Alex Palmer Writes...
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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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