The Formula 1 season usually kicks off with the Australian Grand Prix in Melbourne. It is a popular event which generally draws over 100,000 spectators on race day and feels incredibly well organised. Its support program includes, amongst others, a V8 Supercars round and the local Porsche Carrera Cup, as well as a variety of other events such as stunts bikers or jet fighter planes joining the party.
Being so close to the Central Business District (CBD), you can feel the vibe of the race weekend both in and outside the track. Australia is a sports-mad nation and the support for their drivers is phenomenal. Expect Daniel Ricciardo to be cheered on as well as the usual strong support for Ferrari.
The race itself is generally action packed, with a high probability of restart behind the safety car at some point during the 58 laps. The weekend also provides an opportunity to assess the true competitiveness of the new cars and driver line-ups after a couple of winter tests.
Melbourne has plenty to offer besides the grand prix. Its much talked about restaurant, shopping and culture scenes make it worth considering for an extended stay. Melbourne airport is also well linked and the city can be a good base to explore this part of the world.
The 2017 FIA World Endurance Championship calendar features a schedule of nine rounds similar to 2016. The only change being the Mexico race moving from a Saturday to a Sunday slot.
Whilst there will still be some clashes with the F1 calendar, the Azerbaijan Grand Prix held in Baku will now take place on the weekend following the Le Mans 24 Hours, rather than on the Sunday morning of the WEC's marquee event.
The rounds affected by an F1 race are the 6 Hours of Silverstone (Bahrain Grand Prix), the 6 Hours of Mexico City (Italian Grand Prix) and the 6 Hours of COTA (Singapore GP), with the latter two being in a different time zone/slot.
Once again, two rounds can be done back-to-back with a Formula 1 race. The Japanese Grand Prix, held in Suzuka, takes place on the week prior to the 6 Hours of Fuji (both located within proximity of Nagoya) and in the Middle-East, the 6 Hours of Bahrain are followed by the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix eight days later.