Australian Grand Prix and New South Wales plan to fly Melbourne race and F1 race in Sydney Harbor
Sydney considers daring plot to steal Formula 1 Australian Grand Prix from Melbourne, reports Seven News.
The state government of New South Wales is reportedly interested in bidding for the racing rights when the current contract with Albert Park expires after 2025.
Although crossing the Harbor Bridge has already been excluded due to obvious safety concerns, the offer would focus on a Monegasque-style urban circuit around Sydney Harbor.
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Sydney has tried and failed to steal the race at least twice before.
In 2010, then-New South Wales premier Kristina Keneally announced a plot that would have seen the race take place at Homebush, potentially at night. Just before the 2015 state election, NSW Premier Mike Baird is said to have set aside $ 180 million to host the race from 2021.
The annual cost of the Melbourne Grand Prix was never officially confirmed but in 2013 taxpayers paid $ 34 million, and the cost has only increased since.
“We expect that (the interest of other cities) to happen. We are very close to F1 and have a relationship that goes back decades. We have a relationship that will see us hosting the event here until 2025, and we also want to look to the future.
“We are happening next year and it will continue to happen. Our mission is to look beyond 2025.
F1’s first Australian Grand Prix was held in 1985 in Adelaide, usually ending the season. The title was decided there in 1986 (Alain Prost against Nigel Mansell) and 1994 (Michael Schumacher against Damon Hill).
Melbourne then poached the race and it has been held around Lake Albert Park since 1996.
The race did not take place in 2020 or 2021 due to the coronavirus pandemic, with the 2020 event being canceled just two hours before the first practice session on Friday.
The Melbourne track has been reconfigured for the 2022 event, to be held on April 10, with the removal of the baffles from turn nine and ten to create a long sweeping section around the back of the track, and the widening of several turns, most notably what was turn 13 (now 11).
Australia will not open the 2022 season as has become tradition, with races in Bahrain (March 20) and Saudi Arabia (March 27) kicking off a record-breaking 23 race campaign.