Watch British GP Qualifying live on Sky F1 and Sky One from 2pm
By James Galloway
Last Updated: 01/08/20 1:02pm
Valtteri Bottas outpaced Lewis Hamilton as Mercedes hit the front for the first time in the British GP weekend in the final practice session ahead of qualifying.
Mercedes had been quick, but not outstandingly so, on a roasting Friday as Racing Point set the Silverstone pace, but were significantly faster on Saturday morning amid cooler track conditions.
It was Bottas who gained an edge, outpacing team-mate and title leader Hamilton by a tenth of a second with a best lap of 1:25.873. What would have been Hamilton’s best lap on soft tyres was distrupted by a big gust of wind which disrupted his W11 in the middle of the fast Becketts complex.
But Max Verstappen still enjoyed an encouraging morning for Red Bull. He finished third and just 0.3s back on the two W11s in a marked improvement to their single-lap pace at the last race in Hungary.
British GP Qualifying starts at 2pm live on Sky Sports F1 and Sky One, with build-up from 1pm.
Of Bottas’ lap, Sky F1’s Karun Chandhok said: “That was a very good lap from Valtteri. And he looks like he’s able to repeat it.
“On Saturdays, that’s not where Valtteri is losing the championship battle. He’s right up there with the guy who is the most successful qualifier in the history of our sport.”
Lance Stroll, Friday’s pacesetter, was fourth for Racing Point but finished closer to the two McLarens and Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc than the front three.
Carlos Sainz was the lead McLaren in fifth, with Lando Norris just over a tenth adrift in seventh, with the upgraded MCL35 working well around the fast sweeps of Silverstone. Renault too appear to have made a step forward with new parts, with Daniel Ricciardo eighth ahead of Nico Hulkenberg.
But it was another difficult morning for Red Bull’s Alex Albon – this time for reasons outside of his control.
Keen to rebound on track from the crash that cost him time on Friday afternoon, Albon was only able to complete the final 15 minutes of P3 after an electrical problem struck his RB16.
Ferrari’s Sebastian Vettel again encountered delays too and once more finished outside the top 10, this time in 14th place.
Community-based sports groups at risk of closing due to COVID-19 can now apply for aid from the province’s $1.5-million Local Sport Relief Fund.
The province says the pandemic has “profoundly” affected people in the sports community, with many local sport organizations facing extreme financial pressure and risk of insolvency due to the loss of registration fees, event revenues and sponsorships.
The fund will help those local clubs – such as baseball, soccer, gymnastics and swim teams – pay bills, society dues, salaries and maintenance fees as they prepare for an eventual full return to sport.
“For many athletes and families, local sports organizations provide the important physical, mental and social benefits sports offer, which we need more than ever,” said Lisa Beare, Minister of Tourism, Arts and Culture.
“This funding will help local organizations so they can continue to support children, families and our communities with healthy activities.”
The application process is open until Oct. 16, 2020.
B.C. moved into Phase 3 of ViaSport’s Return to Sport plan last month, which includes modified games and matches, and league play and competitions within sport cohorts.
As of Sept. 15, 67 sport-specific plans had been completed by provincial sport organizations, with 26 being updated for Phase 3 of returning to sport.
In all, more than 500,000 British Columbians are now able to return to sport, according to the province.
The new coach of the Coquitlam Express, Dan Cioffi, will be able to put the pylons away beginning Oct. 2.
The Express will host the Langley Rivermen at Poirier Sports and Leisure Complex at 7 p.m. It’s the team’s first of 18 exhibition games that are part of the BC Hockey League’s extended training camp schedule leading up to an anticipate resumption of a regular season beginning Dec. 1.
“We believe it’s important to have our players play meaningful games during this extended period before the start of our regular season, in order to stay engaged and game-ready leading into December,” said BCHL executive director Steve Cocker in a press release.
The Express will play all of its games in a regional cohort that includes the Rivermen, Surrey Eagles and the Chilliwack Chiefs. Spectators will not be permitted. Similar cohorts have been established for the rest of the league as well.
On Sept. 11, the BCHL announced plans to forge ahead with its 2020/’21 season even if ongoing public health regulations to control transmission of the COVID-19 viral infection won’t permit fans in arenas. Teams in the Tier II junior league rely on ticket revenue, in addition to corporate sponsorships, to cover their operating expenses.
Instead, the league said it could implement a play-to-play model that would require its players to pay a fee to secure their position. Such fees are common in the lower tiers of junior hockey, like the Pacific Junior Hockey League.
The exhibition opener between the Express and Rivermen will be a rematch of the teams’ opening round series in last spring’s BCHL playoffs. Coquitlam, which finished atop the regular season standings, dispatched Langley in four straight games. The post-season was then cancelled because of the public health crisis.
Click here to see the whole exhibition schedule for the Express.
KOLKATA: Tarundeep Rai remains the rare Indian sportsperson whose preparation for the Tokyo Olympics has not been affected much due to the pandemic. The recurve archer decided not to return home and stayed back at the Army Sports Institute in Pune where the national camp resumed this month. “I have a kid (son) back home, so returning was a bit tricky when the country went into the first lockdown. I didn’t want to carry the virus for my family,” the archer was quoted as saying during the lockdown period. While everyone left the camp in March-end, the Olympian spent time in dry practice along with focusing on fitness aspects. The Arjuna award winner planned to retire after the 2020 Olympics, but now with the Tokyo Games being pushed back to 2021, he decided to extend his stint for a year more. “I want to give my best shot at the final goal of my career which is winning an Olympic medal for the country,” a determined Tarundeep told fellow Indian archer Atanu Das during an online interaction. “It’s tough time for me and my family. I must have spent only around six months with my son, who is eight years old, due to my training schedule,” Tarundeep pointed out. “But I have told my family that I will return home with the (Olympic) medal only,” the army man said. “I lost almost 20 kgs in the last two years,” he said. “I am not growing any younger, but now am feeling much like the 2003 Tarundeep when I first got into the Indian side,” he stated. The 36-year-old, who has already secured a quota for India at the 2021 Olympics along with Atanu and Pravin Jadhav, still could not forget India’s elimination against Japan in the first of the elimination round in 2012 London Games. “Japan rallied to take the match to tie-break after we were leading 4-2. In the last set, I hit one shot at 8. Given a chance, I would have liked to convert that into a 10,” Tarundeep, who took part in 2004 Games too, stated. With no international or domestic competitions scheduled in the near future, the Sikkim archer agreed that it’s difficult to keep the focus. “It’s always better to have an objective in front. But I understand under these unusual conditions, we need to just keep practising hard,” he said.