LONDON (Reuters) – Next year’s season-opening Australian Formula One Grand Prix in Melbourne will move forward to March 20 after previously being listed for a later than usual start on April 3, organizers said on Wednesday.

“The change of the date is part of a number of changes on a provisional calendar issued by the World Motor Sport Council,” they said in a statement on the official race website (

The April 3 date would have been the latest start to a championship since 1988.

The governing International Automobile Federation (FIA) was due to publish the latest draft calendar later on Wednesday after ratification by its World Motor Sport Council. The previous draft had a record 21 rounds.

Singapore had objected to having its September race back-to-back with neighboring Malaysia while teams had also expressed concern about the effect on personnel if the August break was shortened from the usual three weeks.

(Reporting by Alan Baldwin, editing by Ken Ferris)


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