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Australia F1 race promoters seeking date change for 2018

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The promoters of the Australian Grand Prix hope to bring the Formula 1 season-opener in Melbourne forward by one week for 2018, in order to avoid clashing with the start of the new Australian Football season.

This year’s race at Albert Park was staged on March 26, taking a later slot than usual as part of a push from F1 to create a more condensed calendar.

However, this created a date conflict between the grand prix and the start of the new AFL season, resulting in reduced media coverage in Australia for F1 as a result.

In a bid to resolve this, the Australian Grand Prix Corporation is now working with F1’s new owner, Liberty Media, to bring the race forward a week for 2018, eyeing a March 18 start to the season.

“We’re working with them and we’re very confident we’ll get an outcome, and if that works out to be March 18, then we’ll be very happy,” AGPC CEO Andrew Westacott told Fairfax Media.

“The first race of the season is going to be in Melbourne and we’re working with FOM on the date. Our desire would be to have it on March 18 and if it can’t be that, then it’s March 25.

“It’s one of those two dates.”

Liberty Media has already approved one change for the Australian Grand Prix weekend, allowing the V8 Supercars support race to become a points-paying event. It was previously a non-championship round so as to avoid detracting attention from the F1 race.