Australian Grand Prix: New contract until 2035 in Melbourne! / Formula 1

Formula 1 CEO Stefano Domenicali confirmed: The Australian Grand Prix will be held at Albert Park in Melbourne until 2035, and a new ten-year contract has been signed.

Formula 1 General Manager Stefano Domenicali has signed another contract to keep traditional racing in the world championship programme: a new agreement with the Australian Grand Prix Corporation (AGPC) stipulates that the Australian Grand Prix will remain an integral part of the Formula 1 World Championship until 2035 and will continue to be held in Albert Park in Melbourne.

In 1985, the Australian Grand Prix made its debut in the Formula 1 World Championship programme, and the race remained in Adelaide (South Australia) for ten years. Then Ron Walker, the former mayor of Melbourne, brought the Grand Prix to his city. Since then, racing in Albert Park has become an integral part of the Formula 1 world championship, usually at the start of the season in March.

What’s new in Melbourne: In 2023, over 400,000 fans will experience the Formula 2 and Formula 3 racing classes for the first time! The 2022 edition of Melbourne set a new Australian record for a four-day sporting event, counting 419,000 spectators.

The new ten-year agreement provides for the progressive modernization of the racing facility over the coming years, including a new circuit and pit area.

Stefano Domenicali, F1 CEO: “I am very happy that we can continue to compete in Melbourne. The race has been a huge success with fans and drivers alike, and the vibrant city of Melbourne is perfect for our sport.

Martin Bakula, Victoria’s Minister of Sports: “The interest in this event has never been greater, as the 2022 race showed with 419,000 visitors. We know how important the Grand Prix is ​​to the economy, which is why we have decided to run it for longer than ever” .

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Andrew Westacott, Managing Director of Australia’s Grand Prix Corporation: “This agreement is a testament to our rich history and Melbourne’s love for the sport. We are proud of our longstanding relationship with Formula 1 and look forward to the next 13 years.”

Competitors have no chance

Time and time again there were plans to take Melbourne out of the race. Almost every year in January or February, rumors circulated that the Melbourne Grand Prix was about to end. This has always left Ron Walker, who died in January 2018, cold. The businessman, who knows all the tricks of the business world, knows exactly how to play loudly on the media keyboard.

Changing the Grand Prix to Sydney, for example, has never gone beyond the conceptual model. Rumors of returning to Adelaide collapsed early on. Consultant Alex Antik in March 2017: “Many people look back at Formula 1 racing with a sense of nostalgia and haven’t forgotten how the city shook whenever the Grand Prix circus was there. For now, it’s just a matter of making it clear whether it is possible to try Restore the race.

Leon Pinnell, South Australia’s tourism minister, denied it off the table: “If you want Formula 1 back, you’re going to have to spend a lot of money.” Bennell even refers to council members as clowns.

The Melbourne GP was controversial at first, and environmentalists targeted the sporting event and didn’t skimp on fictional acts. Years ago, Save Albert Park (SAP) activists launched something new every year: opponents of the race block the way to the racetrack and yell at aliens as if we were bringing plague and cholera to the city.

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Hardworking SAP employees handed out flyers, chained themselves to a pit lane railing, and poured dead fish at the start/end straight (no, really!), apparently having no limits to their imaginations. I have always been amazed at how relaxed Australian police officers are.

Quiet around SAP today: a Grand Prix is ​​just as much a part of Melbourne life as the Australian Open or a trip to the beach in St Kilda. And Albert Park – a disgrace before Formula 1 – has become a real gem.

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