The Formula One Australian Grand Prix will remain in Melbourne for another five years it has been announced. Premier of Victoria Denis Napthine and Minister for Tourism and Major Events Louise Asher announced the news today that the race would continue at the Albert Park Circuit from 2016 – 2020. Albert Park has hosted the Australian Grand Prix since 1996.
The deal was announced following the agreement of the new contract last week in London after year long negotiations. It comes following another race won by Daniel Ricciardo, Australian’s only current Formula One driver. The Red Bull driver has been the only driver to beat the Mercedes duo to a race win this season.
“Within this contract we hope to see Australia’s own Daniel Ricciardo win the Formula One Australian Grand Prix and become World Champion,” Dr Napthine revealed. “I congratulate Australian Grand Prix Corporation Ron Walker for his success as a tough negotiator in getting the best deal for Victoria.”
“Formula One is a key pillar of Victoria’s major sporting events strategy,” Dr Napthine explained. “This calendar is unrivalled worldwide, commencing with the Australian Tennis Open and Asian Football Cup in January, followed by the ICC Cricket World Cup in February, the Formula One Australian Grand Prix in March, the AFL Final Series, and the Spring Racing Carnival. Regional Victoria is also prominent on the world stage with events such as the Australian Motorcycle Grand Prix at Phillip Island, the Rip Curl Pro at Bells Beach and the recently secured Cadel Evans Great Ocean Road Race in early next year.”
The news was also welcomed by Formula One Management’s Group CEO Bernie Ecclestone. “I congratulate Melbourne for the excellent way in which it presents Formula One to the world,” he said.
Australia is set to host the opening round of the 2015 FIA Formula One World Championship on 12 – 15 March.