Alex Palmer Writes
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So the race has been run and won, as 99.99% of the world probably predicted ( better leave a theoretical margin for people who didn't get it right ) the Silver Arrows dominated the race. The real story ( other than Hamilton's bling, the Terminator meets the Toto-nater, and some chic named Charlise flogging prime Melbourne real estate) was the disappearing field.

It went a little something like this - 20 cars turned up in Melbourne, and:

- one team discovered that rebooting doesn't always fix software issues and didn't get their cars out at all despite passing scrutineers get, joining the driver's parade and the class photo (anyone fancy sponsoring a Manor Marussia - plenty of prime real estate on cars and race suits) - then there was 18

- another team found themselves with 3 drivers, 2 super licences, one team principal on the run from a potential contemp of court summons and possibly a team of court officials looking to grab the team's assets in a move that would sink their season. Although this was great fodder for wags online ( good thing there was a 2-seater F1 car here this weekend), both cars and drivers with licences lined up for the race. So still 18.

- Bottas suffered a back injury on Daturday, and although he spent the night in hospital trying to recover the safety folks decided he couldn't get out of his car fast enough in an emergency - then there was 17.

- one McLaren Honda, and one Red Bull ( that's Daniil not Daniel) blew up during the warm-up - then there was 15.

- one Lotus had an uncontrollable urge to find a wall on turn 1(he's baa-aback, and no it's not Arnie) and the other had a failure - then there was 13.

- although Perez and Button did their best to end each other's races, it was rookie Max Verstappen (yup, another Renault) who stopped quickly when he spotted smoke - then there was 12.

- one Ferrari wheel man may find himself becoming good friends with the fishes after stuffing up two consecutive pit stops, the second of which resulted in the team retiring Kimi's car for safety reasons as the wheel wasn't properly attached. - then there was 11.

Which left Button as the sucker who did the whole race, but was the only driver not to get a point. On the positive side, the Honda engine lasted longer than all testing laps combined.

If you haven't seen the podium interviews, check it out on the official F1.com video - very funny (and great to see the F1 official approach to social media this year, about time!!)! Great end to a bit of a farcical weekend, roll on Malaysia - let's see what rain and heat do to the reliability of these 2015 cars. Oh, wait...... -

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2018 Calendar

RaceGrand PrixRace Day
1AustraliaSunday 25 March
2BahrainSunday 8 April
3ChinaSunday 15 April
4AzerbaijanSunday 29 April
5SpainSunday 13 May
6MonacoSunday 27 May
7CanadaSunday 10 June
8FranceSunday 24 June
9AustriaSunday 1 July
10Great BritainSunday 8 July
11GermanySunday 22 July
12HungarySunday 29 July
13BelgiumSunday 26 August
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16RussiaSunday 30 September
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18United StatesSunday 21 October
19MexicoSunday 28 October
20BrazilSunday 11 November
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9Gasly12
10Magnussen11
11Vandoorne6
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