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THE greatest era of Peter Brock’s racing career began 40 years ago today.

And, appropriately enough, it began with a win. Two of them, actually.

February 5, 1978 saw the prodigal son return to the pride lands, rejoining the Holden Dealer Team with whom he’d made his name.

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NO DICE: One role Lowndes won’t pursue after Supercars career

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Motorsport

France Grand Prix, F1, live qualifying, blog practice results, times, results, Daniel Ricciardo, video highlights

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Welcome to live coverage of the French Grand Prix at Circuit Paul Ricard. Follow all the live action in our blog below!

Surprise, surprise Max Verstappen has topped practice ahead of qualifying tonight, heading the times by 0.747s from his closest rival, Mercedes’ Valtteri Bottas, as Carlos Sainz finished an impressive third for Ferrari.

After being locked in a tight battle with Botttas and Lewis Hamilton for the majority of the session, Verstappen clocked a stunning 1m 21.300s lap with 13 minutes to go.

Follow all the live action from qualifying in our blog below!

The Red Bull driver was the only person to record a lap under 92 seconds.

Australian Daniel Ricciardo rounded out the top 10 to continue his promising form.

Ricciardo was 10th after posting a 1:32:759

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SHOW TIME: The wolves are at Ricciardo’s door. This make-or-break moment will decide if they get in

LOVE: Ricciardo reveals Mad Max’s ‘weird as f***’ Red Bull romance

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Daniel Ricciardo on Max Verstappen, Christian Horner relationship, McLaren news, French Grand Prix

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Daniel Ricciardo’s relationship with former team Red Bull continues to fascinate Formula 1 fans.

Three years since his bombshell decision to leave the team for Renault and then for McLaren, questions are still being asked with some simply unable to comprehend the move.

Ricciardo has now given another morsel of information about his motivation for leaving

The 31-year-old has always rejected suggestions he was forced out when former teammate Max Verstappen took the unofficial position as top dog of the Red Bull garage.

That relationship between Verstappen and red Bull boss Christian Horner has been the bedrock of the Red Bull operation, and Ricciardo has now revealed just how unnervingly close the romance is between the pair — at least in the eyes of Horner.

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Ricciardo said in a podcast released on Friday (AEST) Horner’s affection for Verstappen borders on obsessive.

“It’s weird as f***,” Ricciardo said with a giggle on the Pardon My Take podcast.

“So like he was his best man at his wedding. Godfather to his children. He even moved into the farmhouse next door, so it was getting a lot.”

Never a dull moment with Daniel Ricciardo.Source: Getty Images

Ricciardo then went on to further defend his decision to leave the team.

“So at the time the Red Bull to Renault thing, a lot of people couldn’t understand it,” he said.

“So I was downgrading, if you want to call it that. But I felt like at Red Bull I kind of reached my limit. I’d been with the team for so long and I knew everyone. I was like I’m not sure I’m really going to put in any more effort into this if I keep going.

“It doesn’t really sound right, but basically I was worried I was going to get complacent. Just sort of seeing the same people every day. I wanted a new challenge. And I also felt like Renault was an up-and-comer.”

There was scope for Ricciardo to return to Red Bull for the start of the 2021 season after his move from Renault, but there was never any talk of the two parties entertaining the idea.

The hottest romance in Formula 1.Source: Getty Images

When it became clear it simpy wasn’t working out with Alex Albon and Pierre Gasly, Red Bull were looking for a new driver, but it never appeared to even glance in Ricciardo’s direction.

Popular Sky Sports pit lane commentator Ted Kravitz had his own theory earlier this year.

He said in a podcast there still seemed to be lingering tension between Ricciardo and senior figures at Red Bull, including the team’s special advisor Helmut Marko.

Ricciardo, however, appears to still enjoy a friendly relationship with Red Bull boss Christian Horner.

“It looked like Red Bull weren’t going to go back to Daniel Ricciardo, or maybe they just hadn’t thought of it,” Kravitz told the In the Fast Lane podcast.

“I think they’re still annoyed really, (about) the way he left them actually.

“I think (Red Bull advisor) Helmut Marko hasn’t really forgiven him, for disappearing off to Renault of all people, which was kind of the final insult.

“If you’re going to leave us, OK, but don’t leave us for Renault, our dreaded rivals and ex-engine partners.”

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Start time, how to watch, times, Shane van Gisbergen, blog, updates

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Supercars series leader Shane van Gisbergen was left scratching his head on Friday after a trying opening day of practice at the Darwin Triple Crown.

Van Gisbergen could only manage the 11th and seventh quickest times in first and second practice respectively ahead of Saturday’s qualifying at 12.05pm (AEST) and Race 12 at 3.55pm.

The Red Bull Ampol Racing driver’s first session was curtailed by a vibration with his front splitter.

The 32-year-old entered the event 190 points to the good, having extended his series lead at the OTR SuperSprint despite failing to win a race.

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RACE CENTRE: Darwin Triple Crown

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We just had too many car problems today, and I’m not too sure why,” he said.

“It’s hard to get the balance of the car right when we’ve got mechanical issues.

“We’ve got braking problems, the splitter is vibrating, steering is vibrating, and on top of that it’s bloody hot.”

It was a far brighter story for teammate Jamie Whincup, who set the quickest time in the second session.

Whincup was the only driver to break into the 1:05s bracket, with Team 18’s Scott Pye impressing into second.

Van Gisbergen, meanwhile, was 0.2657s off the pace, having been 0.4654s off Practice 1 pacesetter Nick Percat earlier in the day.

This appeared in Superscars.com and was republished with consent.

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