File picture: Xinhua / Bai Xuefei.

Paris - Formula One’s governing body has officially signed off on the 21-race calendar for the 2019 world championship following a World Motor Sport Council meeting on Friday.

The calendar essentially confirms the provisional schedule released by F1’s owner Liberty Media in August.

The season will begin on March 17 at the Australian Grand Prix and finish on December 1 in Abu Dhabi. Europe gets 11 races while five will be held in Asia, four in the Americas and one in Australia.

China, however, will play host to Formula One’s milestone 1000th grand prix, scheduled for April 14.

17th March Australia Melbourne
31st March Bahrain Sakhir
14th April China Shanghai
28th April Azerbaijan Baku
12th May Spain Barcelona
26th May Monaco Monaco
9th June Canada Montreal
23rd June France Le Castellet
30th June Austria Spielberg
14th July Great Britain Silverstone
28th July Germany Hockenheim
4th August Hungary Budapest
1st September Belgium Spa
8th September Italy Monza
22nd September Singapore Singapore
29th September Russia Sochi
13th October Japan Suzuka
27th October Mexico Mexico City
3rd November USA Austin*
17th November Brazil Sao Paulo
1st December Abu Dhabi Yas Marina

The FIA also approved a number of technical rule changes, including the alignment of overtaking protocols once safety cars return to the pits.

This is to ensure that there is a consistent point at which drivers may overtake when the safety car returns to the pits, and this will now be the same in all three types of restart.

Furthermore, the teams will now be responsible for initial scrutineering of their cars. Before the cars go on track for the first time, teams must declare conformity with all safety related matters, says the FIA.

Finally, the official end-of-race signal will now be a chequered light panel, although the chequered flag will still be shown for old time's sake.

The governing body also announced a series of technical changes for 2020.

These include changes to the mirrors and rear wing height, to improve rear visibility, and minor modifications to the halo to allow for easier driver extraction.

In addition, the on-board camera regulations will be modified to improve TV spectacle.

IOL & Reuters