Plot to lure Formula 1 to Sydney

Mark Webber drove across the Sydney Harbour Bridge in 2005

The New South Wales State Government is reportedly interested in securing the rights to host the Formula 1 Australian Grand Prix.

A report by Seven News claimed ‘high level talks’ were being held with a view to lure the race from Melbourne once the current contract expires in 2025.

It’s suggested a circuit around The Rocks at the northern end of the Sydney CBD could be used, potentially with the pit and paddock area at Barangaroo.

In 2005, Mark Webber drive a Williams across the Harbour Bridge, a route already discounted for a prospective circuit as being too dangerous.

New South Wales has hosted the Australian Grand Prix on 10 occasions, the last at Oran Park in 1977.

Melbourne has been home to the event since 1996, having taken up the running after Adelaide hosted the country’s first world championship event in 1985, holding it until 1995.

Current reports are not the first time there has been interest in attracting Formula 1 to Sydney.

A proposal in the early 1980s had tried to lure the sport to Australia, around the same time as the Light Car Club of Victoria also made a bid to bring it to Sandown.

Developments at the Melbourne venue saw the addition of an infield section which ultimately attracted the World Endurance Championship in 1984.

There were also moves to bring the sport to Canberra, on a purpose-built facility near the airport, which never came to fruition.

More latterly, plans were revealed in 2010 for a potential night race in Homebush from 2015, with then-NSW Premier Mike Baird earmarking nearly $200 million in funding for the event.

The Australian Grand Prix Corporation currently holds a contract to run the race in Albert Park until 2025.

Having missed out on running the event for the last two years as a result of the pandemic, Melbourne will host the third round of the 2022 season on April 10.

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