Melbourne extends Australian GP deal despite Sydney interest

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Melbourne’s Albert Park will continue to host the Australian Grand Prix until and including 2035 after agreeing on a new 10-year-deal to remain on the calendar.

The new deal means the venue will reach nearly 40 years as a regular Formula 1 circuit, having first staged a Grand Prix back in 1996.

Melbourne are understood to have fought off interest from others who launched rival bids to take over from Albert Park from 2026, including Sydney.

However, it was agreed that Melbourne offered the best commercial deal possible for F1, at a location with both experience and a successful track record of staging events.

F2 and F3 to join F1 down under

A deal has also been reached for Formula 2 and Formula 3 to join F1 in racing at Albert Park from 2023. It will be the first time that the two junior racing series have done so.

Currently, F2 and F3 race only in Europe and the Middle East with a long-haul trip to Australia set to offer a change of scenery for the sport’s rising stars.

It could also mean home races for the likes of Jack Doohan and Calan Williams.

The venue will also undergo modernisation as part of the new 10-year-deal, including an upgraded paddock and pit buildings.

This will future-proof the venue as it prepares to remain on the calendar for many years to come.

Where will Australia fit into 2023 calendar?

The 2023 F1 calendar is not yet finalised and it remains unclear where the Australian Grand Prix will fit in.

The Chinese Grand Prix, contracted to return in 2023, remains an uncertainty due to the Covid pandemic, while Monaco, Belgium and France remain in talks over extending their deals.

There are also talks over reviving the South African Grand Prix, last held in 1993, but no agreement has been reached yet.

F1 chief Stefano Domenicali is looking to regionalise the calendar for 2023, eliminating any unnecessary long-haul trips.

It means that Australia is unlikely to remain between races in Saudi Arabia and Italy, as it was in 2022, with cargo then needing to be shipping from the Middle East to Australia and then back over the Middle East on its way to Europe.



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