Melbourne extends contract until 2035


F1 has agreed a new contract which will see Melbourne's Albert Park circuit host the Australian Grand Prix until 2035, with a guaranteed minimum of five season-openers.

This year saw F1 return to Albert Park for the first time since the ill-fated event in 2020 and over the course of the weekend 419,000 fans poured through the turnstiles.

The new contract will see Albert Park host the season-opener on at least five occasions over the course of the contract, with 2024 and 2025 already guaranteed.

"The agreement involves an extension ‘til 2035," said Martin Pakula, Minister for Tourism, Sport & Major Events, Victorian Government, and a minimum of five first races over the 13-year period between now and 2035, including the opening race of the season in 2024 and 2025.

"It also, in an exciting development, involves the move of Formula 2 and Formula 3 to the Australian Grand Prix calendar from next year, but importantly, the retention of Supercars as well.

"Apart from those minimum five years when we will have the opening race of the season, in the other years, if we're not the opening race, we'll be one of the first three races of the year.

"This is an incredibly important announcement for the State of Victoria. You saw during the recently held Australian Grand Prix here in April, a world record for a crowd 419,000-plus here at Albert Park over those four days, and it's just a demonstration of how incredibly popular Formula 1 is globally.

"The global competition for this event is hot, you can see the benefits of it - for the first time in a few years, we had over 90 percent hotel occupancy in Melbourne, over the weekend of the F1 and we had tens of thousands of visitors from interstate; a massive contribution to overall gross state product, close to $200 million - so we are incredibly excited and proud to have been able to reach this agreement with Formula One Management."

"It's difficult enough to juggle four days of activity at Albert Park; Formula 1 have to juggle 23 races on a calendar," added Andrew Westacott, CEO of the Australian Grand Prix Corporation.

"At the start of the season, taking into account Ramadan, take into account Easter, take into account other scheduling constraints, the FIA sporting regulations… five races to headline the start of a season in Melbourne is a great result.

"And that's the guaranteed minimum; what we're going to find is that over the course of that time, we're going to be either Race 1, Race 2, or Race 3 - very early in the season - it's a great outcome.

"We saw 419,000 people here at the estimated attendance for 2022; we see that continuing."

"I am delighted to confirm that Melbourne and the Albert Park circuit will continue to be on the Formula 1 calendar until 2035," said F1 boss, Stefano Domenicali. "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.

"I want to thank the Victorian Government, Daniel Andrews, Premier of Victoria and Martin Pakula, Minister for Tourism, Sport & Major Events for their tireless support for the event in Melbourne, as well as Andrew Westacott and Paul Little from the AGPC for making this already long-term partnership secure for the future. We are all looking forward to being back in Melbourne next season with all our fans."

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Published: 16/06/2022
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