The Formula 1 circus will be collectively sighing with relief with the news that the Australian Grand Prix will stay on the calendar until at least 2020.
Melbourne is a favourite destination for the F1 community – along with Montreal – and the idea that it might drop off the calendar was rather depressing.
Local whingers in Victoria do manage to create a fair amount of noise, protesting that the event costs the state too much money, but government after government – from both sides of Australia’s political spectrum – have realised that the whingers don’t know what they are talking about and the event is great value for money for the city of Melbourne and the state of Victoria.
“Formula 1 is a key pillar of Victoria’s major sporting events strategy,” says the state premier Denis Napthine.
“Within this contract we hope to see Australia’s own Daniel Ricciardo win the Australian Grand Prix and become World Champion. I congratulate Australian Grand Prix Corporation Chairman Ron Walker for his success as a tough negotiator in getting the best deal for Victoria.”
The new contract will be Walker’s last major contribution to the Australian Grand Prix. He stands down as chairman of the Grand Prix Corporation next year.