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Australian GP organizers pleasantly surprised by F1 calendar

Australian GP organizers pleasantly surprised by F1 calendar

Australian Grand Prix organizers on Saturday described the announcement that the Melbourne race will open the 2008 Formula One season as a welcome surprise.
The Australian Grand Prix Corporation last week said Melbourne had been shunted from its traditional place as season opener to the second race on the circuit.
Formula One boss Bernie Ecclestone reinstated the Australian GP, which has been the season opener every year except 2006, when it was moved due to Melbourne's staging of the Commonwealth Games.
"Bernie in the end decided that it was best to go back to where we were," AGPC chairman Ron Walker said.
"It is a surprise but a very welcome one."
The F1 season will open at Albert Park on March 16 with the second race in Malaysia on March 23 and the third in Bahrain on April 6 in the F1 race calendar released by the sport's world governing body FIA on Friday.
Australian GP organizers have resisted pressure to stage a night F1 race next year, which would better suit northern hemisphere television broadcasters, instead compromising with a later than usual start time. The 2008 race is expected to start at 3.30 p.m. local time _ one-and-a-half hours later than usual.
The new start time will enable European television viewers to watch the race later in the morning.
Singapore, with what is likely to be Formula One's first night race under floodlights, kicks off a trio of Far Eastern races with China on Oct 12 and Japan on Oct 19 before the season ends later than usual in Brazil on Nov 2.


Updated : 2021-10-18 18:11 GMT+08:00