To mark the start of the 2019 FIA Formula One World Championship, Formula 1® has announced Melbourne will play host to the inaugural season launch event on Wednesday 13 March, ahead of the Formula 1® Rolex Australian Grand Prix 2019.
Taking place in the pulsating heart of the city, fans will have the opportunity to see all 20 drivers and 10 team principals descend on Federation Square, all together, to open the season for the first time in the sport’s history.
The free public event, organised in partnership with the Australian Grand Prix Corporation (AGPC), has been especially created for fans to engage with teams and drivers as they participate in a live stage show, bringing the heroes of Formula 1® to the fans.
Fans are invited, to watch the teams and drivers arrive and walk through the iconic square, recreating the famous Melbourne Walk, which is one of the symbols of the race at the Albert Park circuit.
The event will also be supported by an exciting entertainment line-up featuring some of the sport’s legends and an array of music acts, adding to the vibrant atmosphere ahead of the race weekend.
The event will also be streamed across Formula 1®’s social platforms to ensure fans across the world don’t miss out on the action. Global partners Rolex, Emirates, Heineken, DHL and Pirelli will also be supporting the launch, hosting a variety of activity for fans to take part in.
Sean Bratches, Managing Director Commercial Operations, Formula 1®, said: “Since 1996, except on two occasions, Formula 1®, the greatest racing spectacle in the world has kicked off its year in Melbourne and 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 are incredibly excited to be putting on such a spectacle for our fans. It’s vital that we put them at the heart of everything we do, and this event provides us with a platform to engage with fans not just locally but also globally. The 2019 season also marks another historic moment for the sport as we celebrate our 1000th Grand Prix in China later this year and we are excited to see all the teams come together to kick off the season with a bang”.
Martin Pakula MP, Victorian Minister for Tourism, Sport and Major Events, said: “This is a once in a lifetime event for lovers of motorsport, and there is no better place to host the first-ever Formula 1® season launch event than Melbourne - Australia’s major events capital. We are excited to be hosting a fantastic event that will attract legions of supporters from around the world and give Victorian F1® fans a chance to meet their heroes.”
The Lord Mayor of Melbourne, The Hon. Sally Capp, said: “We’re delighted to be a part of the Formula 1® Season Launch ahead of the much-anticipated Formula 1® Rolex Australian Grand Prix 2019 coming to town.
“Melburnians and visitors alike will be able to come together in Melbourne’s civic centre at Federation Square and get a free taste of the Grand Prix’s electric atmosphere, while seeing some of racing’s greatest athletes up-close.
“The City of Melbourne is proud to support the Grand Prix which sees more visitors to our city, providing a welcome boost to our cafes, retail stores and restaurants.”
Visit Victoria CEO, Peter Bingeman, said: “The more people around the world talking about Melbourne and Victoria, the better, and the Formula 1® Australian Grand Prix gives us wonderful global exposure.
“There’s nothing like showing Melbourne off to the world during the Grand Prix, the crowds, the atmosphere, and of course, the cars make it a once in a lifetime experience in this global city.”
Australian Grand Prix Corporation CEO, Andrew Westacott, said: “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.
“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.”