Alex Palmer Writes
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Here we are again, the F1 world gathers in Melbourne for the first race of the season. As off-seasons go, it's been a reasonably interesting one with many rule changes debated and some (including the interesting new qualifying process) adopted, new teams and new liveries unveiled and pre-season testing completed. But some things have not changed - Mercedes' ominous form at winter testing has them odds-on favourites for another season of total domination, Hamilton continues to annoy/delight fans (depending on whether you're in the pro-Lewis or anti-Lewis camp) with his social media commentary, and the management of Red Bull continue to threaten to withdraw from the sport when they feel like it.

Having made the walk down pit lane this morning, I am really impressed with the colours on show across the garages. Fears of a drab grey / black season have been put to rest, with Haas mostly white/light gray with red feature markings, awesome flashes of burnt orange (or rocket red) along the sides of the McLaren, classy orange and bright blue on the Manor cars, the return of the distinctive yellow Renault colours and even the navy of the Red Bulls and Torro Rosso's was sparkling in this morning's bright sunshine. Although the first time the world sees the cars on TV it's likely to be raining or if we're lucky, just overcast (Melbourne looks set to turn on a charmer tomorrow with a strong cold front due around midnight and up to 20mm rain in the following 24hrs.

For those of you who have forgotten (lucky you!), podium interviews last year were conducted by Arnold Schwarzenegger - and apparently "....he's ba-aack..." in town this year for a guest appearance at a health and fitness expo. Will we see him pop up on the stage again come 6pm Sunday night? Let's get this season underway......

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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
17JapanSunday 7 October
18United StatesSunday 21 October
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21Abu DhabiSunday 25 November

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11Ocon25
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19Hartley1
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