Australian GP chairman Ron Walker has rejected Bernie Ecclestone’s claims that Melbourne will lose its Formula One car race past 2010.
Mr Walker has reiterated that the Australian Grand Prix will not become a night race just to suit the rest of the world.
The future of Melbourne’s Formula One Grand Prix appears in doubt after Formula One boss Bernie Ecclestone said that manufacturers and sponsors want to quit Melbourne.
Mr Ecclestone said millions of dollars are being lost each year hosting Australia’s leg of the F1 season while Victorian Premier John Brumby has done very little to keep the sport alive.
“Our costs are very high in Australia and we get a lot less money. It’s bloody bad for us. We’ve got quite a few places on the list which would like to have Formula One and as it seems your guy (John Brumby) down there doesn’t want Formula One. We can make him happy.” said Bernie Ecclestone
The Melbourne GP contract expires in 2010 and as it stands now, there is very little chance for a renewal. The only possibility left is to change the event to a night race.
Bids from QLD, NSW and SA to host the event have already been denied but potential replacements such as India, Russia and South Korea are being considered.
Since the events introduction to Melbourne in 1996, it has lost a staggering $130 million, with last year’s event nearly $35 million in the red.
“In Melbourne, if we were to continue to be there, we would have to have a night race – the only option. Why wouldn’t we take it somewhere else?” Ecclestone said.
This year’s race will be held from March 13-16. Tell us what you think, does Melbourne deserve the Grand Prix? Should it be held at night?