Australian GP to stay on F1 calendar until 2035
The current deal runs for three more years until 2025, and the 10-year extension is the latest in a series of announcements as established venues rush to secure long-term contracts in the face of stiff competition for a place on the sport’s calendar.
A third US race in Las Vegas has already been confirmed for November 2023, while F1 CEO Stefano Domenicali visited Johannesburg between Baku and Montreal to conduct further talks with the South African government about a race at Kyalami, potentially with an April 2023 date.
Melbourne is understood to have faced domestic competition, including a bid from Sydney. The fact that the extension was signed with three years remaining on the current contract gives some indication of how keen the Victorian city was to secure its long-term future.
It has also made it clear that as part of the arrangement the Albert Park venue, which was used for the first time in 1996, will be updated.
F1 noted: “Over the past two years the promoter has made significant investment to upgrade the circuit and will continue to improve the overall fan experience and facilities, including the paddock and pitlane, at the circuit over the coming years.
“This will enhance the fan experience but also modernise the facilities for the teams that will be essential for the smooth running of the event over the next decade.”
Unexpectedly it has been confirmed that from 2023 the Formula 2 and Formula 3 championships will both become part of Melbourne’s weekend schedule.
Historically travel costs have kept the usual F1 support series away from Australia, and the promoter has had no problem filling the timetable with popular local categories. It remains to be seen how much track time will still be available for them.
Max Verstappen, Red Bull Racing RB18
Photo by: Andy Hone / Motorsport Images
“The race has always been a favourite for the fans, drivers and the teams,” said Domenicali. “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.”
“This is a sensational announcement that is simply great for Melbourne and Victoria,” said event CEO Andrew Westacott.
“It builds on our rich motor sport 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 F1 and together we will grow the sport in Australia and the broader Asia-Pacific region. Everyone at the Australian GP Corporation looks forward to taking the F1 Australian GP to new levels over the course of the next 13 years.”
Martin Pakula, Victoria’s Minister for Tourism, Sport & Major Events, stressed the contribution made to the local economy by the race.
“The Australian Grand Prix has never been bigger, with more than 419,000 people flocking to Albert Park for this year’s race,” he said.
“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.”