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Sacked cheat Daniel Abt deserves seat in Formula E, says ex-Audi teammate Lucas Di Grassi

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DANIEL ABT deserves a place in Formula E after being sacked for cheating in a charity race, says his former Audi teammate Lucas Di Grassi.

Abt was dropped by Audi and fined €10,000 after he let a professional Esports sim racer take his place in the Race at Home challenge.

 Daniel Abt has won two FE races in his career including his home ePrix in Berlin

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Daniel Abt has won two FE races in his career including his home ePrix in BerlinCredit: Formula E

Di Grassi is still Audi’s only driver on their FE books and are yet to find a replacement for Abt.

Abt and Di Grassi had been teammates since the first ever FE race in Beijing back in 2014.

Di Grassi told Autosport: “I’m really going to miss Daniel in the team and I think he has the talent and the capacity to be on the Formula E grid and still have good results.

“We were in different career stages when we first met and we started driving in Formula E.

“Daniel was coming from Formula 2, I was coming from sportscars after F1, I am seven years older so I was more experienced and he learned a lot from me.

“He became a very good driver while driving with us, he definitely deserves to be on the Formula E grid as a driver and I think people underestimated his ability.

“He is very talented, has very good speed and in the last few years of the championship I think he was extremely competitive, so he definitely needs to be there.”

 Lucas Di Grassi says he will miss his former teammate

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Lucas Di Grassi says he will miss his former teammateCredit: Formula E

Abt has since apologised for his actions and explained it was simply a prank which backfired.

He said: “We had a conversation and the idea came up that it would be a funny move if a sim racer basically drove for me, to show the other, real drivers, what he is capable of.

“We wanted to document it to create a funny story for the fans. That was our idea on the day and our thought.

“We talked about it and how to make it happen and how to unwind it in a video afterwards.

“It was never my intention to let another driver drive for me, to get a result and keep quiet about it later on, just to make me look better.”

WATCH Formula E’s documentary ‘And We Go Green’ on Facebook and YouTube channels from 7pm on Friday, June 12.

Daniel Abt SACKED and fined £9k by Formula E team for cheating in Esports race after letting pro take his place

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Manchester United ‘agree five-year deal with Alex Telles’ from Porto

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manchester united agree five year deal with alex telles from porto

Manchester United have reportedly agreed a deal to sign Porto full-back Alex Telles.

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has been keen to add a left-back to the squad during this summer’s transfer window.

Real Madrid’s Sergio Reguilon was believed to be on the Red Devil’s agenda, though the Spaniard is now set to join Tottenham for a fee of around £27m. 

Manchester United could be set to land their second signing of the summer in Alex Telles

Manchester United could be set to land their second signing of the summer in Alex Telles

Manchester United could be set to land their second signing of the summer in Alex Telles

But as reported by RMC, it is believed that United have found an alternative in Porto’s Alex Telles.

They state that the Brazilian has ‘agreed a five-year contract’ to join the Red Devils this summer.

The clubs have yet to agree a fee and Solskjaer’s side could yet face competition for the 27-year-old.

Paris Saint-Germain are also in search of a full-back and are ‘considering whether to make an offer’.

If they are able to conclude a deal then it would be United’s second signing of the summer, following that of Donny van de Beek from Ajax.

Solskjaer was asked about potential signings during his pre-match press-conference ahead of their season opener against Crystal Palace on Saturday.   

He said: ‘We understand to get further we need to develop what we have and strengthen the team, but let’s wait and see if we manage to bring anyone in.

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer is keen to strengthen his full-back options before transfer deadline day

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer is keen to strengthen his full-back options before transfer deadline day

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer is keen to strengthen his full-back options before transfer deadline day

‘I’ve been in dialogue with the club. We’re always discussing. We want to take a step forward and we can go into the new season with confidence, but we’re looking to give the group a boost and we’re working on it.’ 

ESPN reported that Manchester United’s hierarchy have become frustrated with growing concerns on social media about the club’s lack of transfer activity, with calls for new signings believed to be causing negativity. 

United were reported to be interested in Sergio Reguilon who is now set to join Tottenham

United were reported to be interested in Sergio Reguilon who is now set to join Tottenham

United were reported to be interested in Sergio Reguilon who is now set to join Tottenham

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side have been involved in a prolonged saga to sign Borussia Dortmund star Jadon Sancho, yet have not made headway in securing a deal for the England international. 

And this week the Red Devils have seen Real Madrid duo Reguilon and Gareth Bale snatched away from them, with Tottenham set to announce the pair. 

United chiefs believe that the whirlwind of negative social media feedback from fans could have a drastic impact on the team, who are set to face Crystal Palace in their Premier League opener this weekend.

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Matt Chapman pays tribute to Pat Smullen after the legendary jockey died this week

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matt chapman pays tribute to pat smullen after the legendary jockey died this week

WHEN Pat Smullen tragically passed away this week he left behind a wife and three children. 

Frances, Hannah, Paddy and Sarah will have already been so proud of the man they either knew as a husband or a dad.

Smullen sadly passed away at the age of just 43

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Smullen sadly passed away at the age of just 43Credit: PA:Press Association

But the outpouring of total love and respect over the last few days from all who knew Ireland’s nine-time champion jockey will, I hope, have also left them in no doubt Pat was not just to them an absolute hero but to all who met him. 

That won’t make the mourning any easier. But one day it will bring a smile and comfort to faces currently filled with sadness. 

For so many years Smullen was as fit as. But at the age of just forty-three he’s gone, claimed by that most horrid of diseases in cancer that bears no consideration for the kind of person it has taken. Cancer has no mercy. It took my dad many years ago – long before he could ever see me on TV.  

Smullen was a world class rider. He was a world class gentleman. And now he’s been taken from the world far far too soon. Sometimes, life sucks. 

But it didn’t suck for Pat. In his life he proved as a rider he was the best of the best. He was also a fine husband. And he had nurtured a fantastic family. Oh no, life had been lived to the full until it was snuffed out in such a cruel manner. 

In an interview I did with Pat on Sky Sports Racing where we discussed his cancer treatment, Pat said to me: “There was an element of obsession with the job and the game and the rest of life was passing me by. 

“The biggest winner for me from this was that it has brought perspective on life for me and I’m getting to spend plenty of time with the kids. 

“That’s a little bit of a silver lining to what has happened. But the best way to put it is that is just bought perspective on life. That there is more to life than a job and in my case my job is horse racing.” Wise words that we can all take heed from. 

Many people knew Pat Smullen a lot better than me. But on a professional basis Pat and I would often message each other, and when he asked me to help in any way I could to bolster his cancer charity money raising efforts I was honoured that he even thought of me.

IMG 9978

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As many of you will know, in the old days of presenting on Attheraces – before it became Sky Sports Racing – we broadcast all the Irish racing. 

I was over in Ireland a lot back then, and formed a good relationship with another legend – Pat’s boss of twenty years Dermot Weld. 

Now the master of Rosewell and Smullen were a marriage made in heaven. Trips to Galway when they dominated will never be forgotten. Those days when it was not ‘if’ Smullen/Weld had a winner but how many. 

Earlier this week Kieren Fallon reminded me of a moment I had with Pat at the Ploughing Championships in Ireland. Horse Racing Ireland had a tent at the event and I was invited over a few times to ‘entertain’ the troops and interview some big names. 

Bringing this back to my memory, Fallon said: “I’ve had my quirks. Pat has had his tractors.” 

It was at Ploughing that Pat told me of his love for tractors, and how a John Deere machine for him was a work of art. 

With that in mind, I would sometimes send a picture of a John Deere to Pat. The last time was at the Breeders’ Cup at Santa Anita last year. You can see our brief chat on this page. You have no idea as a TV presenter how much I will always treasure Pat Smullen saying he enjoyed watching my stuff. From Pat, that meant so much. 

Smullen won Classics, his attitude was one of the perfect sportsman and after he was forced to retire he raised money and did all he could to keep others alive. 

As human beings we all have to believe we are unique and special. But as someone who is far from perfect, I would look at Smullen and just think: “I wish I could be a fraction of the man you are.” Rest in peace legend.

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8pm Arsenal transfer news LIVE: Aouar LATEST, Partey remains a target, Liverpool in Carabao Cup draw, Raya update

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PIERRE-EMERICK AUBAMEYANG has committed his future to Arsenal by signing a new three-year contract at the Emirates.

And the Gunners are reportedly making a bold £36.5m bid to sign Lyon star Houssem Aouar.

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