Australian GP gets new five-year contract, guarantees over season opener status

Australian GP gets new five-year contract, guarantees over season opener status

The Australian Grand Prix is set to remain as the opening round on the Formula 1 calendar through to 2020 following the signing of a new contract.

Victoria state premier Denis Napthine announced yesterday that a deal had been struck with F1 supremo Bernie Ecclestone which ensures that Formula 1 will keep coming to Australia for the next six years.

There had been some doubts about the future of the race, with race promoter Ron Walker being one of the biggest critics for the new direction of the sport. However, in a statement, Napthine confirmed that a new deal had been agreed.

“I can tell you the new contract is significantly better for Victoria,” Napthine said. “This reaffirms Melbourne and Victoria as the sporting and major events capital of the world.”

Ecclestone was also pleased to sign the new deal, saying: “I congratulate Melbourne for the excellent way in which is presents Formula 1 to the world.”

The new deal also ensures that the race will not be held at night, despite some calling for the start time to be made more friendly for European and American audiences.

Image courtesy of Red Bull/Getty Images.

Luke Smith

Luke Smith

Luke Smith is the Editor-in-Chief and Founder of Richland F1. Having started the website in March 2012, he has gone on to become one of the youngest members of the Formula 1 paddock after joining American broadcaster NBC Sports at the beginning of the 2013 season. Luke now works as the network's lead F1 writer, supporting the TV coverage on nbcsports.com. Luke's work has also been featured on NBC News, Yahoo! Sports, Driven Magazine and the Bahrain Mirror, and he has also appeared on CNBC's TV series "One Second in F1 Racing".



  • PIV

    So they complain about the noise then sign a long contract…

  • Boycottthebull

    So what? The cars do sound bad and it does deter fans from attending races in person and its within every promoters rights to express their concerns if they feel they arent getting what they paid for. There are a whole myriad of factors to be considered when exchanging contacts to host a F1 race. So if they dont like the sound they should not bother hosting any more GPs? They probably found the positives outweighed that one negative, one of which they mentioned getting more value than with previous deals. Only simple minds could possibly view F1 as so black and white. If teams stopped racing because of one aspect of the new rules they dont like there would be no teams in the sport at all. No one in this sport will ever be 100% happy but they still stick with it.

  • PIV

    They said they were looking at how to get out of their contract as the F1 sound was so bad. Now a new contract with no indication the sound will change.