• The GCC Financial Forum 2019
Bottas puts Mercedes on top

Bottas puts Mercedes on top

Valtteri Bottas kept up his hopes of ending the year on a high after setting the fastest lap in practice for Formula One’s season-ending Abu Dhabi Grand Prix yesterday. The Mercedes driver, still winless in 2018 while team mate Lewis Hamilton has taken 10 victories and clinched a fifth title with two races to spare, lapped the floodlit Yas Marina circuit with a best time of one minute 37.236 seconds.

Bottas won last year’s finale from pole position and also set the fastest lap. Red Bull’s Max Verstappen, fastest in the first session with a lap of 1:38.491, was second fastest in the evening and 0.044 slower than the Finn. The 21-year-old Dutch driver damaged his car on a kerb, requiring repairs. Australian Daniel Ricciardo, in his last race with Red Bull before leaving for Renault, was second and third respectively in the sessions.

With both titles already won by Mercedes for the fifth year in a row, Sunday’s race should be a no-holds barred battle for victory without team orders or other considerations. Verstappen, at the centre of attention in Brazil two weeks ago after a collision with Force India back-marker Esteban Ocon led to a post-race confrontation, can today become the sport’s youngest driver to take pole position. Hamilton was fourth in both sessions.

The Briton replaced his usual number 44 with a one on his car for the first stint. “Lewis has requested and been given permission to run the number one on the nose at this final race of the season because he’s world champion,” explained a team spokesman. “And it’s even a nice shade of metallic red to match his helmet.” The Briton won in Brazil despite concerns his car’s engine was about to fail.




US, China open trade talks in Beijing

US, China open trade talks in Beijing

US and Chinese negotiators kicked off two days of high-level trade talks in Beijing yesterday hoping to resolve a festering dispute that has cast a shadow over financial markets and the global growth outlook. Pressure to seal an accord

Saudi crown prince to visit Indonesia

Saudi crown prince to visit Indonesia

Indonesia will host Saudi Arabian Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman for a state visit next week, Jakarta said yesterday, part of an Asian tour that includes stops in Pakistan, India and Malaysia. His two-day visit to the world’s b

Bahrain ready for Sports Day

Bahrain ready for Sports Day

The Kingdom of Bahrain is all set to embrace another major sporting event as the 2019 Bahrain Sports Day kicks off in different parts of Bahrain today. Organisations representing government and non-government parties, including ministr


Khloe breaks up with Tristan

Khloe breaks up with Tristan

American reality star Khloe Kardashian has called it quits with NBA player Tristan Thompson, just 10 months after the two welcomed their daughter. E! News confirmed recently that the couple has split up. This comes right around the sam

Palladium tops $1,500

Palladium tops $1,500

Precious metal palladium yesterday reached above $1,500 per ounce for the first time in trading thanks to supply deficit worries, according to analysts. Palladium hit $1,504.52 per ounce from $1,480.15 late on Tuesday. It later yesterd

ABG reports profit of US $129 million

ABG reports profit of US $129 million

Al Baraka Banking Group (ABG) reported increases in income, with a 4 per cent increase in net operating income, a 5pc rise in total net income, as net income attributable of shareholders remained unchanged compared to the year 2017. Th