Alex Palmer Writes...
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.

S5 Box


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

5RicciardoRed Bull200
6VerstappenRed Bull168
7PerezForce India100
8OconForce India87
9SainzToro Rosso54
18KvyatToro Rosso5
22GaslyToro Rosso0
24HartleyToro Rosso0

2017 Constructor Leaderboard

3Red Bull368
4Force India187
7Toro Rosso53