Melbourne's Federation Square to host inaugural Formula 1 season launch

Melbourne is getting set to create some more history, with the city to host the first-ever season launch event ahead of the Formula 1 Rolex Australian Grand Prix 2019.

The 2019 Grand Prix - to be held across 14-17 March 2019 - will be preceded by the launch event, which will be held on 13 March.

Federation Square, nestled in the guts of Melbourne, will host the free event, which will see all 20 drivers and all 10 team principals turn out for the first time.
The event will also feature a raft of music performances, as well as some appearances from Formula 1 legends.

It will give fans a chance to see their favourite drivers, in one place, all at the same time. For Aussie fans, they'll get a closer look at Daniel Ricciardo in new gear, with the Perth-born 29-year-old to drive for Renault in 2019.

Bar 2006 (when the city hosted the Commonwealth Games) and 2010, Albert Park has played host to the opening Grand Prix of the season since 1996, with Melbourne abuzz with local fans and tourists, all keen to get as close as they can to the action.

The sport is growing steadily - seven Grands Prix in 2018 attracted crowds of over 200,000, with the Melbourne weekend the third-most attended Grand Prix with 295,000, behind Great Britain (340,000) and Mexico (334,946). The average attendance per race weekend was up by 2.7 per cent over the 2017 figures.

Formula 1's global partners - Rolex, Emirates, Heineken, DHL and Pirelli - will support the launch at Federation Square, with fans to be treated with several activities beyond the driver appearances. The launch will also be live-streamed across Formula 1's social channels, so fans can watch from afar.
"Since 1996, except on two occasions, Formula 1, the greatest racing spectacle in the world, has kicked off its year in Melbourne," Formula 1 managing director of commercial operations Sean Bratches said. "There really couldn't be a location better than this fantastic city. The passion, knowledge and enthusiasm of the Melbourne crowd deserved a special thanks and this is why we have decided to organise the first ever season launch event in the history of the sport.

"We're immensely proud and honoured to host the first ever Formula 1 season launch event on the eve of the Formula 1 Rolex Australian Grand Prix 2019," Australian Grand Prix Corporation chief executive Andrew Westacott added. "From Formula 1 superstars and electric music acts, to the ultimate fan engagement opportunities, the Federation Square takeover will be the biggest celebration of the sport Melbourne has ever seen."

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