Sunday, September 26News That Matters

HOT OR NOT: Lewis Hamilton’s battle with Max Verstappen was needed for Formula 1

It’s Hot or Not time again as Sportsmail’s Riath Al-Samarrai reveals what’s been making him feel warm and what’s been leaving him cold this week. 

HOT

Lewis Hamilton

F1 needed that. Not so much another Lewis Hamilton win, but more the evidence from Bahrain that Max Verstappen was driving a marginally quicker car. If the season continues in the same vein, it will be great for a sport gone stale, but also for the legacy of a driver pursued by whispers his numbers have been too easily obtained.

Formula 1 needed a race win like that for Lewis Hamilton with his battle with Max Verstappen

Formula 1 needed a race win like that for Lewis Hamilton with his battle with Max Verstappen

Formula 1 needed a race win like that for Lewis Hamilton with his battle with Max Verstappen

Dillian Whyte

It wasn’t the best version of Alexander Povetkin that he battered inside four rounds, but it returned Whyte to the front of the heavyweight queue. If rumours prove true around the difficulties in finalising Fury-Joshua, he might not have to wait until next year to get his shot.

Justin Rose

Together with wife Kate he has stepped up again to fill the gaps in the women’s golfing schedule. After launching the Rose Ladies Series in the chaos of last year, he is funding an expanded calendar this season. A lot of sportsmen say catchy things on helping out, far fewer follow up.

NOT

Aidy Boothroyd

Leading England’s Under 21s to an early exit from the European Championship is one thing. It is quite another that he should see such an ‘impossible’ challenge in balancing his developmental duties with getting goals from the likes of Callum Hudson-Odoi, Eberechi Eze and Emile Smith Rowe. You suspect he made it look harder than it is.

Aidy Boothroyd should have done better with the young talent in England's Under 21 set up

Aidy Boothroyd should have done better with the young talent in England's Under 21 set up

Aidy Boothroyd should have done better with the young talent in England’s Under 21 set up

British Cycling

Layer by layer, we learn more about how those golden wheels may have turned. We trudge through the Dr Richard Freeman saga and now we are hearing about private drug testing and whatever conclusions we may be drawn from that. Anything to say, Sir Dave Brailsford?

Joachim Low

It’s turning into a rather grimy farewell. The 2018 World Cup was bad, the 6-0 defeat in Spain was ropey too, and now a loss to North Macedonia. He’ll be gone soon enough and then folk will afford him more credit for what he achieved, but it’s looking like an iffy end to an excellent Germany era.