Aus GP set to remain on calendar

MelbourneThe future of the Australian Grand Prix is on the brink of being secured with reports that the event will remain on the Formula One calendar at Albert Park until 2015.

Despite on-going speculation about the future of the event, the Victorian state government has come to a verbal agreement to extend the race’s contract for a further five years, according to Sunday Herald Sun.

A senior government source is quoted as saying that a deal was “imminent”: “We haven’t signed the deal, but we’re going to quite soon.”

Australian Grand Prix organisers have come under heavy criticism in recent months for the event’s substantial operating losses and a row over attendance: the race has losses of some $160 million AUD over the past twelve years.

F1 Supremo Bernie Ecclestone has also thrown his hat into the ring saying that the only chance of Melbourne hanging onto the race was if organisers agreed to televise the vent at night to tie in with European viewing.

It is understood that the Victorian Premier and Bernie Ecclestone have come to an agreement which would not see the race held at night, though the start-time would be moved to later in the day as a compromise.