i just win

I want to win. Just win.

“I want to win. Just win.”

“I have given a lot to motor racing but I don’t think I have received proportionately. It is a balance that I intend to make even”

by Gianni Cancellieri

The beach of the Excelsior Hotel at the Lido di Venezia has not changed in decades, always the same in terms of atmosphere, style, customers. Amongst the illustrious clients there’s Riccardo Patrese, who, between a Grand Prix and a practice session, “steals” a few hours to his work to go sunbathing and relaxing with Susi and his son Simone. He also accepts talking of work, despite the season is offering more reason for regret than satisfaction. Riccardo, although showing the bitterness for the bad results, talks of his ’83 season without complaining too much, without hiding behind the image of “the unlucky guy” offering proof of a solid maturity, a maturity that not all are ready to acknowledge: but that’s a different story. Riccardo’s temperament, his introverted mood, often mistaken for shyness, some of his quotes are often taken for arrogant, when they instead come from being instinctively honest (bordering to ingenuity in some cases) and instinctively coherent with himself and his ideas. In the end, he has a personality which is less than ideal for a “public” activity such as that of a sport professional, who is always in the spotlight.

Riccardo, we certainly cannot say that you enjoy a favourable press. How come?

“Well… I do my job, journalists do theirs. Not always these two activities go well together. Sometimes you refrain from saying things that better stay behind closed doors. only to find them written somewhere and quite distorted as well; some other times you give unexpected or unpleasant answers and in these cases being frank and honest can put you under a bad light. ”

Sometimes a good result can fix a lot of things, but, this year, for you, except for Hockenheim, nothing has gone right so far.

“Look, I don’t know what to think of it myself. I have analysed and self investigated myself, but such a long black streak, I cannot rationally explain it”.

Don’t you feel responsible for any of the 10 retirements out of 11 races in 1983?

“I can give you the list, I know it by heart: Brazil, broken exhaust pipe (between the chamber and the turbine); Long Beach, a nut from the electrical system came loose three laps from finish. France, the engine water “disappeared”, I don’t know how else to describe it; Imola, I went out, so let’s say this one’s my fault. ”

Because I think I did a mistake, but I’m not sure. Maybe I have modified my trajectory by a few cm, maybe 10cm since the previous lap, and the tyre ended on gravel, where it shouldn’t have gone. Tambay, a few meters behind me, hit the brakes and avoided the trap, but Arnoux, who was a bit further and had not seen me going out, he did the same as me, only he managed to go back in and finish the race. So, let’s say it was my fault. ”

A “fault” that you have paid dearly…

“Yes, a little too much maybe, but it’s gone now: I mean, insults and booing I certainly don’t appreciate, but, anyway, they’re gone with the wind, but the rage and bitterness for a victory thrown away, those remain. Anyway, let’s get on with it: what was after Imola?”

“At Spa I did 1 Km and I stopped with a broken engine shaft. In Montecarlo I retired due to problems with the fuel pump; In Detroit it was the brakes; in Montreal it was a bearing of the gearshaft; At Silverstone a turbine; at Hockenheim it finished well, but towards the end the turbo pressure had gone down a lot; at Zeltweg the engine just died, I suppose it was the electrical system. Every time I say: let’s hope something changes, but apparently …it’s not yet time for the change!”

Simone hits the table with his fist: he did win the first card game with dad, but now dad has equalized. They need a decider.

What if, in this year’s races, you’d have finished the races in the position you retired instead, today you’d have lots of points…

“If history could be made with “what ifs”… well, we can just do it as a game and sum up the missed occasions: in Brazil I was 2nd, that’s 6 points; at Long Beach I was 3rd, so we are at 10; In France I was 4th, that’s 13; At Imola I was 1st, that’s 22; In Montecarlo I was 4th, that’s 27; at Detroit I was out of the points; at Montreal I was second, and we reach 33 points; at Silverstone I was 4th, that’s 37. Add the 4 “real” points at Hockenheim and 3 for Zeltweg and you have 44. Well, it’s just a game but. I’d be second, 7 points behind Prost!”

Let’s rule out superstitious explanations: are you telling me you believe in the sabotage theory?

“Imagine that! Not only it would be idiotic (every result for the team is points and money, a lot of money) but also impossible: the engines arrive from Munich, 6 at a time, sealed. Nelson and me we just pick one randomly and those 2 are mounted on the cars.”

Therefore we can talk of a chain of casual negative circumstances which, much in the same way they have started, will eventually end. Maybe you could try to get a blessing, are not you devout to S. Antonio da Padova?

“Of course he is (answering is Mario Di Natale, a “venetized” man from Romagna, owner of the restaurant “Il Falconiere” in Padua, president and founder of the Riccardo Patrese Fan Club). Of course he is devout, but the Saint has other things to do, he cannot take care of mechanical parts or race results. He’s doing his job keeping Riccardo safe, all the rest is none of his business.”

Riccardo, how many GP did you have to abandon while you were winning?

“Four: South Africa ’78 (a bearing), Long Beach ’81 (fuel pump filter), Austria ’82 (a piston plug came off); Imola ’83 (we all know how). Had I won those races no one would be complaining now and I would be a 5 GP winner, instead of one.”

Instead you find yourself chasing a few points, like you were a rookie instead of a driver with almost 100 GP experience. Do they satisfy you, podium or points positions?

“In truth, no: as an alternative to retirements, I can’t complain about them, but my objective must be the highest. You win a Grand Prix, you want to repeat that more and more, or at least that’s how I see it.”

Do you ever think at the World Championship crown?

“Of course: look, maybe not all drivers will admit it, because often the comparison between your ambitions and the results obtained can make someone smile, but, believe me, all those who race in F1 GPs think about becoming World Champions, sure they do! Anyways, I do: and I know when I will stop thinking about it, I will be finished with racing.”

What will you do after racing ? Will you stay in the circus?

“I don’t think so, probably not…”

Can you see yourself as a team-manager, just to make an example?

“Well, experience can always be transmitted to others but what I cannot imagine is, after the intimate relation I’ve had with the races, to remain involved and watch others drive my cars. Maybe, but I don’t know. ”

Or, more quietly, you could launch some sportswear line or something like that, like many other sports champions: you’d be the president, Mario the marketing director …”

“Yes, so you would stop experimenting on my Panda!” (this is Susi, just arrived on the beach).

What experiments, Susi?

“All sorts, basically it’s their mechanic lab. This morning, just to pick one, I found 4 Pirelli P8 tyres on it …”.

Well, it could be worse…

“No, it’s not a problem, but you’d like to get used to your car, familiarize with its characteristics, but mine changes every day. actually it’s a very quick Panda. ” (I can sense she likes that).

Are you ever afraid, Riccardo?

“Never: if I was afraid before a race, I think that in order to fight it I would use up all my energies and I could not drive at 100%. Fear, for me, and possibly for all the drivers – is more, let’s say, a retrospective thing: if I think about last year’s crash at the Nurburgring, with the Lancia, I have the creeps. But it’s just a split second, you know, then you forget about it.”

At 29, what’s your present balance with life and racing?

“With life I can’t really complain, it would not be right. With races it’s different: I’ve given a lot to races, but I don’t think I have received proportionately. I need to even the score.”

Simone jumps for joy: he’s won the decider at the game he’s playing with dad. And now, everyone goes to the water.

I want to win. Just win. “I want to win. Just win.” “I have given a lot to motor racing but I don’t think I have received proportionately. It is a balance that I intend to make even” by

Focus on Chiefs: Just win, baby? Sounds like Kansas City’s new motto

Raiders will have their hands full Sunday with Patrick Mahomes and Kansas City Chiefs, who are riding a 10-game winning streak

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It may not be the Kansas City Chiefs’ slogan, but it might as well be. It’s all they really do.

It doesn’t matter if Patrick Mahomes outplays Baltimore’s Lamar Jackson while throwing for 385 yards and four touchdowns, or if he can’t help the Chiefs offense break the 200-yard mark until the fourth quarter.

It doesn’t matter if the Chiefs wait until the fourth quarter to score their first touchdown, or if they score TDs on four straight possessions in the first half.

It also doesn’t matter who they play, Titans, Texans, 49ers or Ravens. Nothing changes the bottom line for coach Andy Reid’s team. They. Just. Win.

The Chiefs haven’t lost a game in the last 10 months. The Raiders, who have proprietary rights to Al Davis’ old motto, have lost two games in the last 10 days. Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes (15) and head coach Andy Reid talk on the bench during the second half of an NFL football game against the New England Patriots, Monday, Oct. 5, 2020, in Kansas City. (AP Photo/Jeff Roberson)

No one’s beaten Kansas City since Week 11 of last season when Tennessee escaped with a 3-point win because of a touchdown with 23 seconds left. The Chiefs will try to extend their NFL-best 10-game winning streak — 13 if you count the postseason — when the Raiders visit Arrowhead Sunday morning.

Still, Mahomes realizes the 4-0 Chiefs are far from perfect, even after a workmanlike 16-point win over the Patriots Monday.

“Obviously, I didn’t do enough because we didn’t execute to a high enough level,” Mahomes said. “Whenever you’re trying to go throughout a season and win as many football games as possible to set you up for the playoffs, you’re going to have to win games like this.”

Fortunately for them, winning is what they do best.

The Chiefs set an NFL record by beating New England as they became the first team in history to start 4-0 for four straight seasons. Kansas City also became the first team in NFL history to win on a Monday on consecutive weeks, thanks to the game being pushed back a day due to a New England player testing positive for COVID.

Want more winning history? Under Reid, the Chiefs have had a winning streak of at least four games in each one of the former San Francisco State assistant coach’s eight years leading Kansas City.

Here’s a closer look at what to look for Sunday when the Raiders play in front of actual fans for the first time when they play at Arrowhead Stadium:

GAME ESSENTIALS: Raiders (2-2) vs. Chiefs (4-0) at Arrowhead Stadium, Sunday at 10 a.m. (PT) on CBS-TV. ODDS: Chiefs -13.


Maybe Chiefs take them lightly?

We know, this is the NFL and there are no gimmes. These guys are professionals whose job it is to bring it each week. But considering the Raiders game is in the middle of a brutal 11-day stretch when the Chiefs play three games, and the Patriots and Bills are their other two opponents, wouldn’t it be human nature for Kansas City to assume things will be easier this week? Doing so could open the door for the Raiders. It may be a rivalry game, but the Chiefs have won 10 of their last 11 against the Raiders, and are double-digit favorites for the fourth time in their last five games against the Raiders. Hey, you asked for an optimistic view.

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Chiefs’ most dangerous defender hurting

Derek Carr may welcome the news that Pro Bowl defensive lineman Chris Jones’ s status for the game is undecided. Jones, who leads the Chiefs with 3.5 sacks, sat out Sunday’s win over New England with a groin injury. Jones has 28 sacks in the last 2 1/4 seasons, including 15.5 in 2018. The 6-foot-6, 310-pound Jones also has two forced fumbles. By comparison, the Raiders entire defense has four sacks and no forced fumbles through four games.

Trouble containing Jacobs

Josh Jacobs was the Raiders’ most impressive offensive player against the Chiefs last year when the rookie averaged more than 101 rushing yards per game. As a rookie, Jacobs was able to slash his way through Kansas City’s defense. He gained 99 yards in the first game on 12 carries (8.25 yards per carry), and then he backed that up with 104 yards rushing on 17 carries (6.12). Still, Jacobs’ chances of gashing K.C.’s defense would improve dramatically if right tackle Trent Brown (calf) could return this week. Jacobs is coming off a 48-yard effort in the loss to Buffalo, his third-lowest yardage total in his brief career.

THREE REASONS FOR RAIDERS’ PESSIMISM: Kansas City Chiefs tight end Travis Kelce (87) is tackled during the first half of an NFL football game against the New England Patriots, Monday, Oct. 5, 2020, in Kansas City, Mo. (AP Photo/Reed Hoffmann)

They can’t stop Travis Kelce

Talk about matchup nightmares, the Raiders haven’t found a solution for Chiefs All-Pro tight end Travis Kelce the last few years. That doesn’t make them much different than other clubs, but Kelce has taken a lot of delight in ruining the Raiders’ secondary, particularly the last two years when he’s had 29 catches for 427 yards and three touchdowns. He has more than 100 receiving yards in four of his last seven games against the Raiders. At 6-foot-5, 260 pounds, Kelce has somehow been able to get lost in coverage often against the Raiders.

They can’t stop Tyreek Hill

Facing speedy Chiefs All-Pro receiver Tyreek Hill twice a year was somewhat of a factor of the Raiders selecting speedster Henry Ruggs III in the first round. The Raiders badly wanted their version of Hill, whose speed has frightened NFL defenses since he entered the league five years ago. Hill is currently on one of his biggest hot streaks as he’s scored a touchdown in all four games this season. He’s the first Chiefs player to catch a TD pass in each of the team’s first four games since 1972. Oh, the Raiders also have to worry about Hill’s speedy sidekicks at receiver, Mecole Hardman and Sammy Watkins. Then again, why worry about what you can’t control? “Nobody in the NFL can guard any of us,” Hill said.

Tyreek Hill has his 4th straight game with a Rec TD, tied for the 2nd-longest streak since the Chiefs joined the NFL.

Dwayne Bowe had a 7-game streak in 2010.

Chiefs’ improved defense

Kansas City’s resurgent defense did something in its win Sunday no other team has done since 2012 — force the Patriots into four turnovers in a game. OK, it probably makes a difference when their quarterback is Brian Hoyer and not Tom Brady (or Cam Newton). The playmakers made plays when the Chiefs needed it most against New England. Safety Tyrann Mathieu had a pick-six (his 15th interception since 2015) and defensive linemen Frank Clark (sack at end of the half) and Taco Charlton (strip/sack/fumble recovery) each single-handedly made plays inside their own 15-yard line to render back-to-back Patriots’ drives scoreless. Kansas City’s fifth-ranked pass defense will get a huge boost with the return of starting cornerback Bashaud Breeland, who was suspended the first four games for marijuana possession in the off-season. Breeland was a big factor in last year’s pass defense playing so well — he had 48 tackles, two interceptions, two fumble recoveries and eight passes defensed.


Here’s another reminder Mahomes is something else: The Chiefs quarterback completed 66 percent of his passes while throwing for 236 yards and two touchdowns in the victory over New England and the immediate response was, “What’s wrong with Mahomes?” But that’s what happens when you’ve become the NFL’s most dynamic player. It only seems as thought the reigning Super Bowl MVP and former NFL MVP plays near-flawless ball each week — as he did last week when he went 31-of-42 for 385 passing yards and four touchdowns to beat the Ravens and Lamar Jackson. This week he’ll more than likely tie ex-49er Elvis Grbac for the Chiefs’ all-time record with TD passes in 15 consecutive games. The question is whether the Raiders can prevent him from inflicting much more damage? History surely isn’t on the Raiders’ side.

Raiders will have their hands full Sunday with Kansas City, which is riding a 10-game winning streak and has beaten them 10 of the last 11 times. ]]>