x Abu Dhabi, UAETuesday 23 January 2018

Formula One feud confuses

A reader says the fastest driver should be allowed to win an F1 grand prix. Other topics: forts, Cyprus and dogs.

A reader says that ordering Vettel to let Webber win was a bad call by the Red Bull team managers. Diego Azubel / EPA
A reader says that ordering Vettel to let Webber win was a bad call by the Red Bull team managers. Diego Azubel / EPA

Historic forts often hard to find, but well worth visiting

I read Rym Ghazal's article on historic forts (Bastions that guard our history, March 25) with great interest, as I've made it my quest to see as many of them as I can.

However, it's not always easy to find them - a situation that could be remedied with more information online, clearer maps and simple road signage.

For instance, getting to Hisn Mazyad near the border with Oman in Al Ain is quite an odyssey. The fort and the road to it are not marked on maps, and not even the UAE border police nearby seemed to know its location.

I got there thanks to directions from a local petrol-station attendant - and even then I discovered that it's hidden behind the walled gate to an oasis.

Once the gate's guard let me go down the well-paved road to the fort, I had this majestic place all to myself. Even though it is still undergoing some reconstruction, it's magnificent.

And better yet is the fantastic Wahala Hisn, located 11km off the E99 just past the sulphuric hot springs of Ain Al Ghamour.

The problem is that this fort shows up on maps under three different names: Wahala, Ahwala and Ouala.

Again, there's very little signage until you reach its small surrounding village. I was again the only visitor that morning, and I had a great viewing of this restored fort and ruins nestled in the Al Hajar mountains.

While I also appreciate the well-known forts located in easy-to-find city locations, I suggest that people take a drive and explore the more unheralded sites out there. Just make sure you have good directions and some patience when doing so.

Marc Lorber, Abu Dhabi

Victory should go to fastest driver

As a perhaps naive onlooker to the sport of motor racing, I am stunned by the outlash against Sebastian Vettel for ignoring a team order to let Mark Webber win the Malaysian Formula 1 Grand Prix (Out of order, March 25.

I always thought the point of racing was to find the fastest man or woman, or the fastest combination of man and machine.

For the Red Bull team's ranking in the constructors' championship, the intended versus the actual result is irrelevant. But for the drivers it does make a difference. So why should Vettel be "reprimanded, his wages docked and ... dropped from the team"?

Imagine the national coach of the Jamaican athletics team telling Usain Bolt that he should let his teammate Yohan Blake win the next 100-metre sprint.

I believe Bolt would ignore his coach's order and race to win - just as every spectator would expect him to.

To me, the situation in F1 comes dangerously close to the kind of match-fixing that would be illegal in football or cricket.

J Heil, Germany

Heat is still on Miami players

I am writing in reference to Heat are warming up for the record (March 22).

While the Miami Heat's winning streak has continued since the article was written, I think it is too early to say that they will set the record. They are closing in, but they're not close enough yet.

Although they have the ability and skills to achieve it, a lot can happen in the remaining games, including injuries.

Butti Al Muhair, Sharjah

Suffering in Iraq is America's fault

I appreciate US Secretary of State John Kerry's diplomatic efforts in Iraq (Kerry calls for an end to sectarian hatred, March 25).

However, all this is happening because of America's wrong strategy in the first instance.

It's sad that Iraqis are still suffering a decade after the US attacked their country.

K Ragavan, India

Apartments have gone to the dogs

I would like to know whether there are rules concerning dogs living in apartments in Dubai.

I see dogs without leashes walking around buildings, children running scared and dogs riding the lifts with their owners.

Also, some owners do not clean up their dogs' messes.

Kanwar Hayat, Dubai

EU has squeezed life out of Cyprus

I think it's disgusting what the European Union has done to the wonderful little island of Cyprus (Outlook for Cyprus looks bleak, even with bailout, March 26).

Stealing people's assets is a pretty low thing to do. Shame on those responsible.

Jeff Taylor, US