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Daniel Ricciardo, McLaren miss podium chance, Dutch GP, George Russell



Daniel Ricciardo achieved his best race result in a McLaren on Sunday but he may have been robbed of greater things at the rain-ruined Belgian Grand Prix.

The event only lasted two laps — both behind the safety car — meaning qualifying positions effectively secured race results, too.

That meant Max Verstappen was the winner, followed by Williams’ George Russell, who stunned the field in qualifying.

Championship-leader Lewis Hamilton was third, and later went on to call the decision to race for two laps a “farce”.

Stream Every Practice, Qualifier & Race of the 2021 FIA Formula One World Championship™ Live & On-Demand on Kayo. New to Kayo? Try 14-Days Free Now >

‘WHAT A JOKE’: Ricciardo denied crack at podium in ‘weirdest F1 race ever seen’

‘MONEY TALKS’: F1 champ furious over ‘the only reason’ two-lap ‘farce’ took place

Ricciardo came fourth but could have hunted for something more.
Ricciardo came fourth but could have hunted for something more.Source: Getty Images

“Today was a farce,” he wrote on Instagram. “The only people to lose out are the fans. We were sent out for one reason and one reason only.

“We should have just called it quits, not risked the drivers and most importantly refunded the fans who are at the heart of all of our sport.”

Ricciardo was just outside the podium placings in fourth — a one-place improvement on his previous season-best at Silverstone.

The Australian, who has struggled in his first season at McLaren, hoped to kickstart his season in Belgium after the three-week mid-season break.

And while that didn’t look like it would happen for much of Saturday’s qualifying, Ricciardo pulled out his best lap of the season at the last second to give the Australian hope.

Having only scraped through Q1 and Q2, Ricciardo was down in ninth before he found his feet and logged a 2:00.864 in the wet.

One-lap pace had been Ricciardo’s biggest problem this year with a number of poor performances in qualifying forcing him to make up spots on race day.

But Ricciardo was quick on Saturday — doing it in wet conditions which typically exacerbate any lack of confidence a driver has.

“If I look back, obviously the end result is good, and I think to get to get that in these conditions, obviously these conditions definitely require a significant amount of confidence and feel with the car,” Ricciardo said after qualifying.

“I think I chipped away at it.

“I was definitely a bit off in Q1, and I think Q2 made a good step, and then by Q3 I was I was getting a bit better and getting a bit closer to the edge.”

Aussie Doohan takes out F3 in Spa | 00:51

Ricciardo made a big step in qualifying and things could have opened up further for him on Sunday had a proper full-length race taken place.

Red Bull’s Sergio Perez crashed leaving the pits, Mercedes’ Valtteri Bottas started down in eighth, the Ferraris were outside of the top 10 while Lando Norris was 10th after crashing in Q3.

Meanwhile, Russell would have had to pull off one of the all-time drives in the wet to ensure he could put Williams on the podium for the first time since 2017.

In truth, it would have been Ricciardo’s first opportunity this year to mix it at the pointy-end of the race, like Norris has at times this season.

Norris has proven that the McLaren does have the speed to finish inside the top three, while Ricciardo, to this point, hadn’t qualified well enough to make a podium a possibility.

He has still consistently gained places on race day, although normally by scrapping through the midfield or lower-points positions.

Sunday was the chance for him to return to more familiar territory towards the front, and show that he can do what Norris can in the McLaren.

A strong, confidence-boosting result at Spa could have turned the page in his McLaren career and set him up for the rest of the season.

Nonetheless, he’ll need to wait at least one more week at the Dutch Grand Prix to have that moment.

“Crazy, crazy day, crazy circumstances,” Ricciardo said after the race. “It’s lucky we don’t get these situations very often but it is what it is.

“We were really hoping to get a race and obviously it didn’t happen, but it’s no-one’s fault, it’s just the situation and circumstances today.

“We’ve got two races on consecutive weekends now so hopefully that makes up for it. It made quali more important, so I’m happy I managed to earn a good position yesterday.”

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Bathurst 1000, news, Supercars, crashes, video, latest, update



This year’s Bathurst action has already delivered a host of monster crashes across a number of different categories, and Friday was no different.

First there was a crash in the GT World Challenge Australia before another huge shunt in the Porsche Carrera Cup Australia.

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In the afternoon’s Porsche category, Simon Fallon ran wide exiting the Cutting and battled for seventh position with Nick McBride over the next three corners. They went side-by-side in a narrow part of the track, with Fallon cutting in front of McBride only to be spun around and launched a metre up the wall.

The race was cut short by a safety car as ambulances attended to the drivers. A lengthy operation ensued to tow both cars away and remove the massive amounts of oil, coolant, and debris from the track.

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Earlier, the GT World Challenge Australia season finale at Mount Panorama saw a hard crash between Ben Porter and Theo Koundouris.

Porter went wide on the entry, causing a crash at Sulman Park as he hit a wall and took Koundouris along with him.

The safety car was brought out but Koundouris did well to keep his line and avoid crashing into the wall himself.

“He did a good job initially because quite often you can follow the car in front and can tend to follow them and drift wide and end in the wall yourself,” Chris Stubbs said in commentary.

“We’ve seen that happen multiple times at the top of the mountain. He kept his line well and wasn’t thrown off by the drifting Porter but just had nowhere to go.”

Meanwhile, Greg Rust later revealed Porter’s crew were looking into whether earlier contact may have sparked a slow deflation.

“I’ve just had a word to Ben Porter’s crew,” Rust said.

“They are question marking whether he may have had a little bit of contact, possibly, going up mountain straight which has triggered a slow deflation.

“They’re not sure about that. They have question marked that and ultimately whether it triggered that.”

Liam Talbot and co-driver Fraser Ross took out the victory, with Talbot getting around then-leading Stephen Grove with 20 minutes remaining to then hold on for the win.

Brett Hobson was his biggest challenger in the latter stages of the race.

Bathurst drama as Pither rams the wall | 01:28

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Ex-Renault boss Cyril Abiteboul finally comes good on tattoo bet with Daniel Ricciardo



It was in August last year that Daniel Ricciardo revealed his bet with former Renault boss Cyril Abiteboul.

If the Australian finished on the podium for the French team in 2020, Abiteboul must get a permanent reminder of Ricciardo’s achievement on his body.

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Despite Abiteboul being able to choose the placement and size, it was a big risk as Ricciardo would choose the design.

Fast forward to October last year at the Eifel Grand Prix in Germany, and Abiteboul’s dream/nightmare became reality as Ricciardo finished third to end a two-and-a-half year drought from the podium.

Such was the momentous occasion of knowing his boss would now have to get a tattoo, Ricciardo forgot to celebrate the achievement in his traditional fashion of doing a shoey on the podium, although he did get around to it later in his trailer.

But as time went on after his third-place finish in Germany, the lack of ink of Abiteboul’s body began to draw some concern from Ricciardo and the F1 community as the Western Australian hoped their bet wouldn’t “drag on and become old news”.

Now, after more than a year since Ricciardo sprayed the champagne at the Nurburgring, Abiteboul has finally held up his end of the bet as the pair ventured out to a tattoo artist to seal the deal with the whole ordeal being posted on Ricciardo’s YouTube channel.

The former Renault boss, who is watching the 2021 F1 season from the sidelines having left the time after they rebranded as Alpine, presented a concept design that had half of an old Renault logo as well as a modern-style honey badger.

The original concept of the tattoo. Picture: YouTubeSource: YouTube

Given Ricciardo is somewhat of a tattoo veteran with the amount of ink on his body, Abiteboul could take comfort in his former driver’s expert wisdom on how the needle would feel on his clean skin.

Despite Red Bull boss Christian Horner claiming after the Eifel Grand Prix that Abiteboul should get the Red Bull logo “emblazoned on his derrière”, the right calf of Abiteboul was chosen as the destination for the tattoo, although he never seemed totally convinced as he lay flat on the table.

Of course, Ricciardo was lapping up every moment as his former boss winced in pain.

Ricciardo was having too much fun. Picture: YouTubeSource: YouTube
Not sure if Cyril is in pain or if he just ate a sour snake. Picture: YouTubeSource: YouTube

Slowly but surely, the tattoo artist made progress on the design as Abiteboul continued to look like he’d rather be anywhere else in the world but in the small studio.

Cyril is having the time of his life. Picture: YouTubeSource: YouTube

Eventually, Abiteboul was put out of his misery as the work on his calf was done and it was smiles all around for everyone.

The finished product. Picture: YouTubeSource: YouTube

While Ricciardo had plenty of fun with his former boss, his attention is now firmly focused on the Saudi Arabian Grand Prix on December 6 with lights out scheduled for 4.30am (AEDT).

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Supercars Championship, Gen3 prototypes, photos, reaction, video



The new era of the Repco Supercars Championship has arrived, with the two Gen3 prototypes unveiled in Bathurst.

The covers came off the Ford Mustang GT and General Motors Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 on the Friday morning of the Repco Bathurst 1000.

The Gen3 cars will make their racing debut in the 2023 Repco Supercars Championship.

The prototype Mustang and Camaro bare a closer visual connection between race and road vehicles than the current model race cars.

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Holdsworth tops practice session | 01:18

The new cars will also feature a signature Gen3 V8 engine sound.

The Bathurst unveiling brings the project full circle, with the Gen3 ruleset revealed at the 2020 Great Race.

The last 12 months have been headlined by a painstaking effort by Supercars and the two homologation teams to bring the cars to life.

Dick Johnson Racing has been charged with the development of the Mustang, and Triple Eight Race Engineering the Camaro.

From roof to bonnet, doors to windows, Gen3 cars will share the same key dimensions as the road cars they are based on.

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The GEN3 Ford Performance Mustang is unveiled. (Photo by Daniel Kalisz/Getty Images)
The GEN3 Ford Performance Mustang is unveiled. (Photo by Daniel Kalisz/Getty Images)Source: Getty Images
The GEN3 Ford Performance Mustang up close. (Photo by Daniel Kalisz/Getty Images)Source: Getty Images
The GEN3 Ford Performance Mustang and Chevrolet Racing Camaro. (Photo by Daniel Kalisz/Getty Images)Source: Getty Images
The Mostech engine for the GEN3 Ford Performance Mustang. (Photo by Daniel Kalisz/Getty Images)Source: Getty Images

Supercars CEO Sean Seamer was delighted to uncover the future of the Repco Supercars Championship.

“These are incredible looking race cars and it’s an historic occasion to be here today, unveiling them at the foot of Mount Panorama, our spiritual home of racing,” Seamer said.

“The motorsport and motoring worlds have been watching this announcement very closely as it is a massive opportunity for our sport to step up on several levels and attract a wider audience.

“Both the Mustang and Camaro give a nod to the Supercar of the past, with as much attention given to the design and appearance of the cars as the new technologies.

“With the work of the Gen3 Steering Committee, our manufacturers and the homologation teams, we truly believe these cars will create close racing with a more level playing field.

“The Ford Mustang and GM Camaro are the first chapter of our new era that will be cost-effective for our major stakeholders and teams but retain the very core of our success – terrific and exciting Supercar racing, which is what our fans have been asking us for.”

Bathurst drama as Pither rams the wall | 01:28

It was also revealed at Friday’s launch that 2021 champion-elect and 2020 Bathurst winner Shane van Gisbergen will have the honour of turning the first laps of Mount Panorama in the Camaro.

Anton De Pasquale will drive the first lap of the Bathurst circuit in the Mustang.

The cars will be on display from Friday at the Repco Bathurst 1000. Demonstrations will be held at events in 2022.

Supercars will return to the track on Friday for Practice 3 at 10:40am AEDT. Click here to view the track schedule.

Every session of the event will be broadcast live on Foxtel (Fox Sports 503) and streamed on Kayo.

This article first appeared on supercars.comand was reproduced with permission.

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