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Early starting F1 calendar approved

The Associated PressST. PETERSBURG (AP) — Formula One’s 21-race calendar for 2019 has been approved, with Melbourne as usual hosting the season-opening Australian Grand Prix at Albert Park on March 17.

Governing body FIA said after a meeting of its World Motor Sport Council in St. Petersburg on Wednesday that 11 races would be held in Europe, five in Asia, four in the Americas and one in Australia.

The season will start one week earlier and finish one week later.

FIA said the cars would be heavier — with a weight limit increase from 740 kilograms to 743 — and that fuel handling procedures during testing are to be the same as during racing.

There will also be more clarity on how grid positions are formed when drivers are hit with multiple engine penalties.

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