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Supercars, Neil Crompton, daughter Sienna, tears, video, national anthem, Sydney SuperSprint



There was a touching moment at the Sydney Motorsport Park over the weekend when Supercars icon Neil Crompton choked up watching his daughter perform the national anthem at the event.

Crompton’s 11-year-old daughter Sienna delivered a rousing rendition of the Australian national anthem on the track at Eastern Creek before the Supercars ‘Family Round’ kicked off.

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On the TV coverage, the commentator could be seen proudly watching his daughter sing the house down.

Crompton was visibly choked up as he wiped tears from his eyes, shook his head and took some deep breaths.

After Sienna finished the anthem, her dad managed to compose himself as the camera cut to him immediately.

“Well that’s a tough act to follow, I can promise you,” he said.

“I feel like saying, ‘Gentlemen start your engines off the back of that’.

“Well done, Sis.”

Sienna said she would love to turn her passion for singing and taking part in school musicals into a career as a performer.

“I remember when I was five at Bathurst and my dad was giving an interview,” she told the Supercars website.

“I walked up onto the stage, and he picked me up in his arms and he said ‘what do you want to be when you’re older?’

“I said ‘I want to be a singer, or a race car driver’.

“So that perfectly fits what I’m doing by singing at the track, it’s going to be amazing.”

It was an extra special occasion for Crompton, who has only recently returned to the commentary box having successfully treated his prostate cancer diagnosis earlier this year.

The 61-year-old had been absent from the Supercars coverage since May and only returned to TV screens a couple of weeks ago when the season moved to Sydney.

It’s been a tough year for Supercars legend Neil CromptonSource: Supplied
The popular commentator choked up watching his daughter sing.Source: Twitter

On the track, rising star Anton De Pasquale won race 26 of the championship on Saturday while on Sunday, Erebus Motorsport rookie Will Brown won his first ever Supercars race in the SuperSprint finale.

Red Bull teammates Jamie Whincup and Shane van Gisbergen engaged in a heated battle throughout Sunday’s race, with Whincup finishing in second just a whisker ahead of the Kiwi.

Seven-time champion Whincup forced van Gisbergen wide off the track twice and defied team orders to let him pass as his teammate had a better chance of catching Brown and getting the race win.

Other teams were seen laughing in pit lane as the Red Bulls chose to battle each other instead of working together to try and win the race.

“We were racing each other hard,” Whincup explained.

“When you run competitive cars often, you end up in a mid-race battle, which is what happened.

“We probably didn’t do each other any favours trying to get the win.

“But that’s the way it goes.

“I think we will have some discussions for sure, (team manager Mark) Dutton did tell me to move over, but I elected not to.

“There’ll be discussions over that. When you calm down, I’ve probably done the wrong thing there.

There was no love lost between the Red Bull teammates. (Photo by Daniel Kalisz/Getty Images)Source: Getty Images

“But it certainly wasn’t the wrong thing, 20 laps into the race, it was it was the right thing.”

Whincup is retiring at season’s end and said he didn’t want to give an inch in his final races.

“We were good for the win. SVG wanted to have a battle,” he said

“I’ve only got a couple of races left so I’m not going to give anything away. There was plenty going on. We raced hard right to the end. It was a good opportunity to get a race win … I’ve only got a few left so dog eat dog!”.

“I felt like Jamie and I battled too hard and threw away a one-two for the team by choosing to battle, van Gisbergen said.

“I thought I was quicker, and Jamie thought he was quick enough to catch the lead. It’s a real shame not to have won or got second.”

Van Gisbergen leads Whincup by 337 points in the championship standings with two weekends of racing remaining this season, including the Bathurst 1000.

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World title race, points, leaderboard, what Max Verstappen, Lewis Hamilton need to win championship, permutations, preview



Two drivers. Three races. In a sense, the 2021 F1 drivers’ championship battle is very simple.

But there are still plenty of permutations as to how either Max Verstappen or Lewis Hamilton can claim the world title in the most exciting season in years.

Heading into this weekend’s Qatar Grand Prix (race at 1AM AEDT Monday), Verstappen (332.5) leads Hamilton (318.5) by just 14 points.

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That may not sound like much, especially if either driver has a DNF over the final three rounds; it’s less than the gap in points awarded between finishing first and fifth.

But Verstappen and Hamilton are the clear class of the field this season. They’ve finished first and second in some order in 11 of the 19 races so far.

Bottas quickest ahead of Gasly after P2 | 01:00

Verstappen has three retirements and a ninth-place finish in Hungary, but has only finished first or second otherwise. Hamilton has just one retirement but also a seventh, fifth, fourth and third to his name (thus the deficit).

The Dutchman’s consistency will mean he wins any tiebreaker if they finish level on points – Hamilton can match his nine wins but would pass him on points in the process anyway – and just one more victory would give him one hand on the trophy.

But Hamilton’s Mercedes is roaring into form at the right time, with a stunning worst-to-first run across Brazil’s sprint qualifying and race thanks to a new and improved engine. On two brand new seemingly power-needy circuits in Qatar and Saudi Arabia, plus the finale at Abu Dhabi where he has won five times, he looms as the favourite.


Qatar Grand Prix: Monday November 22, 1AM

Saudi Arabian Grand Prix: Monday December 6, 4:30AM

Abu Dhabi Grand Prix: Monday December 13, 12AM (late Sunday December 12)

So what exactly are the points permutations for the world championship?

With three races left, a maximum of 78 points can be claimed (three wins and three fastest laps). But neither driver needs three perfect weekends; if either of them wins all three remaining races, they’ll claim the world title.

In fact Verstappen only needs to win twice; he could afford a DNF and, with wins in the other two races, would claim his maiden world championship.

Verstappen will also claim the world title if he wins once and finishes on the podium twice more (with at least one second-place).

Even if Hamilton wins twice (and Verstappen wins the other race), the Brit would need Verstappen to miss the podium at least once.

Let’s use Qatar to try and simplify this a little bit, assuming some combination of a 1-2.

IF VERSTAPPEN WINS IN QATAR (with Hamilton second)…

Points gap: Minimum 20 (Hamilton fastest lap), maximum 22 (Verstappen fastest lap)

To claim the title, Verstappen can (in any order)…

– Finish 1st and DNF

– Finish 2nd and 3rd

– Finish 2nd and 4th (if Hamilton has one fastest lap or fewer in the final three races)

IF HAMILTON WINS IN QATAR (with Verstappen second)…

Points gap: Minimum 6 (Hamilton fastest lap), maximum 8 (Verstappen fastest lap)

To claim the title, Verstappen can (in any order)…

– Finish 1st and 3rd

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Lewis Hamilton wins over Max Verstappen, Daniel Ricciardo position, points, standings



Lewis Hamilton won Sunday’s inaugural Qatar Grand Prix with a commanding performance from pole to cut Max Verstappen’s world championship lead to eight points and set up the kind of thrilling end this unforgettable Formula One season deserves.

The Mercedes seven-time champion comfortably held off his arch Dutch rival’s Red Bull under the Losail circuit’s lights to leave the battle for the F1 drivers’ crown delicately poised with only two races remaining.

One week on from arguably his toughest and greatest win in Brazil, Hamilton enjoyed one of his easiest.

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Lewis Hamilton is closing in.
Lewis Hamilton is closing in.Source: AFP

And after an unprecedented eighth world title appeared to be slipping from his grasp after Verstappen’s wins in the USA and Mexico, it is the 36-year-old Briton rather than the 12-year-younger pretender who has the momentum.

“I can’t wait to watch the race replay to find out what happened behind me,” he said after his 102nd career win.

“It was pretty lonely at the front — of course I enjoy those races where you are battling through but we needed those points today.

“It’s been a hell of a year. Back-to-back wins here, feel good, I feel fit, fitter than I’ve ever felt. Bring on the next two!”

Verstappen, who was demoted from second to seventh on the grid for a yellow flag infringement in qualifying on Saturday, took second, and picked up a point for the fastest lap.

“Our starting position was compromised, but luckily we had a really good start,” he said.

“Of course, I know it’s going to be difficult to the end but it keeps it nice, keeps it exciting. This track was fun to drive as well. I feel good, but it’s going to be a tight battle to the end.”

Red Bull boss Christian Horner received an official warning from race stewards for pre-race comments made about Verstappen’s penalty.

Horner was summoned to the stewards after the race after he had said: “We’re really struggling to understand it. It looks like a complete balls-up.

“I think it’s just a rogue marshal that’s stuck a flag out. He has not been instructed to by the FIA. They’ve got to have control of their marshals, it’s as simple as that.”

Christian Horner found himself in hot water in Qatar.Source: Getty Images

Horner offered to apologise to the marshall involved and to also take part in a stewards program in February, which the stewards accepted.

Meanwhile, Hamilton’s faster engine, fitted last weekend in Sao Paulo, will likely give Red Bull a tough time again at the ultra quick new circuit in Saudi Arabia in a fortnight’s time ahead of the season-closing race in Abu Dhabi in mid-December.

Fernando Alonso took third for Alpine, the former two-time world champion’s first podium since 2014, the grizzled 40-year-old getting a huge cheer from the crowd.

Daniel Ricciardo couldn’t salvage any points from the weekend and finished 12th for McLaren.

– World Cup –

The 20th race of the season was being held one year to the day to the start of the football World Cup in Qatar and the trophy was on display, as were some of the game’s finest — David Beckham, Andrea Pirlo and John Terry getting a touchline view of how fast Hamilton takes corners.

Sporting the rainbow helmet he wore in practice and qualifying to raise awareness for human rights and equality, Hamilton got off to a dream start, quickly drawing away from the pack as Verstappen jumped up from seventh to fourth.

The charging Verstappen knocked off Pierre Gasly’s Alpha Tauri to move into third by lap four, with Alonso falling shortly after to leave only Hamilton in his cross hairs.

With the new engine fitted before Brazil firing on all cylinders, Hamilton was leaving his Red Bull pursuer for desert dust.

Verstappen, trailing by nine seconds, was the first to pit on lap 18, resuming in second.

Mercedes covered that move, hauling Hamilton in on the very next lap with the Briton resuming with a lead of around eight seconds.

Like a game of shadow boxing, Mercedes carried out the same tactics the next time Verstappen pitted, leaving Hamilton to coast to victory and Red Bull puzzling over what they can do to keep their championship hopes alive.

Whilst there are numerous routes either driver can take to the 2021 crown, Verstappen will claim it if he wins in Saudi Arabia in a fortnight’s time and Hamilton is out of the top 10.

Mercedes did not have all their cards fall kindly for them though this weekend as Valtteri Bottas picked up a late puncture to leave the Silver Arrows with only a five-point lead over Red Bull in the constructors championship.

Bottas quickest ahead of Gasly after P2 | 01:00

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Daniel Ricciardo has McLaren fuel issue, position, points, standings, Lando Norris



Daniel Ricciardo was once again left scratching his head on Monday (AEDT) after another car issue plagued his Qatar Grand Prix.

For the third-consecutive race, Ricciardo failed to claim any points, finishing in 12th — two places higher than his qualifying position.

The back-end of Ricciardo’s season has seen the Australian endure a number of issues with his McLaren, with the most recent being an unexplained fuel problem.

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It brought to a close a sorry triple-header that has left Ricciardo exhausted and needing a break heading into the season’s final two races.

“Unfortunately, a pretty disappointing end to the triple-header today,” he said.


Alleged Mercedes cheating explained | 01:26

“We ran into some issues with fuel, and we had to save which dictated our race. So, not sure what happened but we obviously need to look into it.”

He added: “I’m looking forward to moving on. I think a weekend off is necessary for everyone involved.

“We’ll debrief now, try to understand the issues today and then we’ve got some sim time next week to get ready for the last two. Let’s finish strong.”

Team boss Andreas Seidl was also at a loss to explain the issue.

“For Daniel, it was always going to be tough to get into the points from P14. He drove a very strong first stint that pulled him up into contention, but then had to save an unusually high amount of fuel,” he said.

“We’ll have to investigate why that was required on his side.”

Ricciardo’s teammate Lando Norris experienced no such issues and was even in contention to finish fourth, although a late puncture relegated him to ninth. He was one of four drivers to suffer a late puncture.

After victory in Monza and three other top-five finishes immediately the mid-season break, Ricciardo looked set for a strong finish to the year but has seen his campaign take a dive.

Norris, meanwhile, hasn’t failed to finish inside the points since the Belgian Grand Prix and now has a 48-point advantage over Ricciardo in the drivers’ standings.

Only two races remain in 2021, starting with the Saudi Arabian Grand Prix in two weeks’ time.

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