Bumper deal secures F1 Australian Grand Prix future

The 2022 Formula 1 Australian Grand Prix. Picture: Ross Gibb

Formula 1 will continue racing in Australia for more than a decade to come per a new long-term deal.

F1 has this morning confirmed a 10-year renewal will take place from 2025, which was when the existing Australian Grand Prix contract was due to expire.

After two COVID-affected years, the AGP returned in style in April with more 419,000 fans rolling through the gates to witness the new-generation cars on a revamped Albert Park layout.

There were some in the paddock at the time who questioned the logistics of continuing to travel Down Under, but any fears of a departure have now been allayed.

F1 CEO Stefano Domenicali hailed the new deal, which runs through until almost 40 years on from the event’s 1996 debut.

“I am delighted to confirm that Melbourne and the Albert Park circuit will continue to be on the Formula 1 calendar until 2035,” said the Italian.

“The race has always been a favourite for the fans, drivers and the teams and Melbourne is an incredible and vibrant international city that is a perfect match for our sport.

“This year we saw huge crowds and passionate fans at the Grand Prix, and we are very excited by the future in Australia as our sport continues to grow.

Domenicali added his thanks to the Victorian government, and Australian Grand Prix Corporation CEO Andrew Westacott and chairman Paul Little, for their support.

Westacott added: “This is a sensational announcement that is simply great for Melbourne and Victoria.

“It builds on our rich motorsport history as well as Melbourne’s love of big sporting events and provides aspiration to the next generation of Aussie racing stars.

“We’re proud of our strong relationship with Formula 1 and together we will grow the sport in Australia and the broader Asia-Pacific region.

“Everyone at the Australian Grand Prix Corporation looks forward to taking the Formula One Australian Grand Prix to new levels over the course of the next 13 years.”

Victorian Minister for Tourism, Sport and Major Events, Martin Pakula, praised the event’s value to the region.

“We know how important this event is to our economy and that’s why we’ve delivered the longest extension for the race since it has been held in Melbourne,” he said.

A date is yet to be confirmed for the 2023 Australian Grand Prix, when Formula 2 and Formula 3 will be on the grid for the first time in Albert Park history.

The AGP deal is the latest long-term deal to be struck in recent times, following the likes of Abu Dhabi (through 2030), Bahrain (2036) and Qatar (2032).

Australia boasts a rich F1 history, including being represented by two world champions: Sir Jack Brabham (thrice), and Alan Jones, and having first hosted an F1 world championship grand prix in 1985 at Adelaide.

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