Alex Palmer Writes
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For once, let's start with a serious topic. Social media seems to be buzzing with annoyed F1 fans who've made the trek to Spielberg but have found that their dream of having a photo taken with the bull statue has been dashed because organisers / venue managers (or maybe Dietrich Mateschitz himself!) have put up a steel fence. Now I know that a few 'bits' of the bull went missing after last year's race, but to deny fans such an iconic moment seems a bit of an over-reaction. So if the bull is off-limits, I wonder what other iconic Austrian symbols the fans might like to get photos with - could this be the year of the lederhosen? I have heard that both Alan McNish and Eddie Jordan will be sporting said hosen at various times over the weekend, although somehow I don't think scotsmen in lederhosen is anywhere near as much of a fan magnet as the bull is/was.

Anyway, after the largely forgettable Baku weekend here's hoping we get an interesting race this weekend. The weather seems to be doing its part with storms predicted for Saturday and a cold day with morning rain clearing to showers for Sunday. Talk off the track seems to be focused around the driver market, with the usual speculation about the older drivers and their plans increasing in volume. Will Button make way for Van Doorne at McLaren by replacing Massa at Williams? Will Kimi survive at Ferrari or will one of the young guns take his seat in 2017? With Sainz locked away by Torro Rosso for another year, that does seem to open the door for Bottas or Grosjean - Red Bull seem to be confident they have Ricciardo secured for at least another season. Or will Ferrari stick with experience for the 2017 car given all the technical changes next year, and retain Kimi for one last tilt? The next few months should be intriguing.

And now for a spot of gossip........seems Jenson Button has found himself another model girlfriend, Lewis Hamilton is waterskiing with extended family but seemingly no dogs in Tennessee, Rosberg has been doing promo work for the German F1 round (of course he has.....), and the Red Bull family hosted a select group of the world's media onboard Dietrich Mateschitz' flagship Douglas DC-6 escorted by a selection of classic planes from the Red Bull airwing. If the tweets are to be believed (and I suspect they are, for once!) the DC-6 apparently used to belong to Yugoslavia and was Marshal Tito's private plane. Watch out for a feature on the DC-6 during the SkyF1 coverage this weekend.

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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
19MexicoSunday 28 October
20BrazilSunday 11 November
21Abu DhabiSunday 25 November

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2Hamilton163
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5Bottas104
6Verstappen93
7Hulkenberg42
8Alonso40
9Magnussen39
10Sainz28
11Ocon25
12Perez24
13Gasly18
14Leclerc13
15Grosjean12
16Vandoorne8
17Stroll4
18Ericsson3
19Hartley1
20Sirotkin0

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2267
3199
470
551
649
748
819
916
104