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F1 announces Melbourne launch event

Formula One has announced that the 2019 season will get underway with its first ever launch event, in downtown Melbourne on March 13, ahead of the Australian Grand Prix.

The event will follow the format of last year’s London F1 Live event, which saw the majority of the drivers and team principals interviewed on stage. F1 has promised that the Melbourne event will involve all 20 drivers, including reigning world champion Lewis Hamilton.

The launch event, which will take place in the Australian city’s Federation Square and be free to attend, will also feature former stars of the sport and high-profile musical acts alongside activations from F1’s sponsors.

In November, Chloe Targett-Adams, F1’s global director of promoter and business relations, told SportBusiness that festival-style fan events were a cornerstone of Liberty Media’s future strategy for F1, as it looks to transition the property from a sport to an entertainment and lifestyle brand.

The news follows yesterday’s statement from the Formula One Promoters’ Association (FOPA) expressing concern at the way the sport was being run.