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AFL 2019, F1 news: Nic Naitanui sledge on Daniel Ricciardo

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Daniel Ricciardo’s certainly loving right now.

A fresh start at Renault with a bumper contract to match and another crack at his home Grand Prix in front of a parochial and adoring Australian crowd.

And the 30-year-old F1 driver’s infectious joie de vivre was in full force on Fox Footy’s AFL 360 on Thursday night as Ricciardo reacted to a sledge from a fellow WA star.

West Coast ruckman Nic Naitanui got a laugh out of diehard Eagles supporter Ricciardo when delivered a cheeky message to his Perth pal.

NicNat's funny message to Dan

NicNat’s funny message to Dan

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F1 news 2019: Australian Grand Prix, Lewis Hamilton, Valtteri Bottas, Nico Rosberg, Mercedes, results, world championship

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Since entering the V6 hybrid era, only one driver has beaten Lewis Hamilton over the course of a season, but the man who did it, Nico Rosberg, is backing Valtteri Bottas to do the same.

Hamilton has won four of the last five drivers’ championships, with his then teammate Rosberg pipping him in 2016.

Rosberg retired shortly afterwards, as world champion, leaving Bottas to replace him, although the Finn has very much been seen as Mercedes’ No.2 driver ever since and has often been asked to sacrifice places to give Hamilton a better chance of winning more points.

Live stream the 2019 FIA Formula One World Championship on KAYO SPORTS. Every practice, qualifying & race live & anytime in HD. Get your 14 day free trial >

Bottas steals Australian GP

Bottas steals Australian GP

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F1 news 2019: Australian Grand Prix, Ross Brawn, overtaking, rule change, results

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Formula 1 chief Ross Brawn says he is encouraged by the sport’s new aerodynamic regulations, believing they improved overtaking and helped create “thrilling battles” at the Australian GP.

The changes, which include simplified, larger front and rear wings, were introduced for the 2019 season in a bid to allow cars to race closer together, thus increasing the chances of overtaking.

While it was hard to judge the new rules at the season-opener – Melbourne’s Albert Park is a street circuit and one of the narrowest tracks on the calendar – Brawn was pleased with what he saw.

Live stream the 2019 FIA Formula One World Championship on KAYO SPORTS. Every practice, qualifying & race live & anytime in HD. Get your 14 day free trial >

Ricciardo's horrid GP start

Ricciardo’s horrid GP start

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F1 news 2019: Australian Grand Prix, Ferrari, Charlie Whiting, Martin Brundle column, Valtteri Bottas, Mercedes

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That was an altogether strange weekend in Formula 1.

As ever, walking back into the paddock on a sunny Melbourne day for the start of another glorious season of F1 gave me a warm and comfortable feeling. I was, and remain, very excited about the year ahead.

Meeting up with people I’ve known for up to a third of a century, we most probably hadn’t spoken to each other since the last race 112 days before in Abu Dhabi, but nonetheless that’s how our professional relationships ebb and flow with the seasons.

Then Ross Brawn asked if he could have a quiet word with me on Thursday morning. His message was that Charlie Whiting had died in his sleep overnight. Boom, what a body blow for all of us who have enjoyed and benefitted from his company, laughter, and professionalism over so many decades. And a most significant moment for F1 itself, although not as much pain as for his family, of course.

Ricciardo's horrid GP start

Ricciardo’s horrid GP start

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