Massa, Hamilton look back 10 years to Brazil title thriller

SAO PAULO (AP) — Ten years ago at the Brazilian Grand Prix, Felipe Massa thought he was Formula One world champion — for 23 seconds at least.

After winning his home race at Interlagos, Ferrari driver Massa appeared to have done enough to become the first Brazilian to win the title since Ayrton Senna in 1991.

But premature celebrations by Ferrari and Massa in his cockpit suddenly ended when Hamilton, then a McLaren driver, climbed to fifth place on the last turn of the race. That proved sufficient for Hamilton to secure his first title in Sao Paulo in 2008 and overcome his disappointing performance at Interlagos a year earlier which saw the title going to Ferrari’s Kimi Raikkonen.

A decade later, Hamilton is the newly crowned five-time champion and in pole position for Sunday’s race. Massa is a TV pundit preparing for the Formula E season. The two former adversaries talked about the old days in the paddock and roamed around the track with other drivers in a truck.

“I didn’t lose the 2008 title in Brazil,” Massa said. “I won it (the race), but nothing else depended on me 10 years ago. Winning actually made me less frustrated because I did all I could. Hamilton won the title because of his great season, not because of his fifth place at Interlagos.”

Hamilton remembers that Brazilian fans “were a bit difficult” after that race, with the British driver clinching the title after a last-minute overtake of Toyota’s Timo Glock.

“The relationship with Brazil had ups and downs, but now it is just great,” said Hamilton.

The 37-year-old Massa, who retired from F1 last year without ever winning the title, says personal and team mistakes a decade ago made all the difference at the end of one of the most exciting seasons of the series.

“In Singapore I didn’t get any points, finished 13th. In Hungary I was leading and my engine broke just two laps before the checkered flag. So at Interlagos it wasn’t really that likely I could be champion in the end,” the Brazilian said.

Asked whether he would like to be competing still, Massa joked “if that meant running for Williams once again, I think it is best not to be racing.”

Massa’s former team is 10th in the constructors’ championship with only seven points.

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More AP auto racing: https://apnews.com/tag/apf-AutoRacing and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports

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10 amazing film festivals that are worth traveling for

AWFJ members Marina Antunes and Jennifer Merin present EDA Awards to filmmakers Rama Rau and Sophie Dupuis at the Whistler Film FestivalAWFJ members Marina Antunes and Jennifer Merin present EDA Awards to filmmakers Rama Rau and Sophie Dupuis at the Whistler Film Festival — Photo courtesy of Whistler Film Festival

“For devotees of travel and movies, film festivals are ideal destinations,” says Jennifer Merin, President, Alliance of Women Film Journalists (AWFJ).  “You get to watch films you might not be able to see at home, some of which might even suggest alluring destinations for future travel.” 

Sundance, Cannes and Venice are some of the biggest and most well-known, but there are so many other film festivals which are actually travel-worthy destinations in themselves.

AWFJ presents its own EDA Awards for Best Female-Directed films at select film festivals, like Whistler, Edinburgh and St. Louis, all of which offer reasons to visit beyond their innovative movies. “Maximum satisfaction comes from attending film festivals whose programs represent diverse perspectives,” says Merin. “It’s even better when you experience them in a top-notch location like Whistler, where you can also enjoy divine dining and superb skiing.” 

Here are 10 film festivals that offer great locations in addition to thought-provoking and dynamic movies: 

Palm Springs International Film Festival | California

January

Bradley Cooper at the Palm Springs International Film FestivalBradley Cooper at the Palm Springs International Film Festival — Photo courtesy of Palm Springs International Film Festival

The Palm Springs International Film Festival celebrated its 30th anniversary in 2019, with the city rolling out the red carpet for the glitz and glam-filled 12-day event. One of the largest film festivals in North America, it attracts over 135,000 movie-lovers each year, and features more than 200 films from 78 countries, plus the highly-anticipated Film Awards Gala. Past honorees include Glenn Close, Melissa McCarthy, Bradley Cooper and Rami Malek. 

While you’re there: Enjoy the breathtaking view from the Palm Springs Aerial Tramway, the world’s largest rotating tramcar.

True/False Film Fest | Columbia, Mo.

February

The Buskers Last Stand at True/False Film Fest in Columbia, MissouriThe Buskers Last Stand at True/False Film Fest in Columbia, Missouri — Photo courtesy of True/False Film Fest

True/False is a champion of cutting-edge nonfiction filmmaking, and it continues to grow as the genre – and the idea of truth versus fiction – becomes more relevant than ever. For four days every year, filmmakers, artists and musicians transform Columbia, Missouri into a creative oasis. How fitting that True/False, a paradise for documentary lovers, takes place in the same town where one of the oldest journalism schools in the country can be found. 

While you’re there: Get to know the locals, and experience the cool vibe of this college town. 

Sun Valley Film Festival | Idaho

March

This intimate festival in Idaho celebrates the art of filmmaking with its mission of empowering independent filmmakers to share stories that inspire change. This spring, SVFF will present more than 60 cutting-edge films and TV premieres; Coffee Talks with industry leaders; panels, labs and workshops led by award-winning filmmakers; and plenty of parties and awards. Past guests include Gwyneth Paltrow, Clint Eastwood and Oliver Stone.

While you’re there: Stargaze at the Central Idaho Dark Sky Reserve, the first in the country to be certified by the International Dark Sky Reserves. 

RiverRun International Film Festival | Winston-Salem, N.C.

April

RiverRun International Film FestivalRiverRun International Film Festival — Photo courtesy of Visit Winston-Salem

RiverRun International Film Festival in Winston-Salem, North Carolina is one of the fastest-growing regional film festivals in the country, and a premier film festival in the Southeast. This Academy Award-qualifying festival showcases a variety of movies from all genres and holds events including high-profile regional premieres, celebrity tributes, family matinees and classic retrospectives, panel discussions and parties.

While you’re there: Experience Southern hospitality as you eat and drink your way through the walkable downtown. 

Edinburgh International Film Festival

June

Edinburgh International Film FestivalEdinburgh International Film Festival — Photo courtesy of Edinburgh International Film Festival

The longest continually-running film festival, EIFF has been a visionary in the industry for more than six decades. A champion of British talent, the festival has presented world premieres of movies by filmmakers like Bill Forsyth, Danny Boyle and Stephen Frears, and helped establish the UK reputation of Ingmar Bergman. EIFF pioneered the idea of the “retrospective,” and was the first in the world to appoint a female film festival director.

While you’re there: Explore the rich history of Scotland’s capital at Edinburgh Castle

Middleburg Film Festival | Virginia

October

Damien Chazelle and Emma Stone discuss <em>La La Land</em> with radio host John Horn at Middleburg Film FestivalDamien Chazelle and Emma Stone discuss La La Land with radio host John Horn at Middleburg Film Festival — Photo courtesy of Middleburg Film Festival

This four-day event in Virginia’s horse country has been called one of “award season’s most important film festivals.” It presents a carefully-curated selection of narrative and documentary films in intimate theater venues, followed by Q&A’s with world-renowned filmmakers, actors and special guests. Past guests include Viggo Mortensen, Maggie Gyllenhaal, Joel Edgerton and Jason Reitman.

While you’re there: Stay at the luxurious Salamander Resort & Spa, host to the film festival which was founded by its CEO, Sheila Johnson.

St. John’s International Women’s Film Festival | Newfoundland and Labrador

October

One of the longest-running women’s film festivals in the world, SJIWFF was established to support and promote the creative work of women in screen-based industries from around the world. Respected nationally and internationally, it will celebrate its 30th annual festival in 2019 with five days of powerful documentaries, short films and features. 

While you’re there: Take advantage of the pristine coastline and close to 300 hiking and walking trails, including historic footpaths between abandoned fishing communities. 

AFI FEST | Los Angeles

November

Nicole Kidman at AFI FestNicole Kidman at AFI Fest — Photo courtesy of AFI Fest

A program of the American Film Institute, AFI FEST is recognized by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences as a qualifying festival for both Short Film categories for the Academy Awards. It’s Los Angeles‘ longest-running international film festival and the only film festival of its stature that’s free to the public.

AFI FEST is a showcase for the best festival films of the year as well as an opportunity for both master filmmakers and emerging artists to come together with audiences in the movie capital of the world. In 2018, AFI FEST opened with the world premiere of On the Basis of Sex and closed with the world premiere of Mary Queen of Scots.

While you’re there: Take photos of the stars on the Hollywood Walk of Fame

Whitaker St Louis International Film Festival

November

SLIFF screens hundreds of features and shorts representing countries from around the world. This growing festival attracted more than 30,000 attendees in 2018. And it presented a variety of awards, including a lifetime achievement award to John Goodman in conjunction with a screening of The Big Lebowski in tribute to the movie’s 20th anniversary.  

While you’re there: Get to know St. Louis through the festival’s various venues, including The Tivoli, Plaza Frontenac, Washington University, Stage at KDHX, Missouri History Museum and the St. Louis Public Library.

Whistler Film Festival

December

The Whistler Film Festival is considered the coolest in CanadaThe Whistler Film Festival is considered the coolest in Canada — Photo courtesy of Tourism Whistler/Mike Crane

Canada’s “coolest” film festival features the best in independent cinema from Canada and around the world, and will award over $150,000 in prizes in 2019. The five-day festival also features tributes to distinguished talent, celebrations and unique industry initiatives. WFF has established a track record for launching new films and filmmakers, and has earned a reputation as a prestigious “filmmakers festival.”

While you’re there: Play in the snow, ski, and enjoy après-ski cocktails and the lively culinary scene.

Paddy Lowe predicts another double for Mercedes

Date published: January 22 2019

The 2019 cars have yet to be unveiled but former Mercedes technical boss Paddy Lowe is already predicting another season that belongs to Mercedes as they will be “very difficult” to beat.

Last season Mercedes raced to their fifth double on the trot, beating Ferrari to both championships.

While the Scuderia seemed to have the upper hand in the first part of the season, Mercedes not only won the development war but also kept their heads when the pressure was on.

As such Lewis Hamilton became a five-time World Champion and Mercedes won the Constructors’ for the fifth successive year.

Lowe, who is now with Williams, reckons a sixth double could be on the cards this season.

“It’s always very difficult to maintain motivation to continue to win when you’ve already been doing it,” he told RaceFans.net.

“I think that’s a problem we already faced when I was there before.

“I think they have the right approach to it so I think they’re going to be difficult to beat.

“We saw that again [last] year.

“I think it was a competition between two teams and two drivers and the better ones won, of each, because you saw the cracks appearing eventually in the opposition.

“Mercedes is a great team. I know how good it is.

“It will be very difficult for anyone to beat them.”







Hamilton wins in Brazil, Mercedes takes constructors’ title

SAO PAULO (AP) — Ten years after securing his first Formula One title at Interlagos, five-time world champion Lewis Hamilton won the Brazilian Grand Prix on Sunday and helped his Mercedes team take the Formula One constructors’ title for the fifth straight year.

It was Hamilton’s 10th victory of the season, finishing 1.4 seconds ahead of Red Bull’s Max Verstappen.

But it could have been a very different outcome for the British driver, who struggled with engine problems and medium tires as he waited for rain that never came.

Hamilton’s second win in Sao Paulo was only possible after Force India’s backmarker Esteban Ocon clashed with race leader Verstappen on lap 44, causing both cars to spin. At the time, the Red Bull driver led Hamilton by five seconds.

“That (incident) put us back in contention,” Hamilton said of his rival’s setback. “Max is that go-getter guy and every now and again it bites you. But I am really, really proud here, I don’t care about anybody else.”

Off the track, the 21-year-old Dutchman later confronted — and pushed — former Formula 3 rival Ocon, who refused to apologize despite the stop-go punishment he was given during the race. The Force India driver finished 15th.

Verstappen managed to stay in the race after the incident and get closer to Hamilton in the final laps, but it wasn’t enough for his second consecutive victory.

“I hope I can’t find him in the paddock now,” Verstappen said of Ocon before he met the Force India driver after the race.

Verstappen was given an unusual punishment for the pushes and insults he aimed at Ocon — he will have to perform two days of public service at the direction of motorsport governing body FIA within six months.

Ferrari’s Kimi Raikkonen joined Hamilton and Verstappen on the podium. His teammate Sebastian Vettel, who is second in the overall standings, placed sixth.

Hamilton celebrated his win and his team’s fifth title with samba dancers on the podium, as Verstappen left still fuming.

“This is what everyone works for, we really pulled together as a unit this year,” Hamilton said. His teammate Valtteri Bottas finished fifth.

Mercedes now has an insurmountable 620 points against Ferrari’s 553.

It was Hamilton’s 72nd victory in Formula One, a much celebrated one after all the problems he faced during the race.

“We were managing that in the last part of the race, we were losing some power,” the British driver said.

In the first part of the race Hamilton kept the advantage he acquired by taking his 10th pole position of the season. Bottas overtook Vettel for second place, and for a moment it seemed Mercedes had the race in the bag already.

Verstappen, the winner of the Mexican GP two weeks ago, started in fifth and quickly overtook the two Ferraris, conquered Bottas on lap 10 and showed he would challenge Hamilton for the win.

After the world champion pitted on lap 19, it appeared Mercedes had made the wrong decision by giving Hamilton fresh tires before his rivals. Verstappen only stopped 16 laps later.

With 31 laps to go, Verstappen successfully challenged Hamilton and started building a lead before clashing with Ocon.

The British driver initially opened a lead of five seconds over Verstappen. But the Dutchman started climbing back on every lap, thanks to Hamilton’s engine problems and medium tire deterioration.

The race at Interlagos marked the first time since 1970 there were no Brazilian drivers on the grid. Still, attendance was higher than last year’s race when Felipe Massa bid farewell driving a Williams. Race organizers said around 150,000 fans attended over three days, 10,000 more than last year.

Massa, who lost the 2008 title to Hamilton and is now a TV pundit, was sorry for Verstappen, but impressed with Hamilton’s luck on Sunday.

“We are both huge fans of Ayrton Senna, who nailed some lucky wins every now and then. Only true champions like Hamilton nail wins like this, when all seems lost,” the Brazilian said.

The final race of the season is at Abu Dhabi on Nov. 25.

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More AP auto racing: https://apnews.com/tag/apf-AutoRacing and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports

Google Maps adds speed limit info to Android Auto

Google Maps has finally begun to roll out speed limit information for drivers using the application across the U.S. The additional feature is an unusual example of Google playing catch up since rival apps have shown drivers local speed limits for years.

Engadget reported last Friday that speed limit info is now rolling out to users after an update trialed the new feature in San Francisco. The rollout then spread to New York City, Los Angeles, and parts of Minnesota. It wasn’t initially clear if those who received the update were part of a further trial, but Google confirmed the update will continuously start to populate more users’ phones.

The fact it took Google Maps to include speed limit info for users so long is perplexing given its history. Waze, which Google purchased in 2013, has offered the information for years. So has Google’s rival Apple, though the former is a far more popular choice for drivers. Apple has been working to rebuild its own Maps application and recognized the botched introduction of the service years ago.

READ THIS: Apple CarPlay upgraded to add Google Maps, Waze with iOS 12

The feature will likely be a welcome addition for iPhone users after Apple made Google Maps and Waze compatible with its CarPlay infotainment system last year. Previously, Apple users could only load Apple Maps when using CarPlay, but the rival apps made their way to the CarPlay with iOS12.

All iPhone and Android users will soon have speed limit information on Google Maps in the weeks to come. The feature is also rolling out in the United Kingdom and Denmark.

Bath bidding to become Britain’s only double-listed World Heritage Site

Bath is aiming to become the only double-listed World Heritage Site in the UK. The nomination for the new listing, which is being submitted to Unesco at the end of January, is seeking recognition of Bath’s status as one of the leading historic spa towns in Europe. 

Bath’s existing World Heritage Site inscription, which has been in place since 1987, is due to a number of diverse reasons: its hot springs, the Roman remains, the neoclassical architecture, innovative town planning and social life that flourished in the 18th century, and the city’s green setting. Unusually, the listing covers the entire city – something even many Bathonians don’t realise. 

The proposed new inscription overlaps several of these aspects, but is more specific. Bath has joined forces with 10 other European spa towns to apply for World Heritage Site status as a single listing called Great Spas of Europe. The other towns are Spa in Belgium, Vichy in France, Baden-Baden, Bad Ems and Bad Kissingen in Germany, Baden bei Wien in Austria, Montecatini Terme in Italy, and Karlovy Vary, Františkovy Lázně and Mariánské Lázně in the Czech Republic. 

The pitch being made for inclusion on the Unesco list is that the towns were at the forefront of developing the use of their natural spring and mineral waters for medicinal purposes from the 1700s to early 1900s, when they were turned into beautiful and fashionable resorts. They all have retained distinctive spa-related buildings. In Bath, several buildings at Thermae Bath Spa are from the Georgian period, as is the grandiose Pump Room. 

There are a few other so-called “transnational serial” World Heritage Site inscriptions – that is, a single listing covering locations in different countries. For example, one listing applies to 17 Le Corbusier buildings spread over seven countries, and another to prehistoric pile dwellings (stilt houses) dotted around the Alps. 

“What makes the Great Spas of Europe transnational proposition ground-breaking is that it covers urban settlements across multiple countries,” says Tony Crouch, the City of Bath’s World Heritage Manager. “In that respect, the application has been a massive challenge – it has taken at least eight years to prepare. But I am very confident it will be successful. Unesco is all about promoting peace and harmony through international cooperation, so it generally looks favourably on these kinds of cross-border projects.”

“Unesco is such a well-known and respected international brand that to get the second World Heritage Site listing would be a massive boost for Bath’s tourism, especially for increasing awareness of its wellness offerings,” he added. “And for Bath it would be like having two Michelin stars, not just one.”

The result of the Great Spas of Europe Unesco application should come through around the middle of next year. If all goes well, that would be perfect timing for Bath. The city currently lacks anywhere that provides a general explanation of its historical and cultural significance, and the whys and wherefores of its World Heritage Site status. That is set to change in the summer of 2020 with the opening of a new, free-access World Heritage Centre, in Victorian laundry buildings by the rear of the Roman Baths. 

Fernando Alonso defends decision to join McLaren

Date published: January 21 2019

Fernando Alonso has said he has “no regrets” over his career moves and “nine out of 10” drivers would have joined McLaren.

As we head towards a Formula 1 season without Alonso for the first time since 2000, the two-time World Champion has offered some further insight into his career and the choices he has made.

“I think in F1 there is always one winner, and all the others are not winning,” Alonso said.

“I’ve been unlucky in some of the races, but without a crystal ball, it’s difficult to make decisions.

“After you finish your chapter, it’s easy to say, but when I joined Ferrari in 2010, I think 10 of 10 [drivers] would have gone in that direction.

“When I joined McLaren-Honda in 2015, all 2014, I’d been hearing that it was a very good decision, because the turbo engine from Ferrari was not good.

McLaren and Honda had one year of development for free as they were not racing in 2014, and that was a mega decision.

“I’d been hearing good things, and I think nine out of 10 [drivers] would have gone in that direction.”

You can next see Alonso in action at the 24 Hours of Daytona this weekend as the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship campaign gets underway.

Follow us on Twitter @Planet_F1 and like our Facebook page.







Verstappen, Ocon clash on and off track at Brazilian GP

SAO PAULO (AP) — Max Verstappen pushed Force India’s Esteban Ocon after the Brazilian Grand Prix on Sunday following a collision on the track when the Red Bull driver was leading the race. Verstappen was later ordered to perform two days of public service at the direction of motorsport governing body FIA within six months.

Verstappen finished second in the race, which was won by Mercedes’ Lewis Hamilton.

The collision happened on lap 44 at Interlagos when backmarker Ocon was trying to overtake to unlap himself.

Moments after crossing the line second, Verstappen said over the radio to his team: “I hope I can’t find him (Ocon) in the paddock now” and the Dutchman then added a couple of expletives.

Verstappen cut off his post-race interview to confront Ocon.

The Frenchman pushed Verstappen’s hand away, but Verstappen appeared to shove Ocon in the chest twice as the Force India driver seemed to beckon to his mechanics for help.

As Ocon grinned and seemed to say something, Verstappen pushed him hard again in the chest and walked off, before turning around and pointing a finger.

At a news conference later, Verstappen said he insulted Ocon to his face and said it was fair that the Frenchman received a stop-go penalty after the incident.

Ocon did not apologize in an interview after the incident.

“What really displeases me is his behavior afterward, coming to see me and then violently shoving me,” Ocon told Canal Plus television. “To behave like a lunatic clearly isn’t right and not sporting.”

Red Bull team principal Christian Horner defended Verstappen’s actions, saying that “Ocon has to take responsibility. He’s cost him a Grand Prix victory today.”

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AP Sports Writer Jerome Pugmire in Paris contributed to this report.

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More AP auto racing: https://apnews.com/tag/apf-AutoRacing and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports

Colorado becomes 11th state to adopt zero-emissions vehicle standards

Last week, Colorado became the 11th state to require automakers to sell electric cars in the state to meet a specific quota tied to overall sales.

Colorado is the first non-coastal state to adopt the policy. The 10 other states that mandate zero-emission vehicle regulations include California, Connecticut, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New York, Oregon, Rhode Island, and Vermont. The Colorado mandate is the first action of new Governor Jared Polis, who will carry out the action via executive order. The requirement follows Colorado’s adoption of California’s emissions standards last fall under former Governor John Hickenlooper.

DON’T MISS: Colorado adopts California vehicle emissions standards

The emissions standards won’t take effect until the 2022 model year for vehicles, but the state could implement the ZEV mandate by May. Governor Polis told the state’s Department of Public Health and Environment to propose its zero-emissions rule to the Colorado Air Quality Commission by May.

The ZEV mandate has led some automakers to build what has been referred to as “compliance cars,” models designed to meet California’s zero-emissions regulations. Vehicles such as the Chevrolet Spark EV, Fiat 500e, and others have been criticized as unpopular and non-profitable cars to meet government regulations. However, that’s begun to change as more automakers introduce mass-market electric cars.

ALSO SEE: Colorado squares off against EPA, will adopt California’s stringent vehicle emissions rules

Automakers will receive credits with the zero-emissions vehicle program based on the vehicle and its range, and they must maintain a certain number of credits to set to a percentage of the company’s sales. The current standard will require automakers to offer electric cars to equal 8 to 9 percent of overall sales by 2025.

The policy already has its critics and cheerleaders.

The Colorado Automobile Dealers Association slammed the ZEV mandate and said the government should not interfere with vehicle purchase decisions. Environmental groups applauded the move as a way to provide more electric cars to a greater number of drivers.