Romain Grosjean walks away from fiery F1 crash in Bahrain in opening lap, bringing halt to grand prix


Haas F1 driver Romain Grosjean has incredibly walked away from a fiery crash at the Bahrain Grand Prix with just minor burns to his hands and ankles.

In the opening lap of the race, with Canadian driver Lance Stroll in front of him crashing out into gravel, Grosjean veered right in the congestion, clipping a Daniil Kvyat’s front wheel before veering sharply into the barrier in an explosion of flame and fuel.

The force and angle at which Grosjean hit the metal barrier cut his car in half, sending the back half of the car flying off while the front half, with Grosjean inside, got wedged in the barrier.

The driver was in the burning cockpit for several seconds before finally getting free. Grosjean was escorted to an ambulance and appeared to be limping. He was taken to hospital with suspected broken ribs.

Flames seen from the crash scene after Haas’ Romain Grosjean crashed out at the start of the race.(Reuters: Kamran Jebreili)

“[Grosjean] is doing OK,” Haas team principal Guenther Steiner told Sky Sports.

“He’s seems to be OK and the rescue was very quick. The marshals and FIA did a great job. It was very scary.

“We were lucky by being unlucky. He got away with it, I think.

“It looked like he went across the track with the front wheel and went full speed in the barrier. But I’ve only seen what you guys have seen.”

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The crash prompted a long red-flag delay to the race as crews worked frantically to clear the mess of debris and repair the barrier.

An FIA spokesman said the impact of Grosjean’s crash was measured at 53G.

With drivers sitting in the garage contemplating Grosjean’s near miss, reigning champion Lewis Hamilton said on Twitter it was a reminder that drivers put their lives on the line every time they go out on the F1 track.

“I’m so grateful Romain is safe. Wow … the risk we take is no joke, for those of you out there that forget that we put our life on the line for this sport and for what we love to do,” he said.

“Thankful to the FIA for the massive strides we’ve taken for Romain to walk away from that safely.”

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Bottas bags pole at Imola as Hamilton rues poor lap


Sunday’s race will be the first grand prix at Imola since 2006, with the track returning to flesh out a calendar ravaged by the COVID-19 pandemic, and the third in Italy this season.

“This track, when you push flat out, it’s beautiful. I knew I had to improve in the last lap and I found those small gains that were needed,” said Bottas, whose second flying lap was 0.097 seconds quicker than Hamilton’s.

“It’s a great feeling when you get those.

“It’s going to be a good fight. It’s one of the longest runs in the calendar into turn one so no doubt Lewis and Max will be chasing me, but it’s a good place to start and hopefully the pace is good.”

Hamilton leads Bottas by 77 points, having won eight times so far this season.

POOR LAP

The 35-year-old, who celebrated a record 92nd win at the previous race in Portugal, is closing on a record-equalling seventh drivers’ title although he will have to wait at least until Turkey in two weeks’ time for a chance to seal it.

“Valtteri did a great job. It was a pretty … poor lap from myself. These things happen, you can’t always get it perfect,” said Hamilton, who had been quickest after the first flying laps in phase three and also in practice.

The Emilia Romagna Grand Prix has been condensed into two days, without Friday practice and drivers having to get to grips with it quickly on Saturday.

Hamilton predicted a “pretty boring race” on Sunday with overtaking difficult.

“You can overtake on this long straight but it’s quite narrow, and you can’t follow. Once you get into turn one, it’s a train from there, there’s no single place to overtake anywhere else,” he said.

Australian Daniel Ricciardo qualified fifth for Renault with Verstappen’s Thai teammate Alexander Albon sixth after having laps deleted throughout the three-part session for exceeding track limits.

Daniel Ricciardo said he drove his best lap during qualifying for Imola.Credit:Getty Images

“That was the best lap I’ve done so far this year,” commented Ricciardo.

He agreed the race could be “a tricky one for overtaking”.

“It’s pretty fast but also it’s very narrow and normally what that also means is for the following car it’s hard to pick a different line to try and get a bit of clean air,” he told reporters.

“I think that’s where it’s going to make it even more challenging.

“Obviously I don’t want to be too pessimistic but I’d be surprised if it’s like a Portimao [the previous race in Portugal]. I don’t think there’ll be that much overtaking, the first lap is going to be important.”

Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc will be seventh on the grid at a circuit named after team founder Enzo and son Dino, with four- times world champion team mate Sebastian Vettel only 14th.

The German lines up behind the Williams of George Russell, 13th, for the second race in a row.

AlphaTauri’s Daniil Kvyat, whose place at the team is under threat for 2021, qualified eighth with McLaren’s Lando Norris and Carlos Sainz ninth and 10th.

Alfa Romeo’s Kimi Raikkonen, the oldest driver on the grid and only one with previous Formula One race experience at Imola, qualified 18th.

Reuters

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Ford’s Cameron Waters takes Bathurst 1000 pole position after record lap in shootout at Mount Panorama



Ford’s Cameron Waters has smashed the Bathurst 1000 qualifying lap record to claim Supercars pole for Sunday’s great race at Mount Panorama.

Touted as a genuine contender to win the 161-lap race for the first time, Waters dominated the top-10 shootout on Saturday in his Mustang.

His time of 2 minutes 3.559 seconds eclipsed former Tickford teammate Chaz Mostert’s lap of 2.03.789 set last year.

It was Waters’ fifth career pole, setting him up for a tilt at winning with star co-driver Will Davison, a two-time Bathurst 1000 winner.

The 26-year-old Waters pipped three-time champion Scott McLaughlin, who has stamped his mark as one of the Supercars’ greatest qualifiers.

Mostert, who switched to Holden this year, was the fastest Commodore driver in third to start alongside Nick Percart on the second row of the grid.

Seven-time champion Jamie Whincup’s testing relationship with Mount Panorama continued as a mistake near the end of his lap saw the Triple Eight legend finish 10th.

Waters completed his first solo race victory at Tailem Bend last month and has carried that hot form into the season finale at Bathurst.

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“That was absolutely awesome. Knew the car had something special in it, but just had to put it all together,” Waters said.

“This is so special for all the boys at Tickford. They’ve earnt their piece in this whole period we have been away so this [pole money] will go towards beer Sunday night.

“I made a few little mistakes, but the car was just hooked up. The boys have done so well to give me something like that.”

Fords on the front of the grid is the last thing Holden supporters want ahead of the red lion’s last Bathurst race in an official capacity before the brand is retired by General Motors at the end of this year.

McLaughlin claimed his maiden Bathurst victory last year but that result ended a run of four-straight Holden wins dating back to 2015.

The start time of Sunday’s race has been brought forward by 30 minutes to 11.00am AEDT with rain and storms predicted to descend on Mt Panorama.

AAP



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Barclays, Staveley spar in final lap of London trial


October 16, 2020

By Kirstin Ridley

LONDON (Reuters) – A bitter High Court clash between Barclays <BARC.L> and British businesswoman Amanda Staveley, over whether she was deceived while negotiating a financial lifeline for the bank at the height of the credit crisis, draws to a close on Friday.

Staveley is claiming hundreds of millions of pounds in damages from Barclays in a civil case that kicked off in June and hinges on how the bank secured emergency funds from Qatar and Abu Dhabi and averted a state bailout in October 2008.

Staveley’s PCP Capital Partners, which led a 3.25 billion pound ($4.2 billion), Abu Dhabi-backed investment, alleges it was induced to fund Barclays on much worse terms than Qatar — despite assurances it would get the same deal.

PCP, which reduced its maximum damages claim to 836 million pounds from 1.5 billion during the trial, alleges Barclays paid Qatar 346 million pounds in secret fees and handed the Gulf state a $3 billion loan that almost matched Qatar’s investment.

Qatar said after the February fraud trial that two additional services agreements with Barclays, agreed in June and October 2008, were genuine.

Had PCP been aware of these “very sweet” terms, it would have sought a better deal, it alleged.

The case turned the spotlight back on Barclays’ arrangements with Qatar four months after three senior bank executives were acquitted of fraud in a criminal case over advisory service agreements it struck with the Gulf nation in 2008.

Barclays alleged it had struck separate, commercial agreements with Qatar and that PCP’s case was “wrong at every stage”.

Testifying during the trial, Barclays’ former top rainmaker Roger Jenkins accepted he might have used the words “same deal” to Staveley, but said he would have intended to refer to Qatar subscribing for the same instruments.

After a dispute about whether PCP was a potential investor or merely an advisor to Abu Dhabi, Barclays noted Staveley may have hoped to participate as a principal — but alleged she did not suffer a loss due to Barclays’ actions.

The bank said PCP was paid a “handsome” 30 million pounds by Abu Dhabi and attacked Staveley as a “thoroughly unreliable witness”, who used “embellishment and invention” and whose modus operandi was to “duck and weave”.

Twelve years ago, bankers used sexist and demeaning language when discussing the financier and criticised her professional competence. Apologising, one resigned as a senior bank lobbyist in June before the comments were aired.

Nevertheless, the bank relied on the then 34-year-old to bring on board Abu Dhabi royal Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed al-Nahyan to help secure its independent future.

A judgment is expected later.

(Reporting by Kirstin Ridley; editing by Emelia Sithole-Matarise)





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Hamilton takes pole with fastest ever lap


Six-time world champion Lewis Hamilton has smashed the Monza track record to take pole position for the Italian Grand Prix with the fastest lap in Formula One history.

The Mercedes driver produced a sensational lap of 1min 18.887sec – at an average speed of 264.362kph – on a sunny afternoon to lead Finnish teammate Valtteri Bottas in another front row lockout.

It was the 94th pole of Hamilton’s stellar career, and his seventh at Monza, and shattered the idea that a clampdown on so-called engine ‘party modes’ would affect his team’s performance.

“No party. No problem,” said the team on its official Twitter feed.

McLaren’s Carlos Sainz qualified third, with Racing Point’s Sergio Perez fourth.

Hamilton’s closest championship rival Max Verstappen, 47 points behind after seven races, qualified for Red Bull in fifth place.

Australia’s Daniel Ricciardo was seventh.

Another win for Hamilton on Sunday would be his sixth in eight races and career 90th — one short of former Ferrari great Michael Schumacher’s all-time record.

Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc and Sebastian Vettel will line up 13th and 17th respectively for their team’s home race — the first time since 1984 that Ferrari failed to qualify in the top 10 with either car at Monza.

“The best I can do,” said Leclerc over the team radio of his effort.”





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Ricciardo sizzles at Spa with fastest lap


A delighted Daniel Ricciardo has just missed out on a place on the podium as he matched his best finish for Renault with a fourth-place finish at the Belgian Grand Prix.

The Australian star’s sparkling Sunday drive was capped off by becoming the first Renault driver since 2010 to claim the race’s fastest lap, which earned him an extra championship point.

Ricciardo was understandably buzzing after a final lap he reckoned was his best of the weekend.

“Yeah, I f***ing sent that last lap,” Ricciardo said over team radio after the race.

Ricciardo’s has now finish fourth three times this season and twice in the past four races.

Sunday’s race was very good for the French manufacturer with Ricciardo finishing just ahead of teammate Esteban Ocon.

“What a race and definitely an excellent result for the team. We had a lot of pace today and fourth is a strong result,” Ricciardo said.

“It’s been a while since I’ve had the fastest lap of the race, so that was also nice. My engineer told me what the current fastest was and I thought ‘I got this’!

“It was a proper big lap; I used all the track and went for it. Maybe it was better than my qualifying lap yesterday!”

Renault leave Belgium with a points haul of 23 – their biggest single race score since returning to the sport as a full-time manufacturer in 2016.

Even better for Renault, next up is Monza where they scored 22 points last year. So can the team take this pace to Italy next weekend?

“This was a good track for us last year and Monza was even better. We’ll see what happens, but we can go there with a lot of confidence,” Riddiardo said.

Ricciardo’s excellent drive means he’s jumped two places to eighth in the drivers standings, albeit level-pegging on points with Racing Point’s Sergio Perez on 33.

Championship leader Lewis Hamilton led from start to finish on Sunday to win at Spa-Francorchamps to clinch his 89th career win with his Mercedes teammate Valtteri Bottas second and Red Bull’s Max Verstappen third.





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Eastern grey kangaroos lap up beach lifestyle waiting for food handouts


On any given day you can see up to 100 eastern grey kangaroos spread throughout Murramarang Beachfront Resort on the New South Wales South Coast.

The resort also gets a lot of other visitors from the surrounding national park including kookaburras, rosellas, monitor lizards, carpet snakes, red-bellied black snakes and possums.

Manager Brad Scofield said the kangaroos had adapted to having people around.

“They are out and about all day. Obviously, they scattered a bit during the fires, but it didn’t take long for them to come back.”

Playground duty at South Durras continued throughout the 10-week shutdown.(Supplied: Annie Bowen)

The kangaroos were inquisitive to a degree but generally kept to themselves, Mr Scofield said.

He and his family, who remained on site during a recent 10-week shutdown, observed the animals’ behaviour and noticed that nothing had fundamentally changed their laid-back attitude.

Nevertheless, guests are asked not to feed the kangaroos because they are, after all, wild animals.

A campsite is strewn with kangaroos lazing about.
The resort’s campsite is frequented by eastern grey kangaroos.(ABC Illawarra: Sarah Moss)

The Australian Museum’s Mark Eldridge, who has been studying kangaroos and wallabies since 1986, suggested those at South Durras and other spots along the coast had adapted their behaviours to suit humans.

Dr Eldridge said the marsupials could overcome their fear of people and learn to tolerate them if food was involved.

“In situations like this, they have become used to being fed by people and interacting with people, changing their natural behaviours in order to get a free feed,” he said.

And the reason their behaviour had not changed during the 10-week lockdown without people, he suggested, was that it could take a long time for changes to occur.

An Eastern Grey Kangaroo stands on the headland at South Durras
Kangaroos that live in Murramarang National Park can be found hanging out at the beach from sunrise to sunset.(ABC Illawarra: Sarah Moss)

In the four years Mr Scofield has managed the park, he has not had a major incident in which a roo has caused serious damage or injury.

But he has seen people larking about with the marsupials inappropriately.

“We’ve had some people grab them by the tail, being stupid with them, which never ends well,” he said.

“I have seen a male rip a tent apart, and if they do see rubbish, they will try to scratch it and eat it.”

A 'mob' of kangaroos are lying in the sunshine.
The kangaroos enjoy lazing about in the sun and being left alone to eat in peace.(ABC Illawarra: Sarah Moss)

Reading a kangaroo

Dr Eldridge said it was important to remember that kangaroos were not pets, adding that people were generally not good at reading them.

“If a kangaroo wants you to go away, it will stand tall and try to look very big; if you walk closer, you are saying, ‘OK, I’ll take you on’, at which point you may be attacked.”

Retreating was the best thing to do if a kangaroo approached, he said.

“Don’t eyeball them and don’t walk directly at them, because those things are challenging them in kangaroo language.”

A beautiful pristine beach surrounded by national park is home to hundreds of kangaroos.
The beach and headland at South Durras.(ABC Illawarra: Sarah Moss)



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Lewis Hamilton’s British Formula One grand Prix final lap at Silverstone saw him reach 230kph on the straight on three working tyres

Previous Mercedes workforce boss Ross Brawn has hailed Lewis Hamilton’s British grand prix gain, on three wheels and a flat tyre, as “totally mind-blowing”.

Hamilton’s front remaining tyre deflated on the final lap whilst main Sunday’s race, leaving the 6-instances Method Just one winner 3.8km from the finish with Pink Bull’s Max Verstappen chasing tough following pitting for clean gentle tyres.

Info provided by Mercedes confirmed Hamilton accomplished the last lap only 22 seconds slower than he had raced the previous one.

It was more than enough to dangle on for his seventh grand prix acquire at Silverstone, keeping off Verstappen by just 5.856 seconds.

He went by means of the substantial-pace Copse and Stowe corners with the puncture at 141kph and 133kph respectively and attained 230kph on the Hangar Straight with the entrance tyre currently ruined.

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“Lewis’s race seemed a cakewalk until eventually the final lap of the race. It was not of program, due to the fact he was driving superbly for the full of the race,” stated Brawn, Formulation One’s running director for motorsport.

“He reached 230kph on the straight with only 3 wheels, and a entrance left tyre flailing all over. Unquestionably mind blowing.

“He judged it to perfection to earn the race by a several seconds and a fantastic illustration of the wonderful talents and bravery of Lewis.”

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Tyre companies Pirelli are conducting an investigation into what transpired, and whether sharp debris or don was to blame, with Hamilton’s teammate, Valtteri Bottas, and McLaren’s Carlos Sainz also suffering late failures.

Hamilton now leads the championship by 30 details from Bottas, with a few wins from the 4 races held so much in 2020.

Verstappen lies third on 52 factors — but he could have been 14 factors much better off if he experienced not pitted, as he would very likely have handed Hamilton for the direct and the taken 25 details for victory, in its place of the 18 for next put.

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Kentucky High School Graduates Enjoy Victory Lap Instead of Traditional Ceremony


A speedway in Sparta, Kentucky, gave high school seniors a memorable graduation by bringing them together for laps around the track on May 23. Drone footage from Kentucky Speedway shows the Gallatin County High School Class of 2020 gathered on the track. Local media reported that graduates and their families took their own cars and drove two laps of the track with a pace car leading the way. Gallatin County Schools issued a statement to local media saying they wanted to make the “nontraditional graduation unforgettable” and the lap symbolized their final year of high school. Kentucky Speedway said it was “honored to bring the Gallatin County High School Class of 2020 together one final time, inviting them to take a victory lap and cross the finish line on their hometown track.” Credit: Ryan Bailey/Kentucky Speedway via Storyful



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