Formula 1 will continue to visit Australia’s shores until at least the 2020 season. The Victorian state government has today announced that is has signed a new five-year contract extension to host the Australian Formula 1 Grand Prix at Melbourne’s Albert Park.
“I congratulate Australian Grand Prix Corporation Chairman Ron Walker for his success as a tough negotiator in getting the best deal for Victoria,” Premier of Victoria, Denis Napthine, said today.
“We’ve secured another five years for the grand prix and we’ve secured a great deal for the people of Victoria that is a better deal than the existing contract,” Dr Napthine added, although he refused to disclose the terms of the new deal other than confirmation that the race in Melbourne will remain as the season-opener.
The parkland street circuit has played host to Formula 1 since 1996, and while it has earned criticism for the amount of government funding required to keep the event on the calendar, it proves a popular traditional season-opener for the sport’s fans and insiders. Last year’s event cost Victorian taxpayers $50.6 million, delivering $39 million in revenue for the state.
“Within this contract we hope to see Australia’s own Daniel Ricciardo win the Formula 1®Australian Grand Prix and become World Champion,” he continued.
The announcement and confirmation of the renewed contract comes after a twelve-month negotiation period between the Victorian state government, the Australian Grand Prix Corporation and Bernie Ecclestone, the F1 CEO.
“I congratulate Melbourne for the excellent way in which it presents Formula 1 to the world,” Ecclestone said of the renewed deal.
Image via Sutton Images