The Australian Grand Prix will be held in Melbourne until 2035 when race organizers announced a new 10-year deal with Formula One on Thursday, beating rival bids from Sydney and the Gold Coast.
The race was first run in 1928 and has been held at the Albert Park Circuit in Melbourne since 1996.
It attracted a record crowd in April when it returned to a race won by Charles Leclerc’s Ferrari after being lost in 2020 and 2021 due to the coronavirus epidemic.
“The race has always been a favorite for fans, drivers and teams, and Melbourne is an incredible and vibrant international city that is a perfect match for our sport,” Formula One president Stefano Domenicali said in a statement.
Organizers say about 420,000 people took part in the four-day event this year, surpassing the previous record of 401,000 set at the inaugural Grand Prix in Melbourne in 1996.
The scenes were a big reason to close Albert Park’s rival bids and secure the race for the next 13 seasons.
Sydney, the Gold Coast and Adelaide were thought to be among those seeking to seize part of the Formula One action.
The popularity of Formula One has reached new heights as part of the Netflix series Drive to Survive, which has attracted younger viewers and turned drivers into superstars.
“The race is on to stay here,” said Martin Pakula, Victoria’s minister for tourism, sports and major events.
“It’s an Australian icon and the fact that we’ll be here until at least 2035 is something that all motor racing fans, all major event fans and hopefully all Victorians can be very, very excited about.”
Formula Two and Three races will be added to the Grand Prix weekend in Australia for the first time next season.
“This is a shocking announcement, great for Melbourne and Victoria,” said Andrew Westcott, head of the Australian Grand Prix.
“It gives us a rich motorsport history as well as a love of Melbourne’s big sporting events and the ambition for the next generation of Aussie racing stars.”
The date for next year’s Race Weekend has not yet been announced.
Melbourne was the first race of the season but this year was the third of the new campaign.
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