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Phuket sports: All change again in Bahrain

Legacy Phuket Gazette

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Phuket sports: All change again in Bahrain | The Thaiger
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PHUKET: This season seems to be a battle of the pit-lanes, with McLaren leading the pit-boo-boo stakes, but several other teams are trying hard for this inglorious title.
However, McLaren kept ahead in Bahrain.

The wear on tyres was anticipated, though some teams, and in particular Mercedes, did better than expected. That is something to watch during the rest of the season.

Bahrain was a nightmare for McLaren. Lewis Hamilton suffered two horrible pit stops, which cost him thirteen seconds and eight places, and robbed him of his podium points coming home in 8th place.

Jensen Button had an exhaust failure, a puncture before finally a differential failure caused him to retire. So McLaren slumped, not on the track, but in the garage. Their pits have squandered their early season advantage, as every team now has the chance, within the FIA rules, to test an upgrade before the next race.

Bahrain was dreadful for Williams too. Pastor Maldonaldo spun off with a blow-out, and teammate Bruno Senna finally parked his car with severe vibrations, though he was never in the points.

Mercedes faded back from the limelight. Nico Rosberg came 5th and was lucky to avoid the censure of the stewards over his defending tactics.

Michael Schumacher looked unimpressive and came in 10th for the last point. He would not have got that, but Sauber messed-up Perez’s pit stop and lost them the place.

Ferrari was mediocre as expected, with Fernando Alonso getting 7th place.

At least Felipe Massa got 9th place, his first points of the season and enough to keep his seat, at least for now.

Red Bull became the fourth team in four races to win. Sebastian Vettel won and Mark Webber came in 4th. It was almost a perfect day.

Vettel was firmly instructed by his engineer to park immediately after the chequered flag, and walk back to the paddock, so clearly the car had given everything it could. Several cars were in similar condition.

Lotus had a dream day too, taking both 2nd and 3rd places. Kimi Räikkönen took second place and might even have challenged for the win if he had not lost so much time fighting team-mate Romain Grosjean, who came in third. Kimi benefited from not making Q3, and thereby saving an extra set of tyres for the race.

Paul di Resta two-stopped to come 6th for Force India, managing to hold off the attentions of Alonso.

The leading drivers of the season are now Vettel, Hamilton, Webber, Button and Alonso. But four or five others are snapping at their heels.
In the Constructors Championship Red Bull and McLaren are well clear of the others, for now.

We now have six teams in the running, and a chance to test new equipment before the Catalunya Grand Prix on May 13.

— The Digby

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Archiving articles from the Phuket Gazette circa 1998 - 2017. View the Phuket Gazette online archive and Digital Gazette PDF Prints.

Thailand

Thai Airways to resume flights from Bangkok to Chiang Mai and Phuket

Caitlin Ashworth

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Thai Airways to resume flights from Bangkok to Chiang Mai and Phuket | The Thaiger
PHOTO: Thai Airways

After nearly 9 months on the ground due to the coronavirus pandemic, along with problems balancing their accounts, Thai Airways will resume flights between Bangkok and Chiang Mai as well as Bangkok and Phuket later this month. The flights will start back up on Christmas day.

Flights from Bangkok to the 2 key tourist provinces have been grounded since April 1. Starting December 25, the airline will run 3 flights a week on both routes. A source told the Bangkok Post that the new schedules will run until at least February 28.

Thai Lion Air, Thai Air Asia, Nok Air, Thai Smile, VietJet Air and Bangkok Airways have returned to the domestic skies since July and slowly adding frequency to their routes.

In addition to resuming the domestic flights, the Thai Airways is relaunching some international flights from January 1 to March 27 including weekly flights to Frankfurt, London, Copenhagen, Sydney, Seoul, Manila, Taipei and Osaka. Flights from Bangkok to Tokyo will be available 3 times a week and flights from Bangkok to Hong Kong will be available every day.

Thai Airways has been tackling bankruptcy throughout the lockdown and trying to make up for more than 300 billion baht in losses. Since many flights were suspended due to travel restrictions, Thai Airways has tried to make money by business ventures on the ground, like a pop-up restaurant serving in-flight meals and selling off unwanted equipment from their warehouse. There also disposing of much of their older fleet, including all of their Boring 747-400s.

SOURCE: Bangkok Post

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Coronavirus (Covid-19)

97 police officers investigated for fiddling Covid-19 payments

Maya Taylor

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97 police officers investigated for fiddling Covid-19 payments | The Thaiger
PHOTO: www.newsbeezer.com

97 police officers, from 41 police stations, are currently being investigated for an alleged scam involving Covid-19 payments meant for officers who worked extra shifts during the crisis. The case was assigned by national police chief Suwat Jangyodsuk in November, when it came to light that some officers may have fraudulently claimed allowances meant for others.

In one incident, an officer responsible for transferring extra payments to police on the southern island of Phuket transferred the money to his own accountant instead. At the time, the transfer was dismissed as a mistake (in his favour), with the officer in question receiving a warning, and payments then made to the qualifying officers.

Wissanu Prasatthong-Osot from the National Internal Affairs Police says the investigation should reach a conclusion within the next 10 days.

“The result of the investigation should be ready in 10 days. Currently, 97 officers in 41 police stations ranging from non-commissioned to generals are under investigation for being involved in the swindle. The bureau aims to provide justice to all policemen involved. After the investigation concludes, the victims will receive their full allowance, while the offending officers will be punished under the law and disciplinary standards.”

Nation Thailand reports that a full list of alleged offenders has been sent to Suwat, with Wissanu promising that none will escape prosecution.

“The National Police chief had also ordered the transfer of offending officers at the commander and sub-commander levels out of their areas as per the investigation procedures.”

SOURCE: Nation Thailand

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Tourism

Thai-Chinese Chamber of Commerce to propose Guangzhou-Phuket tourism route

Caitlin Ashworth

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Thai-Chinese Chamber of Commerce to propose Guangzhou-Phuket tourism route | The Thaiger
PHOTO: 77 kaoded

A tourism route from Guangzhou, China to Phuket could help the island province recover from the recession brought on by the pandemic and lack of foreign travel, according to the Thai-Chinese Chamber of Commerce. The president of the organisation, Narongsak Puttapornmongkol, says they plan to submit a letter proposing the route under a travel bubble scheme to the Centre for Covid-19 Situation Administration.

The Thai-Chinese Chamber of Commerce is proposing a travel bubble with around 20 cities in China with no recent coronavirus infections and considered to be at a low risk of spreading the virus. Travellers from Guangzhou recently entered Thailand on the new Special Tourist Visa. It was the second flight of international tourists since travel restrictions were imposed in late-March.

“We believe that the Travel Bubble and the quarantine reduction will resolve the tourism business, which is a huge economic opportunity to recover.”

Once a vaccine is widely available, Narongsak suggests that those who wish to Thailand could also present their vaccination certificate or examination reports from the place of origin. He adds that the mandatory state quarantine period is likely to be reduced.

SOURCE: Pattaya News

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