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.