Melbourne is set for a bumper first week of April next year after Formula One’s governing body moved the Australian Grand Prix back three weeks that is likely to clash with the start of the AFL season.
The FIA World Motor Sport Council on Friday in Mexico City released a provisional 2016 calendar, with the Australian GP at Albert Park to again open an expanded 21-race season.
However, the proposed date of the race is April 4, a bit later than this year’s edition held on March 15.
The AFL season kicked off in the first week of April this year in a round that included three games at the MCG and two matches at Etihad Stadium.
Whether the FIA’s decision affects the AFL’s scheduling remains to be seen, but it’s a bold call to put a Sunday Grand Prix head-to-head with the league’s opening round in the football-obsessed city.
The F1 season will feature a record 21 races, with Azerbaijan hosting one for the first time on July 17.
Abu Dhabi would host the final race on November 27 while Germany is due to return to the fold on July 31 after abruptly dropping out of the 2015 schedule.