The 2016 Formula 1 season will now get underway on March 20 after organisers of the Australian Grand Prix confirmed the race has been brought forward.
A draft schedule released earlier this year had the season-opener at Albert Park pencilled in for April 3, which would have marked the latest start to a season since 1988.
However, it will now take place two weeks earlier and further changes are expected to the 21-season race.
"The date for the 2016 Formula 1 Australian Grand Prix has changed to 17-20 March," a statement on the Australian Grand Prix website said. "The change of the date is part of a number of changes on a provisional calendar issued by the World Motor Sport Council.
"The race will remain the first race of the Formula 1 season."
The World Motor Sport Council is expected to release the full 2016 calendar on Wednesday.