Formula 1 has strengthened its partnership with Rolex, announcing it as a title sponsor for the eighth consecutive year.

The announcement comes as F1 revealed that the first race of the next FIA Formula 1 World Championship will be the Formula 1 Rolex Australian Grand Prix 2020, which will take place at The Albert Park Grand Prix Circuit in Melbourne from Thursday 12 to Sunday 15 March.

Chase Carey, Chairman and CEO, Formula 1 commented: “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, detailed: “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.”

Arnaud Boetsch, Rolex SA Communication & Image Director, said: “The Rolex Australian Grand Prix is always eagerly anticipated, marking the start of another exciting Formula 1 season. This is the pinnacle of motorsport, where success is built on cutting-edge technology, skill and teamwork.

“Rolex is dedicated to the pursuit of perfection in everything it does and we are delighted to enter our eighth year as Title Sponsor of this season-opening race in Melbourne.”