Alex Palmer Writes
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And here I was thinking Bahrain is a desert where it never rains.....

The race weekend has apparently started with a bang as a number of reports from those in and around the circuit are reporting hail, torrential winds and thunder and lightening as a storm more typical for Malaysia or Singapore passed over the track this morning. But it wasn't enough to deter Alnso who has just completed his mandatory physical seeking clearance from the F1 medical team to race this weekend. Some reports from the medical facility have quoted Alonso as "...feeling fine..." and wanting to race but the decision rests with the medical team who will hopefully give him the all clear shortly. If he didn't race, one wonders whether McLaren would actually put their Honda-affiliated but untried in F1 reserve driver in the car for the weekend, or whether they might consider offering the job to one of the ex-drivers hanging around the media centre. Although in reflection they might prefer to stick to driving their hire cars - which probably go faster anyway.

In other devastating news it seems that despite the applause in Melbourne when the ground announcer advised the new knock-out quali would be scrapped before Bahrain, it is in fact going ahead this weekend. Seems to have been a communications issue around what teams could / could not decide, probably compounded by the fact that a certain important Bernie seems to have objected streniously to an open letter from the Grand Prix Driver's Association (GPDA) this week which may have been questioning the current direction of the sport. In my view, it was no more or less than what much of the F1 fan base have been saying for months - and it did get a direct (albeit rather snobby and arrogant in my view) response from said Bernie.

Rather than tipping winning drivers, or betting on who will end up on pole (cough, Hamilton, cough), why don't we put bets on when the last lap will occur in Q3?? For mine, I reckon the drivers will be out of their cars with 4mins 30seconds to run in Q3. On the positive side, it means I can go to bed 4:30mins earlier given this weekend's action is around midnight eastern Australian time.

Which is a timely reminder to our Aussie readers - if you are setting DVRs for the race at 1am Sunday morning, don't get caught with the end of daylight saving this weekend!!

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Practice 3Saturday 29 September
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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
14ItalySunday 2 September
15SingaporeSunday 16 September
16RussiaSunday 30 September
17JapanSunday 7 October
18United StatesSunday 21 October
19MexicoSunday 28 October
20BrazilSunday 11 November
21Abu DhabiSunday 25 November

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2Vettel241
3Räikkönen174
4Bottas171
5Verstappen148
6Ricciardo126
7Hulkenberg53
8Alonso50
9Magnussen49
10Perez46
11Ocon45
12Sainz38
13Gasly28
14Grosjean27
15Leclerc15
16Vandoorne8
17Ericsson6
18Stroll6
19Hartley2
20Sirotkin1

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2415
3274
491
576
658
732
830
921
107