NSW Premier's sour grapes after Aussie F1 bombshell: 'Their loss'

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·Sports Reporter
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NSW Premier Dominic Perrottet says it is F1's loss that a grand prix will not be hosted in Sydney, after the agreement for the Albert Park GP was extended until 2035. Pictures: Getty Images
NSW Premier Dominic Perrottet says it is F1's loss that a grand prix will not be hosted in Sydney, after the agreement for the Albert Park GP was extended until 2035. Pictures: Getty Images

NSW Premier Dominic Perrottet's jealousy of Victoria might have shown a little on Thursday after it was revealed Melbourne had secured an extension of their Formula 1 hosting rights until 2035.

As F1 adds more races to the calendar and new venues make their championship debuts, there was some speculation as to the future of the Australian GP, despite its highly successful return to Albert Park after a two-year pandemic-enforced hiatus.

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The NSW state government had made some noise about attracting the Australian GP to Sydney, rather than the long term home it has had at Albert Park since 1996.

Late last year Perrottet outright questioned why F1 favoured having a race in Melbourne over Sydney, despite the government not having any serious detail or proposals to do so.

“We’ve got the greatest city in not just the country, but the world,” he said at the time.

“And seriously, why would the Formula 1 want to stay in Melbourne when you can come here?”

The question as to why might have an answer somewhere within F1, after the organisation opted to extend Melbourne's hosting deal by a whopping 10 years.

This year's estimated attendance at Albert Park reached 419,000 across the four days, the largest crowd for a weekend sporting spectacle in Australian history.

"I am delighted to confirm that Melbourne and the Albert Park circuit will continue to be on the Formula One calendar until 2035," F1 president and CEO Stefano Domenicali said in a statement.

However the F1 president's excitement was not matched by Perrottet on Thursday.

When asked about the deal during a press conference, the premier could help but continue to stoke the Sydney/Melbourne rivalry.

“It’s a loss for the F1. That is all I can say,” he said.

“It’s going to be a really disappointing event for years to come until it comes to its rightful place in Sydney.

“Formula 1 is a global event, and we are truly Australia’s only global city, so I think in time they will work that out. Good luck to Melbourne.”

Martin Pakula, pictured here speaking to media at Albert Park in Melbourne.
Martin Pakula, Victoria's Minister for Tourism, Sport and Major Events, speaks to media at Albert Park in Melbourne. (Photo by Daniel Pockett/Getty Images for AGPC)

Melbourne secures long term Formula One deal for Albert Park

The Australian GP used to be the season opener but Bahrain has held that honour over the past two years.

F1 is yet to confirm its competition schedule for next year but is aiming for 24 events on the schedule.

Las Vegas and Qatar are already locked in for 2023 while the South African Grand Prix in Kyalami could return next year.

The French GP at the Paul Ricard Circuit will be dropped after next month's race.

"The resounding popularity of the Formula One Australian Grand Prix for over two decades stepped up to a new level in 2022 and the addition of F2 and F3 means that future events will continue to offer new races for fans to enjoy," Australian Grand Prix Corporation chairman Paul Little said in a statement.

Australian GP organisers have also committed to upgrading the paddock and pit lane.

Melbourne will host the Australian GP until 2035 under a new extension announced this week. (Photo by Mark Thompson/Getty Images)
Melbourne will host the Australian GP until 2035 under a new extension announced this week. (Photo by Mark Thompson/Getty Images)

The contract had been due to expire in 2025 but the new agreement will extend the race's time at Albert Park to 40 years.

Australia could be in the midst of a golden era in international motorsport, with Daniel Ricciardo already in F1 and junior champion Oscar Piastri firming as the likely candidate to replace Nicholas Latifi at Williams next season.

The 20-year-old won the Formula 3 and Formula 2 championships in successive years, but was looked over for a seat at Alfa Romeo this season in favour of the heavily back Zhou Guanyou.

It's not just in European motorsport that Australian talent is shining brightly, with Will Power and Scott McLaughlin both claiming IndyCar victories this season.

With AAP

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