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Hamilton tops best driver poll of Formula One bosses, Verstappen distant second

Hamilton tops best driver poll of Formula One bosses, Verstappen distant second


reuters
LONDON
Formula One team bosses have voted Lewis Hamilton as the sport's top driver for the fourth year in a row but Mercedes team mate Valtteri Bottas slipped to 10th place in the rankings.
The poll, published by motorsport.com on Thursday, put four times world champion Hamilton far ahead of closest rival Max Verstappen.
Bottas, winner of three races this year after joining as now-retired 2016 world champion Nico Rosberg's replacement, was listed in 10th place after bosses awarded points according to the regular F1 scoring system.
That represented a drop of one place on where Bottas had been with Williams in 2016.
Hamilton scored 233 out of a maximum 250, with Red Bull's Verstappen on 143. Ferrari's 2017 championship runner-up Sebastian Vettel, also a four times champion, was third and Red Bull's Daniel Ricciardo fourth.
Force India's Mexican Sergio Perez dropped out of the top 10 entirely but his French team mate Esteban Ocon made his entry in fifth place, one ahead of McLaren's double world champion Fernando Alonso.
Ferrari's Kimi Raikkonen and Renault's Carlos Sainz tied in seventh place with Renault's Nico Hulkenberg a new entry at ninth.

Formula One approves 21-race calendar for 2018
A 21-race calendar has been approved for the 2018 Formula One motor-racing season.
The season will begin on March 25 with the Australian Grand Prix in Melbourne and end again with the Abu Dhabi GP, on November 25, the World Motor Sport Council of governing body FIA agreed in Paris on Thursday.
The programme includes the German Grand Prix, back after a year's absence, at Hockenheim on July 22, and sees the return of the French Grand Prix, at Le Castellat, for the first time since 2008. Malaysia is no longer on the calendar.
The US Grand Prix in Austin, Texas on October 21 is still subject to confirmation.
Following a series of security incidents in Brazil ahead of this year's Brazilian GP, including a robbery at gunpoint involving Mercedes personnel, the promoter is"strongly urged" to implement new security measures for next year's race.
An FIA statement said the commercial rights holder"recommended that the promoter, who is responsible for the security of the event, retains an independent security expert to evaluate and advise on security plans, implements a police reporting hub at the circuit and improves overall communication between the promoter security, police and F1 stakeholders."
It added:"The FIA will offer to participate in discussions with the local authorities and closely monitor the situation."

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