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Saudi Arabia Grand Prix, what Max Verstappen needs to win world title, Lewis Hamilton, F1 points system, standings

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Max Verstappen can wrap up the 2021 Formula One world title on the streets of Jeddah on Sunday (Monday 4:30am AEDT) and deny Lewis Hamilton a record eighth championship.

Verstappen sits on 351.5 points heading into the second-last race of the F1 season in Saudi Arabia, with Hamilton on 343.5 points.

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We look at how the Dutchman can seal the title:

— If Verstappen finishes first with fastest lap and Hamilton finishes sixth or lower.

— If Verstappen finishes first and Hamilton finishes seventh or lower.

— If Verstappen finishes second with fastest lap and Hamilton finishes 10th or lower.

— If Verstappen finishes second and Hamilton doesn’t score.

A win is worth 25 points, second worth 18, then 15, 12, 10, 8, 6, 4, 2 and 1 down the order. The fastest lap (for a top-10 finisher) is worth 1 point.

If the title is not decided this weekend then the 2021 championship will be settled at the season’s final race in Abu Dhabi on December 12

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Newcastle 500 likely to be postponed due to Covid-19

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Newcastle’s triumphant return to the Supercars calendar is set to be delayed as a result of NSW’s surging Covid-19 numbers.

The Newcastle 500 had been due to launch the Supercars calendar from March 4-6 but the effects of the pandemic have thrown the event, Newcastle’s first since 2019, into limbo.

It is understood that Supercars organisers are currently working with stakeholders and drivers to lock in new dates for later in 2022.

Supercars is set to confirm new dates as early as Monday afternoon.

Chaz Mostert and Lee Holdsworth won the 2021 Repco Bathurst 1000, the crown jewel of the Supercars calendar.
Chaz Mostert and Lee Holdsworth won the 2021 Repco Bathurst 1000, the crown jewel of the Supercars calendar.Source: Supplied

Supercars is already preparing for a busy year, with each month from March and November set to feature at least one event.

Despite the action-packed schedule, Supercars CEO Sean Seamer said late last year that the organisation would remain vigilant in its response to Covid-19.

“It has been fantastic to welcome fans back to events (in 2021), and we will continue to ensure this is done safely and in line with national guidelines as we welcome more fans back in 2022,” he said in December.

Covid-19 cancellations cast a long shadow over the Supercars calendar last year, with the Winton, Phillip Island and Gold Coast 500 rounds all scrapped as a result of the pandemic.

More to come.

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Daniel Ricciardo features in song on Triple J’s Hottest 100, reaction, Gang of Youths

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Daniel Ricciardo is a man of culture.

The Australian Formula One driver has many interests outside of motorsport, including wine and fashion. And now he has officially hit the big time as a (budding) musician, making one of the most sought-after lists in Aussie pop culture.

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As hipsters across Australia gathered around their portable speakers on Saturday for Triple J’s Hottest 100, they might have missed Ricciardo’s cameo in one of the songs.

In a strange twist, the 32-year-old made his Hottest 100 debut, having played “percussion” on Gang of Youths’ song The Man Himself.

The track, from Gang of Youths’ third studio album Angel in Realtime, came in at number 57 on the list, and features Ricciardo playing some very basic drum beats in the background.

He even features on the song’s credits, although it must be said the band’s drummer Donnie Borzestowski did the heavy lifting as the proper percussionist.

The Australian band released The Man Himself in October last year and shared a clip on social media of Ricciardo playing the drums in their studio.

On the band’s Instagram post listing Ricciardo in the credits, the McLaren driver commented: “This makes me happy”.

Ricciardo is an avid listener of music and often shared videos of himself singing along to tunes while driving (in normal life, not during races). He is also an ambassador for the headphones brand Beats by Dre.

Daniel Ricciardo on the drums for Gang of Youths.Source: Instagram

The West Australian also isn’t afraid to try his hand at strumming a few tunes on the acoustic guitar.

As for the rest of the Hottest 100, The Wiggles took out top spot for their cover of Tame Impala’s song Elepant.

Olivia Rodrigo, Lizzo and Cardi B also featured alongside some Triple J favourites including Gang of Youths, Tame Impala and ARIA winner Genesis Owusu.

Hopefully Ricciardo can take the momentum from featuring in the Hottest 100 to help him finish higher on another list of sorts — the F1 grid in the 2022 season.

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Australian F1 Grand Prix organisers won’t allow Covid vaccine exemptions, Albert Park circuit Melbourne, vaccine rules for F1 drivers

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Organisers of the Australian Formula One Grand Prix have confirmed there will be a “zero tolerance” approach on vaccine exemptions, making it mandatory for all participants to be vaccinated.

Australian F1 Grand Prix chief executive Andrew Westacott said the conditions for the event were clear — all drivers, pit crew, staff and spectators have to be fully vaccinated to be involved in the race.

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“The rules are simple to get into the country and the rules are simple to operate in Formula One,” he said.

“To come into the event you’ll be 100 per cent vaccinated and there won’t be an exemption sought for anyone from anyone.”

The Grand Prix’s hard line policy means there will be no repeat of the Novak Djokovic exemption saga that overshadowed the lead-up to the Australian Open.

“Our arrangements have been in place well before the recent goings-on at the Australian Open,” Westacott said.

“These rules are understood by Formula One, they’re understood by the FIA, they’re going to be written into the sporting regulations and I’m very confident that (it) is just going to be a rite of passage to come into the country.

“There’s zero tolerance. Whether you’re Lewis Hamilton or Valentino Rossi in MotoGP, if you test positive, you don’t race that weekend.”

Every F1 driver including Daniel Ricciardo will be fully vaccinated for the Australian Grand Prix. (Photo by Antonin Vincent / POOL / AFP)Source: AFP

The entire F1 grid is believed to be fully vaccinated, and several leading drivers including Daniel Ricciardo have voiced their support for vaccines.

On top of the drivers, fans and all staff in the paddock will have to be vaccinated to attend the Grand Prix in Melbourne on April 10.

Aussie motorsport fans have been starved of a local F1 race. This year’s edition will be the first Australian Grand Prix since 2019 after the 2020 and 2021 races were cancelled due to the pandemic.

But the organisers have declared it will be a case of third time lucky and there is no chance of it being cancelled this year.

“I’ll go on record and say zero chance of cancellation,” Westacott said.

The Albert Park circuit in Melbourne has undergone a revamp, with the track resurfaced for the first time in 25 years.

The freshen-up is expected to cut lap times by five seconds, while the widening of several turns is expected to create more overtaking opportunities.

“The widening of five other turns, particularly the increase of speed at Turn 6 where they’re going to go from about 90 km/h to 150 km/h, that really does set it up for speeds in excess of 330 k /h around Lakeside (Drive), pulling four and a half Gs,” Westacott said.

The Australian Grand Prix is the third race of the F1 season and will run from April 8-10.

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