Alex Palmer Writes
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It was sad to read this morning that the Malaysian authorities are now certain the missing Malaysian Airlines 777 has crashed into the Indian Ocean with no survivors.  This terrible tragedy rates a mention in my F1 blog for a couple of reasons.  Firstly because a number of teams and drivers with connections to Asia (Caterham and Mercedes in particular) have been visibly throwing their support behind  the search for the missing plane, including the Mercedes team running the hastag "#PrayForMH370 " on their cars during promo events in Malaysia and for the race weekend.  Secondly, because there has been quite a bit of coverage of hotels asking international media covering the search, and relatives/friends of those on the missing plane, to move out of the hotels which have been booked for F1 patrons, teams and media for 12 months.  I do hope there will be some sort of tribute or recognition over the race weekend.....

On a brighter note, as the last of the drivers and teams arrive in Malaysia, the reliability talk has resurfaced off the back of the extremely hot temperatures predicted for this weekend, although there seems to be a reasonable chance of a tropical downpour during qualifying and maybe also during the race.  Will we see a noticeable power improvement from Ferrari, and will Mercedes run Hamilton with the same engine that let him down in Melbourne?  And with the appeal over Ricciardos exclusion from Melbournes result (set down for 14 April) and the questions around fuel flow rate result in a conservative strategy for Red Bull?  I am unsure who to back for the win this week, but I think it would be a safe bet that Lotus will probably have another weekend to forget!

A couple of random thoughts to finish with.  For any Williams-Martini Racing fans out there, the new team wear should be available soon (did anyone else think the pit crew looked like storm troopers with their white helmets??) and most of the other teams will release their full 2014 range on 1 April via the formula1.com online shop.   Dont forget that the Bahrain night race is the weekend immediately after this one, and then theres a couple of weeks until the race in China which falls on the Easter long weekend.

Keep an eye out for my next post later in the week - it will have a distinctly Italian flavour.... Pasta Maldonado anyone??

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2019 Calendar

RaceGrand PrixRace Day
1AustraliaSunday 17 March
2BahrainSunday 31 March
3ChinaSunday 14 April
4AzerbaijanSunday 28 April
5SpainSunday 12 May
6MonacoSunday 26 May
7CanadaSunday 9 June
8FranceSunday 23 June
9AustriaSunday 30 June
10Great BritainSunday 14 July
11GermanySunday 28 July
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21Abu DhabiSunday 1 December

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9Ricciardo34
10Kvyat33
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3266
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