Michael Schumacher's return to F1 has boosted ticket sales for the 2010 Australian Grand Prix.

The Melbourne race has lost its coveted opening calendar slot to Bahrain, but Australian Grand Prix Corporation chief Drew Ward revealed on Monday that ticket sales are higher than at the same point last year.

The Herald Sun newspaper said the increased figure is 20 per cent compared with 2009.

"The Schumacher factor has made a big difference," said Ward at the media launch of the event at Albert Park.