Melbourne will continue to host Formula One races until 2035 after signing a 10-year contract extension to host the Australian Grand Prix with Formula 2 and Formula 3 also joining the race weekend schedule.
The first Australian Grand Prix was held in 1928 and it joined the Formula 1 calendar in 1985 with Phillip Island hosting the first race. The hosting location moved to Melbourne in 1996 with the Australia’s second most-popolous city having staged the race since then with the exceptions of 2020 and 2021 when the races were cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Following this two-year absence, the race reappeaed on the calendar this year with over 419,000 fans visit the Albert Park circuit for the race weekend. This number made the 2022 Australian Grand Prix the largest crowd for a weekend sporting event in Australian history.
Over the past two years the promoter has made significant investment to upgrade the circuit and the event has promised that it will continue to improve the overall fan experience and facilities, including the paddock and pitlane, at the circuit over the coming years.
As part of the new deal, F2 and F3 will race in Australia for the first time. FIA Formula 2 and Formula 3 CEO Bruno Michel commented: „It further enhances the
international aspect of both our championships, having them race on a new continent. It also shows that more and more circuits believe that F2 and F3 are an added value to the Formula 1 Grand Prix experience, showcasing the next generation of drivers.”
Stefano Domenicali, President and CEO, Formula 1, said: „I am delighted to confirm that Melbourne and the Albert Park circuit will continue to be on the Formula 1 calendar until 2035. The race has always been a favourite for the fans, drivers and the teams and Melbourne is an incredible and vibrant international city that is a perfect match for our sport.
„This year we saw huge crowds and passionate fans at the Grand Prix, and we are very excited by the future in Australia as our sport continues to grow. I want to thank the Victorian Government, Daniel Andrews, Premier of Victoria and Martin Pakula, Minister for Tourism, Sport & Major Events for their tireless support for the event in Melbourne, as well as Andrew Westacott and Paul Little from the AGPC for making this already long-term partnership secure for the future. We are all looking forward to being back in Melbourne next season with all our fans.”
Martin Pakula, Minister for Tourism, Sport & Major Events, Victorian Government, said: “The Australian Grand Prix has never been bigger, with more than 419,000 people flocking to Albert Park for this year’s race. We know how important this event is to our economy and that’s why we’ve delivered the longest extension for the race since it has been held in Melbourne.”
Andrew Westacott, CEO of the Australian Grand Prix Corporation, said: “This is a sensational announcement that is simply great for Melbourne and Victoria. It builds on our rich motor sport history as well as Melbourne’s love of big sporting events and provides aspiration to the next generation of Aussie racing stars.
„We’re proud of our strong relationship with Formula 1 and together we will grow the sport in Australia and the broader Asia-Pacific region. Everyone at the Australian Grand Prix Corporation looks forward to taking the Formula One Australian Grand Prix to new levels over the course of the next 13 years.”