MAY 4, 2005
Australian GP gets end of March date?
Reports in Australia indicate that the Australian Grand Prix will be run on April 2 next year, clashing with the start of the Aussie Rules football season and will come just a few days after the end of the Commonwealth Games. The race will take place just four days after the closing ceremony of the games. It seems that the date has been agreed between F1 boss Bernie Ecclestone and Ron Walker, who is chairman of both the Games and the Grand Prix. In order to avoid problems the track will be set up as usual in January and February and will then sit unused for a month. The race will go back to its normal early March slot in 2007.
The date of the race has still got to go to the FIA World Council but the dates are usually dictated by Ecclestone.
Walker said that there are problems with the calendar for next year because of the soccer World Cup in Germany between May 31 and June 30. Formula 1 will be out of Europe in Canada and the United States for much of June (as usual) but there are likely to be problems at the end of the month, probably with the French Grand Prix.
Walker said that the decision to go after the Games was because in April the weather is not so good as Australia has switched to daylight saving. He also said that it is good for tourism as some of the visitors for the Games will stay on for the Grand Prix.
It is thought that Bahrain will get the first race in 2006 with Malaysia following and Australia as the third race.
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