Daniel Ricciardo gutted, confused, Sakhir Grand Prix, Renault, qualifying results, order, Lewis Hamilton COVID-19


A disappointed Daniel Ricciardo says Renault needs to dive into what went wrong as he was left feeling flat after qualifying seventh on the grid for tomorrow’s Sakhir Grand Prix.

A strong showing in practice earlier this weekend gave the Aussie F1 star confidence a top-five effort was on the cards but his car wasn’t as impressive as hoped and he fell away to finish well off the pace.

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Lewis Hamilton is missing the year’s second grand prix in Bahrain after testing positive for COVID-19, but his absence didn’t hurt Mercedes. Valtteri Bottas grabbed pole position for the Silver Arrows while Hamilton’s replacement George Russell qualified second fastest, ahead of Red Bull’s Max Verstappen in third.

Charles Leclerc (Ferrari), Sergio Perez (Racing Point) and Daniil Kvyat (AlphaTauri) were all ahead of Ricciardo as Renault was left to rue what might have been, the West Australian’s colleague Esteban Ocon qualifying 11th fastest.

“I am a bit (disappointed),” Ricciardo told Sky Sports about his qualifying effort, unsure about why he didn’t have the pace to match it with his rivals.

“Q2 was really close and actually my last sector was really quite poor so I think with a decent last corner we were looking alright.

“Just didn’t get it together with both sets (of tyres) in Q3. Don’t really know why to be honest.

“Gotta understand where it went wrong because I didn’t improve from Q2, with a mistake as well, so we’ll try and figure that one out.”

Asked by Sky commentator Natalie Pinkham why the car wasn’t as quick in qualifying as in practice, Ricciardo said: “It’s tricky. Sometimes it works. I don’t know — the car, the tyre is in a sweet spot and it comes easy in a way but then other times it’s a little bit more confusing.

“I think generally we’ve had a good car all weekend, that’s been positive so I think we’re in a good position for the race.

“Maybe we could be a couple of sports further up the grid but we’ll just have to make up for it now at the start.”

Ocon was also miffed as to what went on with his four-wheeler.

“There were times we were losing in performance and then touching the car a little bit and then it was coming back, so a few things for us to analyse there,” he told Sky.

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After being beaten in both opening practice sessions by Russell, who was released by Williams to substitute for Hamilton, Bottas responded in familiar stoical fashion.

His late best lap in 53.377 seconds at the short, high-speed outer loop of the Bahrain International Circuit was just enough to pip Russell’s best effort, clocked on his team’s unexpected third Q3 run, by 0.026.

“It was a different situation today,” said Bottas. “I just wanted to focus on my own doing and I managed to do that. We’re in a great place as a team and it’s good to be on pole. I am happy with that.”

Russell said: “It’s been incredibly intense. There has been so much to learn and to get used to. The car felt alien to begin with — it’s a different way of driving.

“I had to un-learn what I learned at Williams and re-learn how to drive this car. I would have been happy with making Q3 after final practice … I am pleased, but I’m gutted to miss out on pole.”

It was Bottas’ 16th career pole position — three years after scoring his maiden pole at the same venue in 2017 — and inflicted Russell’s first qualifying defeat by a teammate, albeit in helping Mercedes clinch another front-row lockout.

Verstappen said he expected Russell to be a tough opponent in the race.

“I need to take advantage, but we’ll find out. It’ll be tough. It’s not going to be easy,” he said.

Pietro Fittipaldi was the first man out in Q1, the young Brazilian knowing he will start his maiden race from the back of the grid as substitute for Romain Grosjean, having taken two grid penalties for new electronic power unit parts.

In dry and mild conditions under the floodlights, the grandson of double world champion Emerson Fittipaldi focused on learning as Bottas topped the times for Mercedes ahead of Verstappen and Russell.

His Haas teammate Kevin Magnussen, who was 16th, Nicholas Latifi and his debutant Williams teammate Jack Aitken, and Kimi Raikkonen of Alfa Romeo all also missed out on Q2.

In the second mini-session, Carlos Sainz set the pace only for Pierre Gasly and then Bottas to beat him.

Verstappen’s Red Bull teammate Alexander Albon was eliminated in 12th place, along with Ocon, four-time world champion Sebastian Vettel of Ferrari, Antonio Giovinazzi and McLaren’s Lando Norris.

For Norris, 15th, it was his worst qualifying of the season.

The top-10 shootout began with Bottas leading on used softs in 53.760, ahead of Russell, before Verstappen cut that to 53.591 and Leclerc grabbed second just behind him.

Sergio Perez then split the Mercedes who responded with a rapid change of tyres for another run — on new soft tyres — and a provisional front-row lockout with Bottas in front with 53.377, a tenth ahead.

Sakhir GP Qualifying — Top 10

1. Valtteri Bottas, Mercedes

2. George Russell, Mercedes

3. Max Verstappen, Red Bull

4. Charles Leclerc, Ferrari

5. Sergio Perez, Racing Point

6. Daniil Kvyat, AlphaTauri

7. Daniel Ricciardo, Renault

8. Carlos Sainz, McLaren

9. Pierre Gasly, AlphaTauri

10. Lance Stroll, Racing Point

With AFP



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Hamilton ‘gutted’ to miss F1’s Sakhir GP


Seven-time Formula One champion Lewis Hamilton has tested positive for COVID-19 and will miss this weekend’s Sakhir Grand Prix.

Hamilton was tested three times last week and returned a negative result each time, the last on Sunday afternoon at the Bahrain International Circuit.

But Hamilton woke up on Monday morning with mild symptoms and was then informed that a contact prior to arrival in Bahrain had subsequently tested positive, his Mercedes team said on Tuesday.

This led to a subsequent test returning a positive result, and Hamilton says he has gone into self-isolation for 10 days.

“I’m devastated that I won’t be racing this weekend. Since we started the season in June, my team and I have been taking all the precautions we possibly can and following the regulations everywhere we’ve been,” Hamilton wrote on his social media accounts.

“I’m gutted not to be able to race this weekend but my priority is to follow the protocols and advice, to protect others. I’m really lucky that I feel OK with only mild symptoms.”

Hamilton’s isolation is in accordance with the health protocols in Bahrain.

“Apart from mild symptoms, he is otherwise fit and well, and the entire team sends him its very best wishes for a swift recovery,” an earlier team statement said.

The 35-year-old Hamilton appeared to be drained at the end of the Bahrain GP, which was marred by a crash that left Romain Grosjean with minor burns to his hands and ankles after his Haas car crashed and burst into flames moments after the start.

“It’s physical, this track has always been physical. We’ve got lots of high-speed corners so I was definitely feeling it,” Hamilton said following Sunday’s race.

“I was sliding around a lot out there and I wasn’t really quite sure how it would play out at the end.”

There is another race in Bahrain on Sunday – on Sakhir’s shorter outer circuit – before the 17-race season concludes in Abu Dhabi.

Hamilton clinched the drivers’ championship last month in Turkey and has a big lead in the standings with 332 points, well ahead of Mercedes teammate Valtteri Bottas (201) and Max Verstappen (189).

The British driver has won 11 races this season but his absence in Sakhir means he will not be able to win a 13th and equal Sebastian Vettel’s record, set in 2013 with Red Bull.

Hamilton also misses out, for now, on being able to clinch a 100th pole position.

His pole last weekend was the record-extending 98th of his career.

The Mercedes team said it would announce a replacement driver later in the week.

Reserve driver Stoffel Vandoorne was already scheduled to travel to Bahrain after Formula E testing in Valencia.

Hamilton is the third F1 driver to test positive for COVID-19 this season, following Sergio Perez at Silverstone and Lance Stroll in Germany.





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Car gutted by fire in Lavington, police investigating | The Border Mail


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Police are investigating a car fire in Lavington on Monday morning. A red Mazda, which appeared to have been dumped on the side of the road and torched, was destroyed during the blaze. Firefighters were alerted to the incident about 5.55am and arrived a short time later. They cleared the scene about 6.30am. The fire is being treated as suspicious. Anyone with information can call Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000.

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‘Gutted’ Wallabies suffer biggest loss to All Blacks in 117 years as Bledisloe dreams dashed


The six-tries-to-one thrashing will go down as Australia’s darkest night against the Kiwis, topping the 43-6 defeat in Wellington in 1996. Talk about a turnaround from last year’s 47-26 triumph in Perth.

“We were poles apart tonight,” Rennie said. “You can’t turn over the ball as often as we did. They put a lot of pressure on us defensively. We’ve got to give them credit, I thought they were really sharp and clinical. Their skill set was outstanding in these conditions. They had a really smart kicking game they implemented well. I thought they were top notch and we were a long way off tonight and it’s reflected in the score.

‘I thought they [All Blacks] were top notch and we were a long way off.’

Dave Rennie

“There was a gulf between the performances tonight.”

There is just something about Bledisloe matches and the city of Sydney that doesn’t marry up with the Wallabies. First halves too, have been particularly ugly. In 2016, Australia trailed 32-3 and a year later found themselves down 40-6 at the main break. This time, they trudged into the sheds down 26-0 and looked bereft of answers as the All Blacks sliced through at ease.

In the last six first halves against the All Blacks in Sydney, Australia had scored a total of 21 points, and this latest performance was right down the bottom of the barrel, even by Sydney standards.

“At half-time we were just talking about trying to build some pressure,” Rennie said. “We’re gutted about the result.”

Rieko Ioane of the All Blacks scores a try.

Rieko Ioane of the All Blacks scores a try.Credit:Getty

Wallabies halfback Nic White was shellshocked during a half-time interview and couldn’t bring himself to pay the All Blacks the credit they deserved for executing a more astute game plan in the wet conditions.

“No disrespect but they haven’t done a whole lot,” White said on Fox Sports. “It’s just been all our mistakes. We’ve gifted them points … we’re making too many simple errors.”

The last Wallabies No.10 to win on Test debut against the All Blacks was Rod Kafer and while Noah Lolesio would have gone to bed dreaming of emulating the former Brumbies playmaker, his night was largely one to forget.

Replacing the injured James O’Connor, the 20-year-old struggled to find his rhythm early in the game and, while defending at fullback, failed to wrap up Richie Mo’ounga in the lead-up to both of the man-of-the-match’s two tries.

Jordie Barrett makes a break to score a try at ANZ Stadium.

Jordie Barrett makes a break to score a try at ANZ Stadium.Credit:Getty

Lolesio did cross in the 42nd minute but his night was summed up in the 60th minute, when his kick for touch went dead at a moment when Australia desperately needed favourable field position to come away with points.

He came from the field in the 64th minute, due to cramping according to Rennie, with question marks over whether he had been thrown into the deep end too soon at this level.

“We’re not looking to throw Noah under the bus,” Rennie said. “We battled all over the place.

“He’ll be happy to get one under his belt. He didn’t get a hell of a lot of front-foot ball did he. He’ll learn a lot from that.”

Fellow debutant Irae Simone was quiet at No.12, while Jordan Petaia was one of Australia’s best in a losing cause.

Inexperience came back to bite the Wallabies as Mo’unga and Beauden Barrett showed why they are a class above, particularly when the latter chipped over the top and his No.10 regathered and streaked away for a superb try.

Six days earlier at the same venue, the Penrith Panthers trailed the Melbourne Storm 26-0 and mounted a spirited comeback, yet there was none of the same for the men in gold who turned the ball over 17 times to New Zealand’s nine.

Pre-match, Filipo Daugunu said his intention was to “smash” Caleb Clarke. The winger’s words came back haunt him when his first tackle on the All Blacks wrecking ball went completely wrong.

Daugunu was yellow carded in the third minute for hitting Clarke while he was in the air and, like they do so often, New Zealand swooped to score shortly after courtesy of prop Karl Tu’inukuafe.

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From knocking on, to throwing the ball out, Daugunu was lucky not to be hooked at half-time. It will be an ugly Monday video review session in Cessnock.

The damage of Daugunu’s sideline spell was diminished slightly when Jordie Barrett was also sent for a 10-minute break after a high shot into contact on Dane Haylett-Petty.

With a mountain of territory and possession, the All Blacks were unlucky not to come away with a couple of tries as Dane Coles and Clarke were denied points – once through a knock-on and the other due to a special covering tackle from Marika Koroibete that brought back memories of George Gregan’s tackle on Jeff Wilson in 1994.

Three five-pointers though between the 21st and 30th minute sucked the life out of the Wallabies and once again, gave Sydney rugby fans little to cheer about.

“We came up against a really slick outfit tonight,” Hooper said. “To give them the ball [so often] … it’s just not up to a standard where we need to be and you get punished for that sort of stuff. We made some little inroads, turned the ball over and all of a sudden you’re under pressure and it’s hard to gain back momentum when you’re facing that.”

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Pandemic has gutted global tourism and it’s costing Australia $10b every month


In Australia, the enormous losses are still costing the nation’s tourism industry up to $10 billion every month — including almost $6 billion in domestic travel and $4 billion in foreign visitors, the Tourism & Transport Forum told 9News.com.au.

The coronavirus fallout has also seen as many as 532,000 jobs and up to $21.3 billion in wages and salaries lost this year across the country.
SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA – AUGUST 07: Airline staff walk past empty baggage carousels at the Sydney Domestic Airport Terminal arrivals area on August 07, 2020 in Sydney, Australia. People travelling from Victoria into NSW must go into mandatory hotel quarantine for 14 days at their own expense. The new rules, which came into effect at 12:01 on Friday, were introduced in response to Victoria’s rising numbers of new COVID-19 cases through community transmission. (Photo by Lisa Maree Williams/Getty Images (Getty)

UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres today said in a policy briefing and video address that tourism is the world’s third-largest export sector, behind fuels and chemicals, and accounted for seven per cent of global trade last year.

In 2020, more than 120 million tourism industry jobs worldwide are at risk due to the pandemic.

“It employs one in every 10 people on Earth and provides livelihoods to hundreds of millions more,” Mr Guterres said.

SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA – AUGUST 07: Travellers make their way to waiting lounges at the Sydney Domestic Airport Terminal on August 07, 2020 in Sydney, Australia. People travelling from Victoria into NSW must go into mandatory hotel quarantine for 14 days at their own expense. The new rules, which came into effect at 12:01 on Friday, were introduced in response to Victoria’s rising numbers of new COVID-19 cases through community transmission. (Photo by Lisa Maree Williams/Getty Images) (Getty)

“It boosts economies … It allows people to experience some of the world’s cultural and natural riches and brings people closer to each other, highlighting our common humanity.”

The UN chief also said that in the first five months of 2020, because of the coronavirus pandemic, international tourist arrivals decreased by more than half.

Mr Guterres said the tourism impact of COVID-19 has been a “major shock” for richer developed nations “but for developing countries, it is an emergency, particularly for many small island developing states and African countries.”

Tourism for some of those countries represents over 20 per cent of their GDP, he said.

Tourism in Australia provides as much as $60.8 billion to the nation’s yearly GDP. And on top of every dollar spent, 82 cents more is generated for other economic sectors, Tourism Australia told 9News.com.au.

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Trio facing arson and fraud charges over Hope Island Marina fire that gutted five boats


Three men have been charged with arson and attempted insurance fraud over a fire that destroyed five boats at a northern Gold Coast marina earlier this month.

Police said the boats were collectively worth more than $1 million.

They were destroyed at Hope Harbour Marina on the night of June 2.

Nearby residents reported seeing a number of people allegedly throwing an accelerant onto one of the boats before setting it alight.

Police will allege one of the boats was part of an attempted insurance scam.

Detective Inspector Chris Ahern said one of the men charged was the owner of the boat initially targeted.

“It’ll be alleged that there has been some communication between this group and as a result of that, two male persons attended the marina there and have taken steps to set fire to that particular vessel — and as a result, a number of other vessels caught fire and also been destroyed,” Inspector Ahern said.

The boats moored at Hope Island Marina were destroyed in the blaze.(Supplied: Jane Edwards)

Inspector Ahern said there was a loose business connection between the men.

“The insurance claim that we’ll be alleging is $50,000,” he said.

Inspector Ahern also said one of the men was treated at hospital at Ipswich with burns to his legs and back, and a police investigation progressed from there.

Police said today a 33-year old man from Dugandan, south-west of Beaudesert, has been charged with three counts of arson and one count each of attempted fraud, enter premises with intent to commit an indictable offence and endanger property by fire.

He is due to appear in the Southport Magistrates Court on August 26.

Two other men, aged 21 and 25, from Fernvale, north of Ipswich, were also charged with the same offences.

They are due to face court on August 10.



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