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Formula 1

Australian GP organisers not interested in being part of rotating F1 calendar

If Formula 1 goes down the route of a rotating calendar of events, the Australian Grand Prix organisers have no interest in being involved...

Article
To news overview © Getty Images/Red Bull Content Pool

If Formula 1 does go down the route of a rotating Grand Prix calendar, organisers of the Australian Grand Prix are not interested in being involved unless they are part of the permanent roster.

Having missed out on an Australian GP for two consecutive years due to the COVID-19 pandemic, F1 is set to return to Australia's Albert Park in Melbourne next April.

There's been significant investment into the circuit, with sweeping changes made to the track layout in a bid to increase overtaking possibilities and improve the spectacle.

With the 2022 F1 season set to feature a record-breaking 23 races, a solution to the ever-expanding calendar is to have a rotation of events every year alongside a permanent roster of tracks.

But if that situation were to happen, the Australian Grand Prix Corporation want no part of it, unless they are a permanent fixture.

"That might apply to a permanent circuit in the European heartland, but we believe continuity, the annual nature of our event, is what's needed," Australian Grand Prix Corporation CEO Andrew Westacott told Speedcafe.com.

"There's a level of understanding and reliability, and a level of underpinning that it does to a whole ecosystem.

"So the notion of sitting every alternate year out, or rotating with other states to share it, is not on our agenda. We want it every year because it is such a great asset for Victoria."

Rumours have emerged recently that the government in New South Wales is interested in luring the Australian Grand Prix away from Melbourne, which currently has a contract to host the race until the 2025 season, to Sydney.

A report by Australia's Seven News claims that "high level talks" are being held to try to move the race, although there is currently no venue of sufficient FIA grade near Sydney.

Westacott said that he is prepared to hold firm against F1, if there is any attempt to try to take away an annual race from Melbourne.

"There's a level of shape and logic to the calendar that they create every year," he said.

"It's just extra time in an aeroplane because they know everything else very, very well.

"So I'm unbelievably firm on that particular and, you know, we'll have it every year, and I wouldn't expect that the 'every year' is going to include anywhere other than Albert Park, Melbourne."

In our latest RacingNews365.com video, we take a look at how grid penalties could be a crucial factor in the intense title fight between Lewis Hamilton and Max Verstappen

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