Monday, May 16, 2011

Formula One: Australian GP to stay at Albert Park

Drivers maneuver through the first corner of the Australian F1 Grand Prix at the Albert Park circuit in Melbourne March 27, 2011. -- PHOTO: REUTERS

MELBOURNE - THE Australian Formula One Grand Prix will remain in Melbourne's Albert Park precinct as long as the state of Victoria continues to stage the race, state government officials said on Monday.

The announcement scotches recent reports that the race could be moved outside Melbourne city to a purpose-built track in Avalon.

The government's Major Events Minister Louise Asher said moving the race from Albert Park to a dedicated track would cost A$300 million (S$394 million), according to the Australian Grand Prix Corporation organisers.

'The Grand Prix is going to stay at Albert Park,' she told a parliamentary budget hearing.
'One of the reasons the branding of Melbourne has been so successful is that the Grand Prix is at Albert Park.'

Asher said the new conservative state coalition will push Formula One ringmaster Bernie Ecclestone hard when the negotiations for a new contract begin in late 2013 or early 2014. -- AFP

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