Australian GP ready to accept earlier date

Australian Grand Prix organisers have said they are happy to accept an earlier start to the 2016 Formula 1 season, as long as their race does not take place on Easter weekend.

Motorsport.com revealed at the weekend that F1 supremo Bernie Ecclestone is considering an overhaul of the start of the campaign, with the first race in Melbourne currently scheduled for April 3 to be brought forward.

It is understood Ecclestone had initially wanted it to be moved to March 27, but Australian GP organisers have ruled that out because they do not want the race to take place on Easter weekend when many locals leave town.

Instead, it is now looking likely that the first race will take place on March 20, although a race date of March 13 has not been ruled out either.

Australian GP CEO Andrew Westacott told Fairfax media: "It's not a problem. We'll conduct the race on whatever date suits the requirements of the global F1 calendar except Easter. Otherwise, we're open-minded.

"We're not assuming anything at this stage, but scheduling the F1 Australian Grand Prix over the Easter weekend is not acceptable."

The tweaked 2016 F1 calendar, which will also include a date change for the Malaysian GP, is due to be ratified by the FIA's World Motor Sport Council on Wednesday.

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About this article
Series Formula 1
Event Australian GP
Track Albert Park Circuit
Article type Breaking news