Alex Palmer Writes
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For a non-race day, it certainly has been eventful - and not all the action has been on track at Albert Park. For starters, Giedovan der Guarde has been successful in having Sauber's appeal overturned (they didn't like the judge last time saying he should be racing, this lot of judges agreed). Whatever vdGuarde's motives, unless he can get a super licence by the time FP1 starts he can't get in the car anyway.. Seems Sauber now have three contracted drivers who all think they should be driving tomorrow, although vdGuarde is also taking action against Sauber and Monisha Kaltenborn along the lines of "if I can't drive, then no-one drivers". Tip for the punters out there, if you had Sauber in your end of season picks you might like to go for another team......

Then there has been the Marussia Manor news. I can confirm that they were building cars and pit booms around 9am local this morning, although the garage did still say Marussia (right driver names though!). Some late speculation that they just need to pass scruitineering (going on right now) and they will collect their prize money from last season even if they don't actually start the race.

Also it seems McLaren didn't want to play today, during the pit walk they had the shutters down and no team or cars in view. As a McLaren fan (yes folks, despite buying a few different team shirts as options in Austin last year I have decided to stick with Honda McLaren) I do hope they are competitive and we don't see a repeat of the gremlin that has laid Alonso low.

If you are on Twitter, don't forget to follow @f1infocentre for all the latest from the track over the weekend!

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How good is this revamped website? I will admit to a few technical challenges (turned out to be a "PBSAK" error) but hopefully normal service has now resumed. Or at least as normal as I can get.

There is the start of a winter chill in the air, Melbournians are complaining about the traffic chaos around Albert Park, Daniel Ricciardo is on EVERY TV show day and night (bet Webber doesn't miss that!), drivers and team staff are tweeting selfies from various tourist attractions and complaining about jetlag, and there is a story about Bernie Eccelstone in the local papers. All this can only mean one thing - F1 is BACK baby!!

In case you don't have time to read up on all the off-season happenings, here's the bare minimum you need to know before you head to the track or curl up on the couch (or set the alarm for my northern hemisphere friends):

1. Caterham won't be on the grid, their team has been sold for scrap (well, not really but just about everything they owned has been sold to pay the creditors).

2. Despite what you might see in pit lane, Marussia are NOT on the grid. Well, technically they aren't.....the team is know known by their official former name "Manor GP" but they are using Marrusia 2014 chassis ( which passed crash testing but didn't get to testing so it's anyone's guess whether they will make the race start). Will Stevens will pilot one car, as for the other.......anyone got a spare million Euro to contribute to funding my F1 dream?

3. Bianchi is still very unwell, but has been moved to France and some reports say he is breathing on his own. We here at (along with the whole F1 community) continue to wish him a speedy recovery.

4. Jenson Button got married, Lewis Hamilton broke up with his girlfriend (again), Kimi's son Robin was born in January and Grosjean announced about a month ago he and his wife are expecting baby number 2 during the northern summer.

5. Drivers can't change helmet designs this year, they have to pick one and stick with it. Will make the commentators lives a bit easier.

6. There are some teams with confusing driver pairings this year. Red Bull have Daniil and Daniel, Williams have Felipe Massa and Felipe Nasr (seriously!) and 75%of the grid seem to be driving silver-coloured cars. will make the commentators lives a bit harder.

7. Melbourne race starts an hour earlier this year to avoid the twilight and apparently make it safer. Really?? I thought it was so that all of us who have to go to work here in Melbourne on Monday get an extra hour to sober up after the race.....

More later in the week. Why not leave me a comment to let me know your thoughts on the season ahead?

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Congratulations to two-time World Drivers Champion (WDC), Lewis Hamilton.  But I was really really impressed with the way Nico Rosberg handled the post-race interviews, interactions with the media  - but most of all, I was really impressed with the way he conducted himself during the race when he realised the car was going to let him down.  His time will come, for sure.

For mine, the drive of the day - again - had to be Daniel Ricciardo, who cemented third place in the WDC with another barnstorming drive to put the underpowered Red Bull up into 4th place after starting from pit lane.  Watch out for this kid next year, hes going to be a real threat if Red Bull can give him a (legal) car that is competative.

Read more: 2014 - Done and dusted (or BBQd)

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Big news this week, members of the Caterham team (and crates of Caterham gear) have been spotted heading to Abu Dhabi off the back of the polarising Crowd Sourcing funding exercise.  It will be interesting to see just who turns up in the garage as the Team Principal, how many of the regular team turn up, and just how far into the race we get before the car(s) fail given the lack of preparation. Then theres the drivers.  Kobayashi has confirmed hell be there to drive his green machine but with Marcus Ericson out of action theres a lot of speculation as to who would pilot the other car.  A number of potential candidates have been mooted, but time has run out for those without a Super Licence to get one in time, which limits the pool.  And Caterham are probably going to ask for a significant payment from any driver who picks up the drive.  Which further limits the potential driver pool to those with the spare cash.

Read more: Caterhams baa-aack

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So its been an eventful 24hrs, first there is the great news that Jules Bianchi was considered stable enough to be moved from Japan to his home country of France where he can be close to family and friends as he continues to recover.  According to the statement from Marussia released on behalf of his family, Jules is no longer in a coma and is breathing unaided, but remains in a critical condition.

Then came the first reports of Marussia freight being seen at various places between the factory and Abu Dhabi.  Followed by the pictures of Ferrari staff who work in the Marussia garage appearing in the paddock, then the reports of Williams and Caterham being asked to move their kit (which theyd stored) in the Marussia garage in Abu Dhabi out of the garage.  Then about 3 hours later, the statement from key team folks including Max Chilton confirming that the last minute funding deal theyd thought they could get had fallen through and the team wont be able to make it after all.  It would be a real shame for the team to miss the last round and fail to be classified, because given theyve scored World Championship points this season (and other teams such as Caterham and Sauber havent) they were in for a financial windfall....

A number of folks have been sharing pictures of the sign at the entry to the paddock in Abu Dhabi - a really nice tribute to Jules Bianchi on this the last round of what has been an eventful (and nailbiting) 2014 season. 

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As we sit back to enjoy the Brazil GP later today (or generally ignore it as irrelevant given we know Rosberg has won the Pole Position Trophy now, but neither he nor Hamilton can grab the World Championship title in this race), its worth flagging a few things that have transpired since the wagon trains rolled out of Austin.  Or the planes, depending on your chosen method of transport.  After all it is the 21st century....right (*cough*) where was I??

Weve seen the unfortunate demise of two teams who have provided significant fodder for my musings over the past two years, with Caterham and Marussia both confirming they are in administration.  Interestingly, Caterhams administrators are said to have paid the FIA entry fee for both cars for 2015 (potentially to make the team more attractive to potential buyers assuming the current questions around who does actually own the team can be resolved in time!!) and they are currently seeking funding through a crowd-sourcing project to get their cars on the grid in Abu Dhabi for the 2014 season finale.  Personally, I think this is a travesty and I find myself in the usual position of agreeing with Mr E (the F1 big cheese) who I believe has been quite scathing about sourcing funds this way.  People - if you have spare funds, donate it to a local charity (or to the Brabham Racing Team ) rather than to a failed commercial entity whos administrator seems to think he can get other people to pay for his weekend at the F1 in Abu Dhabi if he can moonlight as a Team Owner. 

Read more: In the last week, the action has been mostly off the track!

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2019 Calendar

RaceGrand PrixRace Day
1AustraliaSunday 17 March
2BahrainSunday 31 March
3ChinaSunday 14 April
4AzerbaijanSunday 28 April
5SpainSunday 12 May
6MonacoSunday 26 May
7CanadaSunday 9 June
8FranceSunday 23 June
9AustriaSunday 30 June
10Great BritainSunday 14 July
11GermanySunday 28 July
12HungarySunday 4 August
13BelgiumSunday 1 September
14ItalySunday 8 September
15SingaporeSunday 22 September
16RussiaSunday 29 September
17JapanSunday 13 October
18MexicoSunday 27 October
19United StatesSunday 3 November
20BrazilSunday 17 November
21Abu DhabiSunday 1 December

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