Plans are in motion that could see Sydney steal the rights to the Australian Grand Prix from long-time venue Melbourne at the end of its current tenure.
The news stems from a report by Seven News. It indicated that the New South Wales government is in the process of pitching for the event once the existing Melbourne deal finishes up in 2025.
If successful, it would be a significant coup for the region. Melbourne’s Albert Park has played host to the Grand Prix each year since 1996, with the 2020 and 2021 editions of the event canned due to Covid-19.
It’s reported that Sydney has tried, and failed, to lure the Grand Prix to its waters on at least two prior occasions. In 2010 it was tabled that the event could be run in Homebush, and in 2015 the local government had AU$180m earmarked for a bid to run the event from 2021 onwards.
The new bid centers around a Monaco-like circuit around the Sydney Harbour, focusing on the city’s most iconic landmarks and vistas.
Speaking to the Sydney Morning Herald, Australian F1 Grand Prix chief Andrew Westacott said he acknowledges that interest from other cities is inevitable.
“We have got a commitment to stage the race with F1 and the Victorian government on April 10 next year,” he said.
“We expect that this [interest] is going to occur. We are very close with F1 and have a relationship that goes back decades. We have a relationship that will see us host the event here until 2025, and we want to look to the future as well.
“We are happening next year and it will continue to happen. Our remit is to look beyond 2025.”
The New South Wales last held an Australian Grand Prix event in 1977 at Oran Park, but it’s never held a fully fledged F1 Australian Grand Prix. Only Adelaide and Albert Park have that honour.