F1 hopes to start season with double-header in Austria

PARIS — Formula One hopes to finally start the season with a double-header in the naturally isolated environment around the venue for the Austrian Grand Prix.

Despite the first 10 races having been cancelled or postponed because of the coronavirus pandemic, the targeted start date is July 5 in Austria. F1 still envisages holding 15 to 18 of the 22 scheduled Grands Prix.

One way to make up for lost time is having consecutive weekends on one circuit, like the Red Bull Ring in Spielberg. F1 manager director of motorsports Ross Brawn says this is a “real consideration” so long as iron-tight safety regulations are met.

“One of the logistical challenges is getting everyone tested and cleared to enter the racing environment,” he told an official F1 podcast. “We can contain everyone within that environment, and therefore once we are there it is appealing to have another race the following week.”

The Red Bull Ring’s location in the Styrian mountains makes it naturally isolated.

“It’s pretty challenging to find the right sort of races early on where we can control the environment well enough to ensure the safety of everyone,” Brawn added. “Austria fits that bill very well. It has a local airport right next to the circuit, where people can charter planes into. It’s not too close to a metropolis.”

It is unclear where F1 would race after Austria, if it even goes ahead.

The British GP is set to follow on July 19 and organizers are talking to the government about the viability of holding that race without fans. Silverstone would also reportedly be able to hold consecutive races.

The season could then continue later in the summer in Hungary, where the Hungaroring circuit is nestled in the countryside outside Budapest; and Belgium, whose Spa-Francorchamps track is within

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FIFA probe: First banks admit money laundering role

(FILES) In this file photo taken on October 3, 2013, the logo of the global football’s governing body FIFA is seen at its headquarters in Zurich. (Photo by Fabrice COFFRINI / AFP)

NEW YORK — An Israeli bank and its Swiss subsidiary agreed to pay over $30 million for their role in conspiring to launder more than $20 million in kickbacks to football officials, becoming the first financial institutions implicated in the FIFA scandal to reach a resolution with U.S. prosecutors.

Bank Hapoalim BM in Israel and its wholly-owned Swiss company Hapoalim Ltd. agreed to forfeit $20.73 million and pay a fine of $9.33 million as part of a non-prosecution agreement, the U.S. attorney’s office in Brooklyn said Thursday. The scheme took place through the banks’ Miami branch from 2010-15, with many of the payments tied to marketing rights for Copa America.

Eugenio Figueredo, a former president of the South American governing body CONMEBOL and Uruguay’s federation, was among those accused of receiving the bribes, along with Luis Bedoya, a former president of Colombia’s federation and like Figueredo a one time member of FIFA’s executive committee.

Former federation presidents Sergio Jadue of Chile and Rafael Esquivel of Venezuela also were implicated by the U.S. Justice Department, along with Luis Chiriboga, former whose father, Luis, was president of Ecuador’s federation.

Bank Hapoalim (BHMB) and Hapoalim Ltd. (BHS) reached a deal with the Justice Department and the U.S. attorney’s office in which they and BHMB subsidiary Hapoalim (Latin America) SA will not be subject to prosecution for any of the crimes admitted in the deal, except for criminal tax violations. No bank employees involved in the illegal activities were identified by name.

“This announcement illustrates another aspect in the spider web of bribery, corruption and back-room deals going on behind the scenes

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Mike Tyson shows he’s still ‘baddest man on planet’

Mike Tyson gives the A-okay sign to spectators while having his hands wrapped by Stacey McKinnley 19 October in Las Vegas. AFP PHOTO (Photo by JOHN GURZINSKI / AFP)

MANILA, Philippines — Mike Tyson scored 19 consecutive stoppages to open his professional boxing career with 12 of those happening in just the first round.

Tyson hung up his gloves in 2005, but it doesn’t appear like he’s lost much of that unparalleled punching power years since his retirement.

In a video he posted on his social media accounts Saturday, the 53-year-old Tyson displayed flashes of his old deadly form as he punished the mitts.

“stillthebaddestmanontheplanet,” he wrote.

Last week, Tyson said he’s been hitting the gym and open to doing an exhibition fight for charity.

In his prime, Tyson was untouchable on his way to becoming the youngest heavyweight champion at 20 years old when he demolished Trevor Berbick in the second round in 1986.

Tyson was also a former undisputed champion before losing his belts in one of the greatest upsets in sports when he lost to Buster Douglas in 1990.

He regained world champion status in 1996 after being released from prison before losing it to another great in Evander Holyfield.

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