Australian Grand Prix organisers have announced its 2019 race will take place one week earlier than recent years to provide Formula 1 with a mid-March start for next season.

Albert Park officials have confirmed the Australian Grand Prix will continue to host the opening round of the F1 season with the Melbourne race taking place on March 17 in 2019, subject to formal ratification by the FIA at the next World Motor Sport Council meeting.

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It sees the race held one week earlier than this year to avoid clashing with the city’s Moomba Festival and the start of the Australian Football League season, as well as the Melbourne Food and Wine Festival and Melbourne Fashion Festival which are also held in March.

The date move also confirms the clash with the World Endurance Championship 1,000 miles of Sebring round, which is set to take place on the same weekend. This will provide a headache for Fernando Alonso, if he chooses to continue in F1 for next season, as it produces a direct clash with his Toyota efforts in WEC.

“To announce the Formula 1 Australian Grand Prix 2019 date more than eight months out from the event is fantastic news and we hope this will encourage overseas and interstate visitors to plan for a lengthy visit to Melbourne and Victoria,” Andrew Westacott, Australian Grand Prix Corporation CEO, said.

“We are immensely proud of the four-day spectacle Melbourne puts on and honoured to raise the curtain on one of the world’s most prestigious annual championships.

“The start of an F1 season, our Aussie superstar Daniel Ricciardo, a Supercars Championship round and so much off-track action – it’s a must-attend event in 2019!”

 

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