Formula One’s 21-race calendar is approved

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              FILE - In this file photo dated, Friday, March 23, 2018, a Renault car drives down pit lane during the first practice session at the Australian Formula One Grand Prix in Melbourne.  Formula One's 21-race calendar for the 2019 season has been approved by the governing body FIA, with Melbourne as usual hosting the season-opening Australian Grand Prix at Albert Park on upcoming March 17, 2019. (AP Photo/Rick Rycroft, FILE)
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ST. PETERSBURG, Russia (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. Typically, drivers who have made several unauthorized engine-part changes are hit with a penalty of 20-25 places — which sends them to the back of the grid.

But it can be confusing to understand who’s starting from where and from how far back if several of the 20 drivers have the same penalty imposed.