Alex Palmer Writes...
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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Next Race Session

United States
SessionLondon UKUnited States Circuit
Practice 1Friday 20 October
4.00 pm
Friday 20 October
10.00 am
Practice 2Friday 20 October
8.00 pm
Friday 20 October
2.00 pm
Practice 3Saturday 21 October
5.00 pm
Saturday 21 October
11.00 am
QualifyingSaturday 21 October
10.00 pm
Saturday 21 October
4.00 pm
RaceSunday 22 October
8.00 pm
Sunday 22 October
2.00 pm

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
1HamiltonMercedes306
2VettelFerrari247
3BottasMercedes234
4RicciardoRed Bull192
5RäikkönenFerrari148
6VerstappenRed Bull111
7PerezForce India82
8OconForce India65
9SainzToro Rosso48
10HulkenbergRenault34
11MassaWilliams34
12StrollWilliams32
13GrosjeanHaas28
14MagnussenHaas15
15VandoorneMcLaren13
16AlonsoMcLaren10
17PalmerRenault8
18WehrleinSauber5
19KvyatToro Rosso4
20ButtonMcLaren0
21EricssonSauber0
22GiovinazziSauber0

2017 Constructor Leaderboard

PlaceTeamPoints
1Mercedes540
2Ferrari395
3Red Bull303
4Force India147
5Williams66
6Toro Rosso52
7Haas43
8Renault42
9McLaren23
10Sauber5