Aus MotoGP, Supercars To Avoid Clash In 2018

Formula 1's new masters are set to clear the way for the Australian Grand Prix to avoid clashing with the start of the AFL season next year after agreeing to the Supercars' support races gaining championship status.

American conglomerate Liberty Media, which secured the commercial rights to F1 in a multibillion-dollar takeover, has reacted favourably to restoring the season-opening race at Melbourne's Albert Park to its traditional mid-March dates.

The Formula One circus is likely to hit Melbourne in mid-March next year.
The Formula One circus is likely to hit Melbourne in mid-March next year.  Photo: AP

Race organisers have targeted March 15-18 – a week earlier than this year – for the 2018 grand prix to avoid a conflict with the opening round of the AFL premiership.

F1's new management readily approved the long-awaited upgrading of Supercars' AGP support races to count towards the V8 title and that same spirit of co-operation has extended to negotiations over the dates for next year's event.

"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," Australian Grand Prix Corporation chief executive Andrew Westacott told Fairfax Media.

This year's race was held a week later to accommodate a compression of the F1 calendar from late March to early November.


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