Australian Open 2021 qualifying scores, winner Fran Jones, Great Britain, has eight fingers, seven toes


Francesca Jones wants her Australian Open “X Factor” story to be an inspiration for anyone dealing with health adversity.

When she was eight years old, the British ace was told by a doctor her unusual physical condition would prevent her becoming a tennis star.

The 20-year-old – who had a series of operations as a kid – was born with the rare genetic conditions of ectrodactyly ectodermal dysplasia. The British No. 5 has only three fingers and a thumb on each hand and has three toes on one foot and four toes on the other.

Yet remarkably she secured a place at next month’s Australian Open, thrashing China’s Lu Jiajing 6-0 6-1 in the final round of qualifying in Dubai.

“I try to use it as a positive and I see it as an advantage in many ways,” Jones said. “I don’t think I reached a low point with the syndrome. Of course, like any other tennis player, I’ve reached many low points in my life.

“You could say I proved the doctor wrong and I’m sure a good few other people as well. But you know what? I’m not bothered about proving people wrong, I’d rather prove to people you can switch the perspective there. I’m not playing out of revenge. I’m playing to have a positive impact for those who hopefully read my story.

“I’d love people to take strength from my story. I’ve got so much more that I want to achieve and this is very much the start of my journey.”

As she booked a first spot in a grand slam main draw, Jones joked: “It’s like I’ve had the phone call now from Simon Cowell – is he in California? – and I’m now going to Australia not London for the show.”

Fran was based at Andy Murray’s former training base, the Sanchez Casal Academy in Barcelona, between the ages of 9-16.

Jones flies to Australia on Friday to begin two weeks of quarantining.

Jones, who describes herself as a perfectionist, overcame a “wee mental breakdown” after experiencing racket issues and split fingers after travelling from the London cold to the Middle East for qualifying.

Her idol is British No. 1 and multiple slam semi-finalist Jo Konta, who she has watched closely during training at the NTC HQ.

“I’ve definitely had to work a lot more on my physicality,” Jones said. “My feet work in a different way and that means I run differently. My balance goes through my feet and toes in a different way. I’ve always had a really small grip and a light racket and I’m hesitant to change that.

“In the gym, I’ve spent a lot of time just trying to gain strength to support my muscles. Every human being has physical weaknesses – unless you’re Cristiano Ronaldo or something. I just try to better mine as I’d try to better myself in any other way.”

– The Sun

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F1 2020, Sakhir Grand Prix Bahrain, qualifying results, Daniel Ricciardo, starting grid, race time in Australia, Renault, Formula One


Daniel Ricciardo has admitted he is “confused” by his Renault in what is the penultimate outing in it before the season ends and he heads to McLaren for the new season.

The Aussie, who has scored two superb podiums this season, has seen his red-hot form cool off somewhat in recent races.

He qualified for Monday morning’s (AEDT) Sakhir Grand Prix in Bahrain in P7 behind the likes of midfield rivals Sergio Perez and Daniil Kvyat, but wasn’t sure why the car wasn’t performing any better than that.

Teammate Esteban Ocon couldn’t even get his Renault into Q3 as he was forced to settle for 11th on the grid.

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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.

RELATED: Son refused to use Schumacher name

RELATED: Ricciardo validated by F1 rival’s wife

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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Formula One 2020: Sakhir Grand Prix Bahrain, F1, qualifying, live blog, stream, news, updates, George Russell, Lewis Hamilton, Daniel Ricciardo


F1: Sakhir Grand Prix, Qualifying LIVE —

22-year-old British driver George Russell has never scored a point in his two years in Formula One or even reached Q3 in qualifying.

But at 4am (AEDT) on Sunday morning, he’s got the perfect chance to not just reach the third qualifying session – the top ten shootout – but perhaps even to claim a maiden pole as he fills in for seven-time world champion Lewis Hamilton.

Follow all the action in our live blog below!



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Formula 2 news: Mick Schumacher crash, video, qualifying, results, Prema Racing, Roy Nissany, Sakhir Grand Prix


Mick Schumacher was involved in a nightmare crash in Formula 2 qualifying as Roy Nissany‘s car mounted on top of him.

The son of Ferrari F1 legend Michael, Schumacher‘s nasty collision came days after it was announced he would graduate to F1 in 2021.

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Prema Racing‘s Schumacher is believed to have escaped unscathed from the incident – just a week after Romain Grosjean’s near-death F1 smash at the same track shocked the motorsport world.

But his discontent was audible as he fumed on the team radio ‘why is this guy crashing into me?’.



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Mick Schumacher crash, video, qualifying, results, Prema Racing, Roy Nissany, Sakhir Grand Prix


Mick Schumacher was involved in a nightmare crash in Formula 2 qualifying as Roy Nissany‘s car mounted on top of him.

The son of Ferrari F1 legend Michael, Schumacher‘s nasty collision came days after it was announced he would graduate to F1 in 2021.

Watch The Formula 1 Rolex Sakhir Grand Prix 2020 Live & On-Demand on Kayo. New to Kayo? Get your free trial now & start streaming instantly >

Prema Racing‘s Schumacher is believed to have escaped unscathed from the incident – just a week after Romain Grosjean’s near-death F1 smash at the same track shocked the motorsport world.

But his discontent was audible as he fumed on the team radio ‘why is this guy crashing into me?’.

The 21-year-old will drive for Haas next season, following in the footsteps of his famous father who won seven F1 world titles.

Schumacher is currently leading the F2 championship by 14 points from Brit Callum Ilott and can clinch the title this weekend in Bahrain. But starting from 18th on the grid makes his mission all the more difficult this weekend.

RELATED: Son refused to use Schumacher name

He will partner fellow rookie Nikita Mazepin, the son of a Russian billionaire, next season.

Schumacher shared his joy at the news, saying: “The prospect of being on the Formula 1 grid next year makes me incredibly happy and I’m simply speechless.

“I would like to thank Haas F1 Team, Scuderia Ferrari and the Ferrari Driver Academy for placing their trust in me.

“I also want to acknowledge and extend my love to my parents – I know that I owe them everything.

“I have always believed that I would realise my dream of Formula 1.

“A huge thank you must also go to all the great motorsport fans out there who have supported me throughout my career.

“I will give it my all, as I always do, and I look forward to going on this journey together with Haas F1 and them.”

This article originally appeared on The Sun and was reproduced with permission.



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F1 2020: Bahrain Grand Prix, live, start time, stream, how to watch, full starting grid, news, blog, qualifying result


Formula One, Bahrain Grand Prix: 1.10am AEDT, LIVE —

F1’s twenty drivers will do battle on one of the most brutal tracks on the Formula 1 calendar early on Monday morning (AEDT) at the Bahrain GP.

Daniel Ricciardo knows all too well just how painful the Sakhir Circuit can be, having retired just four laps from the finish in 2019 just metres away from then-Renault teammate Nico Hulkenberg. In 2018, Ricciardo was part of another double-DNF, then racing with Red Bull.

This year, Ricciardo will begin his hunt for redemption from sixth on the grid after an impressive qualifying saw him pip teammate Esteban Ocon by just 0.002 seconds.



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F1, Bahrain Grand Prix 2020, practice, crash, video, qualifying, Red Bull, Alex Albon, driver line up, highlights, results


Alex Albon accepted the blame on Friday after his heavy and expensive crash during practice for the Bahrain Grand Prix threatened to derail his future with Red Bull.

The London-born Thai driver, who has struggled this year to match the pace of Red Bull team-mate Max Verstappen, said he knew he should have backed off when he ran wide at the final corner before careering off into the barriers.

“It was just one of those things,” he said as he tried to make light of his crash, which wrecked most of his car.

“I should have pulled out of it really.

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F1, Bahrain Grand Prix 2020, practice, results, times, qualifying, live, start time, how to watch, Daniel Ricciardo, Alex Albon crash


F1: Bahrain Grand Prix, Practice 3 and Qualifying: LIVE —

Friday’s practice at Bahrain was full of drama, with everything from huge crashes to even a stray dog on track.

Testing new Pirelli tyres for the 2021 season, plenty of the drivers struggled for pace and grip. In the second session, Red Bull’s Max Verstappen spun out on the final corner, but it was his teammate Alex Albon that suffered a monster shunt.

Saturday’s third practice session and qualifying promises to be just as interesting!

Follow the action in the live blog below.



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F1 2020, Turkish Grand Prix, qualifying results, Daniel Ricciardo, grid, weather, highlights


Daniel Ricciardo revealed he was “just glad I made it” after a dicey qualifying session at the Turkish Grand Prix overnight.

The Aussie will start Sunday evening’s (AEDT) race in Istanbul from P5 on the grid after Lance Stroll took his maiden pole in a shock ending to a red flag-dominated qualifying session.

There were numerous spins as the session was red flagged twice, putting into doubt whether the rest of the session would even be able to be completed.

It was already a tough track to negotiate on Friday’s practice sessions because the newly-laid tarmac made it feel like an “ice rink” as the drivers struggled to get any sort of grip.

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