Alex Palmer Writes...
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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2017 Calendar

RaceGrand PrixRace Day
1AustraliaSunday 26 March
2ChinaSunday 9 April
3BahrainSunday 16 April
4RussiaSunday 30 April
5SpainSunday 14 May
6MonacoSunday 28 May
7CanadaSunday 11 June
8AzerbaijanSunday 25 June
9AustriaSunday 9 July
10Great BritainSunday 16 July
11HungarySunday 30 July
12BelgiumSunday 27 August
13ItalySunday 3 September
14SingaporeSunday 17 September
15MalaysiaSunday 1 October
16JapanSunday 8 October
17United StatesSunday 22 October
18MexicoSunday 29 October
19BrazilSunday 12 November
20Abu DhabiSunday 26 November

2017 Driver Leaderboard

PlaceDriverTeamPoints
1HamiltonMercedes363
2VettelFerrari317
3BottasMercedes305
4RäikkönenFerrari205
5RicciardoRed Bull200
6VerstappenRed Bull168
7PerezForce India100
8OconForce India87
9SainzToro Rosso54
10HulkenbergRenault43
11MassaWilliams43
12StrollWilliams40
13GrosjeanHaas28
14MagnussenHaas19
15AlonsoMcLaren17
16VandoorneMcLaren13
17PalmerRenault8
18KvyatToro Rosso5
19WehrleinSauber5
20ButtonMcLaren0
21EricssonSauber0
22GaslyToro Rosso0
23GiovinazziSauber0
24HartleyToro Rosso0

2017 Constructor Leaderboard

PlaceTeamPoints
1Mercedes668
2Ferrari522
3Red Bull368
4Force India187
5Williams83
6Renault57
7Toro Rosso53
8Haas47
9McLaren30
10Sauber5