Australian GP to stay at Melbourne's Albert Park until 2023
Melbourne staves off Sydney's attempts to lure popular race away by penning three-year contract extension
By James Galloway
Last Updated: 13/09/15 7:35pm
The Australian Grand Prix will continue to be held in Melbourne until at least 2023 after organisers extended their F1 deal.
Albert Park's place on the calendar had been secured until 2020 last summer but the Victoria state government has now penned a further three-year extension.
"We are very happy to extend our relationship with Melbourne, who continue to set the standard for Formula 1 events globally," said F1 supremo Bernie Ecclestone.
"This new agreement will take the city past 25 consecutive years of hosting Formula 1, a super achievement."
Local reports ahead of the 2015 race in March had suggested that Sydney was plotting to win the rights to the event from 2021. But off the back of Melbourne's contract extension, the premier of Victoria, Daniel Andrews, said: "There's nothing quite like the Australian Grand Prix in Melbourne and the buzz it creates around our state. It attracts visitors to Victoria from all over the globe, and shows the world we have the best of everything.
"Our competitors interstate have made no secret of their desire to steal it, but it is here to stay. I can assure Victorians Daniel Ricciardo won't be racing over the Sydney Harbour Bridge any time soon."
Melbourne has opened the F1 season on all but two occasions (2006 and 2010) since replacing Adelaide as the home of the Australian GP in 1996. Next year's season-opener has been scheduled for April 3, three weeks later than normal.