The Australian Grand Prix will host the first round of the 2020 Formula 1 world championship on March 15, it has been confirmed.

Melbourne retains its slot as the season opener ahead of celebrating the 25th anniversary of its induction onto the F1 calendar back in 1996, hosting a grand prix every year since.

The event will run in between Labour Day in Victoria and the start of the Australian Football League season the following weekend.

Over 320,000 fans were in attendance over the four days at this year’s event as Valtteri Bottas claimed his first victory in over a year in a Mercedes one-two.

Chase Carey, Chairman and CEO, Formula 1 said: “We are pleased to announce that, as has been the case for many years now, the next FIA Formula 1 World Championship season will get underway in Melbourne.

“The Albert Park circuit is one of the most popular venues on the calendar, much appreciated by everyone who works in Formula 1.

“The enthusiastic reception from the Australian fans makes this round really unique and special. There can be no better place to start the 2020 season, which will be significant as the sport will celebrate its 70th anniversary.

“We are also pleased that Rolex, who have been one of our Global Partners for many years, will continue to be the title sponsor of the 2020 Australian Grand Prix.”

Andrew Westacott, Australian Grand Prix Corporation CEO, added: “Hosting Melbourne’s 25th Formula 1 race conjures excitement and interest, and as they said back in 1996, ‘Melbourne – what a great place for the race!’

“We’ve got the largest on-track program of any Formula 1 event in the world and combined with the amount and quality of off-track entertainment, there’s something for all and it’s an event that simply must be experienced.

“The date confirmation provides the opportunity for interstate and overseas visitors to plan a lengthy stay in Victoria.”

No further details on the 2020 calendar have been confirmed; next year’s schedule is set to feature the inaugural Vietnam Grand Prix and the return of the Dutch Grand Prix at Zandvoort.