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F1 to hold season launch event in Australia

Daniel Ricciardo is all smiles during the 2018 drivers' parade before the Australian Grand Prix. Mark Thompson/Getty Images

LONDON, Jan 29 (Reuters) - Formula One will for the first time hold a season launch event with all the teams and drivers in Melbourne ahead of the opening Australian Grand Prix in March, the sport has announced.

The free public event on Wednesday, March 13, will involve all 20 race drivers and the 10 team principals in the city's Federation Square.

The teams are due to present their 2019 cars next month, either at individual team launches, online or the start of the first pre-season test at Barcelona's Circuit de Catalunya on Feb. 18.

They have resisted holding one joint car launch in the past in order to avoid some teams being overshadowed by others, and special events put on before races have not been attended by all drivers.

Lewis Hamilton, now a five-times world champion, famously missed an 'F1 Live' event in London that was attended by all his rivals and aimed to drum up publicity for the sport ahead of his home British Grand Prix in 2017.

Drivers usually spend the Wednesday before a grand prix carrying out individual sponsorship engagements.