The Australian Formula 1 Grand Prix will remain at Melbourne’s Albert Park circuit until at least 2035, after the inking of a 10-year extension beyond the current agreement.
Formula 2 and Formula 3 will also join the event program from 2023, added an accompanying release.
Minister for Tourism, Sport and Major Events Martin Pakula today announced the extension of the deal; the longest extension since Victoria pinched the Grand Prix from South Australia in 1996.
“The Australian Grand Prix has never been bigger, with more than 419,000 people flocking to Albert Park for this year’s race,” Mr Pakula 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.”
Australian Grand Prix Corporation CEO Andrew Westacott said the announcement “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 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 1 Australian Grand Prix to new levels over the course of the next 13 years,” he added.
The State’s Labor government claims an impact assessment of the F1, conducted by EY (Ernst and Young), found this year’s event generated $92 million of direct spending in the economy and boosted Victoria’s Gross State Product by $171 million.
Melbourne’s bars and restaurants “buzzed with visitors and hotel occupancy peaked at more than 90 per cent during Grand Prix week in April”, added the event management, which called the event “a powerful advertisement for Victoria”.
Formula 1 noted the “significant investment” made improving the Albert Park circuit and facilities over the past two years, and said further improvements, including to the paddock and pit lane, were planned “in order to continue the circuit’s modernisation”.
The date of next year’s Australian Grand Prix will be “provided in due course”, and once the 2023 calendar is finalised, it will be subject to World Motor Sport Council approval, F1 added.
Formula 1 President and CEO Stefano Domenicali said he was “delighted to confirm that Melbourne and the Albert Park circuit will continue to be on the Formula 1 calendar until 2035”.
“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.”