A news source in Australia has all but confirmed that Melbourne has lost its status as the opening race of the Formula One calendar, with the race in Bahrain provisionally scheduled to start the bumper 2014 season...
The hugely controversial grand prix in Bahrain will be in early March, a couple of weeks earlier than the traditional season opener at Albert Park outside Melbourne.
"Our preference is to retain the third weekend in March," Australian Grand Prix Corporation chief Andrew Westacott told the Sunday Herald Sun.
Westacott was unconcerned about suggestions that crowd numbers might be affected by the race's altered status.
"The grand prix ran on the first weekend in April (in 2006) and estimated attendance remained strong with crowds in excess of 300,000," he insisted.
The exact calendar for the 2014 season will be confirmed in August and is expected to feature an unprecedented 21 races after it was confirmed that Russian and New Jersey will host grands prix.