Circuit, Melbourne
07.04. Japan GP, ​​Suzuka International Racing Course, Suzuka
April 21st China GP, Shanghai International Circuit, Shanghai *
05.05. Miami GP, Miami International Autodrome, Miami *
19.05. Emilia Romagna GP, Autodromo Enzo e Dino Ferrari, Imola
26.05. Monaco GP, Circuit de Monaco, Monte Carlo
09.06. Canadian GP, ​​Circuit Gilles Villeneuve, Montreal
June 23rd Spanish GP, Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya, Montmeló
30.06. Austrian GP, ​​Red Bull Ring, Spielberg *
07.07. British GP, Silverstone Circuit, Silverstone
21.07. Hungarian GP, ​​Hungaroring, Budapest
July 28th Belgian GP, ​​Circuit de Spa-Francorchamps, Spa
25.08. Netherlands GP, Circuit Zandvoort, Zandvoort
01.09. Italian GP, ​​Autodromo Nazionale di Monza, Monza
15.09. Azerbaijan GP, ​​Baku City Circuit, Baku
22.09. Singapore GP, Marina Bay Street Circuit, Singapore
20.10. Austin GP, ​​Circuit of the Americas, Austin *
October 27th Mexican GP, ​​Autodromo Hermann Rodríguez, Mexico City
03.11. Brazilian GP, ​​Autódromo José Carlos Pace, Interlagos *
23.11. Las Vegas GP, Las Vegas Street Circuit, Las Vegas
01.12. Qatar GP, Losail International Circuit, Doha *
08.12. Abu Dhabi GP, Yas Marina Circuit, Yas Island

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Lewis Hamilton causes confusion over Ferrari, he’s never been to Maranello, contradicting a claim by Piero Ferrari on the F1 World Champion movements

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Inspiredlovers Screenshot_20240225-153255 Lewis Hamilton causes confusion over Ferrari, he’s never been to Maranello, contradicting a claim by Piero Ferrari on the F1 World Champion movements Sports

Lewis Hamilton causes confusion over Ferrari, he’s never been to Maranello, contradicting a claim by Piero Ferrari on the F1 World Champion movements

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Lewis Hamilton said he’s never been to Maranello, contradicting a claim by Piero Ferrari that the F1 World Champion has visited their factory.

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Hamilton will make a sensational switch to join Ferrari in 2025, moving away from Mercedes after more than a decade racing with the Brackley-based team that netted six Drivers’ Championships.

The unification of Hamilton and Ferrari created headlines globally on the day of the announcement – even well outside the sphere of F1 and sport – with Ferrari’s share prices soaring more than 10 percent, a value of $7 billion, on that day.

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Lewis Hamilton contradicts Piero Ferrari Maranello visit claim
While Hamilton moving to Ferrari makes for a hugely anticipated alliance as both sides aim to take title glory together, the British driver has caused confusion by, apparently, forgetting about a visit to Maranello a few years ago.

Addressing the media for the first time since the Ferrari announcement earlier this month, Hamilton stated that he’s never visited Ferrari’s factory home in Italy as he feared the optics had he been spotted doing so.

“I have not,” he told media, including PlanetF1.com, on Friday in Bahrain, when asked if he’d ever visited Maranello.

“I bought my first Ferrari in 2010 (sic) [Hamilton took delivery of his LaFerrari road car in 2015 – editor], I think.

“That was my first present to myself. I don’t have it anymore, but I didn’t get to go during that time.

“Being with Mercedes, I didn’t think it was a good look to go.”

But it appears Hamilton may have forgotten that he, apparently, had been a visitor to the Ferrari factory a few years ago as Ferrari vice-chairman Piero Ferrari – son of late founder Enzo – recently spoke about Hamilton’s expedition to Maranello to pick up his LaFerrari.

Speaking to esteemed Italian journalist Leo Turrini for Quotidiano Nazionale, the 78-year-old addressed Hamilton’s upcoming switch to Ferrari and revealed the seven-time World Champion’s previous interest in the red team.

“Perhaps not everyone knows that Lewis has always been sensitive to the fascination of the Prancing Horse,” Ferrari said.

“He’s a customer of ours! He has visited the factory more than once.”

Ferrari clarified Hamilton had not visited the F1 racing department of the factory, which perhaps explains Hamilton’s contradiction, but said he had come to Maranello for tips on his new LaFerrari.

“He came as a buyer of our cars. He is not just a speed ace,” he said.

“He has a genuine love for supercars. His garage couldn’t be without our cars. One in particular…

“The model called LaFerrari. Hamilton came to Maranello to give directions on how to set up the car. It was on that occasion that we greeted each other cordially.”

It was at this point that Ferrari also revealed that Hamilton had ‘joked’ about being interested in a seat with the Scuderia.

“We had Vettel in the team and we were happy with Seb,” he said.

“We had just renewed the contract with the German, which was going well. Lewis made a joke: if you waited twelve months I would come in…”

Reports also swirled in Italian media in 2014 that Hamilton had been spotted in Maranello during the car-buying process, although this was never officially confirmed by the manufacturer.

Lewis Hamilton reveals Michael Schumacher wonder
While Hamilton has also stated in the past that he used to pick Kimi Raikkonen’s car when playing computer games growing up, the British driver has updated that to say he chose the Ferrari of Michael Schumacher for his gaming sessions in his youth.

“For every driver growing up, watching the history, watching Michael Schumacher in his prime, I think probably all of us sit in our garage and see the screen pop up and you see the driver in the red car and you wonder what it would be like to be surrounded by the red,” Hamilton said when explaining the logic behind his desire to join Ferrari.

“You go to the Italian GP, and you see a sea of red Ferrari fans, and you can only stand in awe of that. It’s a team that’s not had huge success, really, since mostly from Michael’s days, but since 2007.

“I saw it as a huge challenge. Without a doubt, even as a kid, I used to play in GP2 [computer game] as Michael in that car. It definitely is a dream, and I’m really, really excited about it.”

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Love It or Hate It, Fans Are Tuning Out of Drive To Survive With Danica Patrick Debut: “Ready To Turn My TV Off”

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Love It or Hate It, Fans Are Tuning Out of Drive To Survive With Danica Patrick Debut: “Ready To Turn My TV Off”

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Earlier this week, the sixth season of Netflix’s popular show Drive to Survive premiered. With all the drama unfolding behind the scenes, a fresh character has joined the show. In the recent season, Danica Patrick, who has made waves for her contentious remarks, will be seen offering her viewpoint. Fans, however, don’t seem to love much of her appearance on the show. Some have even gone as far as ‘turning off their television’ after seeing her in the hit docu-series.

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Patrick became one of the most accomplished female racing drivers after her third-place finish in the Indianapolis 500 and her IndyCar race victory. However, despite her accomplishments, she has faced criticism several times throughout her extraordinary career.

Despite this, the Drive to Survive producers insisted in including her name in the lineup among pundits like Will Buxton and ex boss Claire Williams. Tom Roger, the co-executive producer of the show, has disclosed an intriguing explanation for her inclusion. While talking to The Post, he said,

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“I think she does a really good job explaining to our viewers some of the thought processes that the drivers are going through.”

Even though Roger’s statement is reliable, it’s hard to ignore the fact that Patrick has come under fire for some of her inappropriate remarks in the past. The 41-year-old has not been popular among fans for her political beliefs, and her habit of indulging herself in conspiracy theories. However, the recent backlash she received from the F1 world stemmed from her remarks regarding sports diversity.

According to her, it is ‘not normal’ for a ‘feminine mind’ to be focused on ‘motorsport success.’ The combination of all these unexpected statements from such a well-known person left a bad taste for fans all over the world.

How did the Fans react to Danica Patrick’s appearance on Drive to Survive?
Given how one-sided the 2023 season was, fans didn’t focus on-track action to be the epicenter of season 6 of DTS. Fans were still anticipating some of the behind-the-scenes antics that the show is well known for. Nevertheless, when they saw Danica Patrick on the screen, they couldn’t control their varied emotions. One fan even stated that they were prepared to ‘turn off’ the TV as soon as Patrick appeared on the show.

Other fans expressed their disappointment by focusing on particular scenes from the show. In particular, a scene where she was being blatantly harsh on Lewis Hamilton was targeted.

Reviews about Drive to Survive have been mixed so far. A lot of people are happy that the show does not focus on Red Bull’s dominance, which was all that was visible in terms of action in 2023. Instead, the show brings several entities, including Patrick, to talk about other events that took place- mainly behind the scenes.

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