Verstappen Easily Wins F1 Japanese Grand Prix

Dutch Formula One driver Max Verstappen of Red Bull Racing in action during the Formula One Japanese Grand Prix at Suzuka Circuit racetrack in Suzuka, Japan, 24 September 2023.  EPA/FRANCK ROBICHON
Dutch Formula One driver Max Verstappen of Red Bull Racing in action during the Formula One Japanese Grand Prix at Suzuka Circuit racetrack in Suzuka, Japan, 24 September 2023. EPA/FRANCK ROBICHON
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Verstappen Easily Wins F1 Japanese Grand Prix

Dutch Formula One driver Max Verstappen of Red Bull Racing in action during the Formula One Japanese Grand Prix at Suzuka Circuit racetrack in Suzuka, Japan, 24 September 2023.  EPA/FRANCK ROBICHON
Dutch Formula One driver Max Verstappen of Red Bull Racing in action during the Formula One Japanese Grand Prix at Suzuka Circuit racetrack in Suzuka, Japan, 24 September 2023. EPA/FRANCK ROBICHON

Runaway series leader Max Verstappen returned to dominant form on Sunday, winning the Japanese Grand Prix and moving a step closer to securing his third consecutive Formula One drivers’ championship.
The Red Bull driver, who missed out on the podium a week ago in Singapore, started from pole and held on for his 13th win of the season.
McLaren driver Lando Norris was second, 19.4 seconds back of Verstappen, while his teammate Australia rookie Oscar Piastri was third for his first F1 podium.
With Verstappen’s win, Red Bull secured this year’s constructors’ title, their sixth overall and second in a row, The Associated Press reported.
Verstappen increased his lead over Red Bull teammate Sergio Perez to 177 points. He could wrap up his third consecutive title at the Oct. 6-9 Qatar Grand Prix.
It was a disastrous day for Perez, who was given a penalty for hitting Haas driver Kevin Magnussen and retired from the race after serving the penalty.
Verstappen saw his record 10-race winning streak come to end at Marina Bay in Singapore and came to Japan determined to get back on top of the podium. Prior to Sunday’s race, he led every session at the fast Suzuka circuit, where he wrapped up last year’s championship in a rain-shortened race.



Germany Looking to Book Spot in Euro 2024 Knockout Stage with Another Win against Hungary

Germany's goalkeeper Manuel Neuer smiles during press conference of the German national soccer team in Herzogenaurach, Germany, Monday, June 17, 2024. (dpa via AP)
Germany's goalkeeper Manuel Neuer smiles during press conference of the German national soccer team in Herzogenaurach, Germany, Monday, June 17, 2024. (dpa via AP)
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Germany Looking to Book Spot in Euro 2024 Knockout Stage with Another Win against Hungary

Germany's goalkeeper Manuel Neuer smiles during press conference of the German national soccer team in Herzogenaurach, Germany, Monday, June 17, 2024. (dpa via AP)
Germany's goalkeeper Manuel Neuer smiles during press conference of the German national soccer team in Herzogenaurach, Germany, Monday, June 17, 2024. (dpa via AP)

Germany faces Hungary on Wednesday in Stuttgart in their second Group A match. Germany tops the group after beating Scotland 5-1 in the opener while Hungary lost 3-1 against Switzerland. Kickoff is at 6 p.m. local time (1600 GMT). Here’s what to know about the match:

Match facts:

— Victory for Germany would all but guarantee a spot in the knockout stages and it would definitely advance if Switzerland also beats Scotland in the other group match.

— Another defeat would not end Hungary’s chances as it could still claim one of the four best third-place spots up for grabs.

— Germany is winless in its last three meetings against Hungary and was beaten 1-0 in the last game between the two teams, in September 2022.

— Germany had to twice come from behind when the teams met in the group stage at the last European Championship. That was the teams’ first competitive meeting since the 1954 World Cup final, won 3-2 by West Germany.

Team news:

— Hungary coach Marco Rossi is hopeful French-born midfielder Loic Nego will have recovered to face Germany after he was only fit for a place on the bench against Switzerland.

— Germany has reported no injury concerns.

By the numbers:

— Germany’s five goals scored against Scotland leaves it just one short of its best-ever group stage tally at the European Championship, when it scored six at Euro 2020.

— Hungary midfielder Ádám Nagy, who turned 29 on Sunday, could make his eighth tournament appearance if he plays against Germany. That would be a new record for Hungary, breaking the joint mark Nagy holds with former captain Ádám Szalai.

— Germany’s victory over Scotland saw the team win its European Championship opener for a record-extending eighth time.

What they’re saying:

“Hungary is an unpleasant opponent, they can sometimes be wild and they’re difficult to get a hold of. There are a lot of free spirits out there” — Germany coach Julian Nagelsmann.

“We beat them (Germany) in 2022, so I’m sure it will be an extra motivation for them. They’ll be thinking: ‘Not again.’ But it’s clear from the first game that this Germany side is a completely proposition to what they were back then or even last year.” — Hungary forward Martin Ádám.

“On the pitch you felt how every single one of our players was annoyed that we conceded. That is a good sign. Scoring goals is nice, but we are thinking defensively and want to have stability at the back.” — Germany goalkeeper Manuel Neuer.