Time to make a decision on Australian Grand Prix

11 Have your say

    You know it’s March in Melbourne when talk about the Australian Grand Prix’s future is on the front page of the two major newspapers.

    It happens every single year. In 2011 Mayor of Melbourne Robert Doyle said that the event should be dumped due to the rising costs, which are expected to reach $55 million this year.

    F1 boss Bernie Ecclestone has offered to ditch the deal with the Victorian Government to hold the worldwide event at Albert Park until 2015.

    It’s common knowledge that the 81-year-old wants the event to be held at night, like the Singapore GP, to offer a better spectacle and also a better timeslot to viewers in Europe.

    The race cost Victorian taxpayers $50 million in 2011, while only bringing in an estimated $39 million. This is compared to the $1.7 million it cost Victorians to stage the event when it was poached by current AGP chairman Ron Walker and the Victorian government from Adelaide in 1996, just days after the South Australian election.

    It’s time to make a decision about this event. I believe I am in the minority but I think Melbourne should keep the Grand Prix.

    Victorian Premier Ted Bailleu says he wants to re-negotiate the deal, despite the Australian Grand Prix Corporation previously being told not to hold their breath, however he will not be taking ‘an open chequebook’ into the negotiations, a government spokesman said.

    This event is a major part of Melbourne, and the world’s sporting landscape and could damage Melbourne’s reputation as arguably the sporting capital of the world. Melbourne is the only city in the world to host a tennis Grand Slam and grand prix. I personally hope that this does not change.

    Formula One now has two Australian drivers in Daniel Ricciardo and Mark Webber competing for championship points. There is nothing those two would want more than to win a race on their home soil, something other drivers would not get to achieve.

    Victorians often complain about Victoria being a ‘nanny state’, and in particular after Lewis Hamilton was fined for hooning during the 2010 AGP. Wouldn’t it make us a more nanny state if we ditched this event and did what The Herald Sun readers want judging by their comments: “Bernie can take his money and go. We need to spend more on schools and hospitals.”

    You couldn’t overestimate how much the ‘Save Albert Park’ group would love that.

    Let’s hope for a good race that can rekindle Melbourne’s love of motorsport later on this month.

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    The Crowd Says (11)

    • Roar Guru

      March 9th 2012 @ 8:23am
      Mark Young said | March 9th 2012 @ 8:23am | ! Report

      I can see the writing on the wall that Albert Park has at most, four Grand Prixs left.

      Which is a real shame becuase it is one heck of an event. Every year, the entire F1 community with the excpetion of Bernie raves about the quality of the track, the facilities, the fans and the scheduling of support races.

      And the experience of seeing these cars first hand is nothing short of breathtaking.
      I was an F1 fan before my first visit to Albert Park, ten minutes into the first Practice session I was a fanatic.
      Four visits later, it is still as good as that first trip.

      But Bernie didn’t get rich by being sentimental, he got rich by making decisions that make him money, damn the sentiment.

      He can get a country in a more friendly timezeone pay more money then us to host a race, and then sell it for more money to the TV networks since his European TV audiences don’t have to get up at dawn to watch it.

      So folks, if you haven’t got your ticket yet, you have at best, until 2015 to see a Grand Prix in Melbourne!!

    • March 9th 2012 @ 4:29pm
      Australian Rules said | March 9th 2012 @ 4:29pm | ! Report

      I’m no die-hard motorsport fan…but I’ve been down to the Grand Prix and it is truly an exciting and spectacular event.

      My friends in Melbourne say that whilst they love the prestige of it (as they do all their big events), the rising costs of have turned a lot of people off in recent years.

      One thing’s for sure, Bernie Eccleston will stop at nothing to screw every cent out of the host city. He seems like awful, little goblin of a man. His dismissive comments about the recent Bahrain protests being “just a lot of kids having a go at the police”, completely ignored the wider significance of what was happening in that country.
      Similarly, he taunted the sport’s homeland by declaring “Europe is finished for F1″…indicating the big bucks were in the Middle East and Asia. Which makes you wonder that if that IS true…Australia seems a perfect launch pad for the F1 season into the Asian market.

      Nonetheless, Bernie (like a one man FIFA) will continue to hold countries to ransom in order to line his pockets. I realise it’s big business but some people just aren’t worth doing business with…looks like the Victorians are starting to realise that.

    • March 9th 2012 @ 8:01pm
      daniels said | March 9th 2012 @ 8:01pm | ! Report

      The only issue Melbourne have with the F1’s is the constant harping on by Burnie that our grand prix in the least valuble to him, and how we need to offer more than the Arabs to keep it. Then we have Ted Baillou who insists on using the F1’s as a political cricket bat, taking shots at both the previous Labor government and Jeff Kennett.

      As far as melbourians are concerned, we don’t have the ATP threatning to put a grand slam elsewhere and the VRC aint going around suggesting the melbourne cup should be held in Singopore, so why is it every year, we have bernie threatning us and Ted threatning him,

    • March 9th 2012 @ 9:08pm
      AndyMack said | March 9th 2012 @ 9:08pm | ! Report

      The writing is on the wall. The teams have said they dont want to go beyond the already very long 20-race season. And Bernie wants to go to South Africa, as well as another spot in the mid-east. Aust is too small. Very sad day when we lose our GP, but I can see it coming.

      Money talks.

    • March 10th 2012 @ 1:30am
      F1 Mad of Perth said | March 10th 2012 @ 1:30am | ! Report

      If Melbourne doesn’t want it, maybe it is time for Perth to look at having the F1 Grand Prix. We did have Rally Australia and the Red Bull Air Race and they were well organised and, I believe, well recieved by most West Aussies. When Daniel Ricciardo took the Red Bull for a spin along Riverside Drive in 2010 with the city in the background it was brilliant. Imagine what it would be like at night. Just a thought.

    • Roar Guru

      March 11th 2012 @ 5:29pm
      Ben Carter said | March 11th 2012 @ 5:29pm | ! Report

      Hi Millsy. Simple answer for me – keep the thing. Somewhere in Australia – Melbourne, Perth, Sydney, Gold Coast, heck, back to Adelaide (?) As a former South Aussie resident I loved it. Still do. Only now to me it’s always known as AGPIM (the Adelaide Grand Prix In Melbourne). Can’t fathom why on Earth SA got rid of it!

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