The 2016 Formula 1 calendar looks set to start later and end earlier in a move to create shorter gaps between races.
The opening Australian Grand Prix will take place on April 3rd, two weeks later than its usual mid-March slot according to race organisers.
The later start will also mean the race itself starts earlier due to daylight saving time. A 3pm local start time is likely to account for an earlier sunset.
“It’s fantastic that Melbourne will again play host to the opening round of the FIA Formula One World Championship,” said Australian GP chairman Andrew Westacott.
“Over the past 20 years Melbourne has become synonymous with the start of a new Formula One season, and we look forward to again welcoming all the teams and drivers to our great city in 2016.
“The new date will see an earlier start time, and fans can expect the same great on-track action and off-track entertainment across the four days.”
It’s not yet clear exactly why Formula One Management have opted for a later start to the season, but it’s suspected they want to reduce the gaps between races with more back-to-backs to keep interest high.
Some races this season, such as the current gap between Bahrain and Spain, is as long as three weeks.
It could also be part of a plan to reduce costs, with race staff often returning to Europe between races to reduce hotel costs.