Melbourne to retain Australian GP until 2020


3 August 2014 by TF1T Staff

The Australian Grand Prix will remain at Albert Park in Melbourne until 2020 following a year of negotiations to extend the race's contract.

There had been threats from the local government not to extend the contract if the hosting fee couldn't be reduced, but after lengthy discussions a deal has been struck between organiser Ron Walker and Bernie Ecclestone.

Premier of Victoria Denis Napthine was joined by Minister for Tourism and Major Events Louise Asher to announce the extension during a press conference on Friday.

Napthine hopes Daniel Ricciardo's current success with Red Bull will keep Australian's interested in the sport amid complaints from Walker that fans have been turned off by the new noise.

"Within this contract we hope to see Australia's own Daniel Ricciardo win the Formula 1 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 race contributes almost $40 million annually to the city in economic benefits as well as creating between 351 and 411 full-time equivalent jobs according to a statement.

"I congratulate Melbourne for the excellent way in which it presents Formula 1 to the world," added Ecclestone.