NSW government considers poaching Melbourne’s Formula One

Staff writersNCA NewsWire
The race has never been hosted in Sydney.
Camera IconThe race has never been hosted in Sydney. Credit: News Corp Australia

The NSW government is reportedly considering a bold bid to poach the Formula One motor race from Melbourne amid a hefty cash splash on attracting major events.

The glitzy race around Melbourne’s Albert Park has served as the sport’s opening event for many years but the famed Grand Prix is due for a contract renewal with the Victoria government in 2025.

And according to Channel 7, “sensitive high-level talks” are underway within the Perrottet government to assess the feasibility of hosting the major event.

The pitch would largely focus on a Monaco-style street race along the Sydney Harbour to capitalise on the city’s celebrated beauty, according to the report.

The revelation comes after the state government unfurled its $200m event fund in June, which it said at the time would put “NSW in pole position to secure major events”.

“As we push through the pandemic, we are working to make sure Sydney and NSW continue to shine, businesses stay in business and people return to our amazing Harbour City to support the rebounding economy,” Premier Dominic Perrottet said.

Melbourne’s Grand Prix has become a key fixture on the racing calendar over the past few decades but organisers were forced to cancel both the 2020 and 2021 instalments due to Covid-19.

Driver Mark Webber in his Williams-BMW Formula One car during laps of closed Sydney Harbour Bridge in Sydney, to promote upcoming Australian Grand Prix in Melbourne next weekend.
Camera IconThe race has never been hosted in Sydney. Credit: News Corp Australia

This year’s race was scheduled to take place on November 21 but was cancelled by the sport’s governing body who wasn’t satisfied drivers and their teams would be able to travel safely into Australia.

In another blow to the event, the Melbourne GP will not be the season opener in 2022 but the Victorian Sport Minister Martin Pakula insisted it wouldn’t affect its chances of extending the event’s contract.

“We’ve got an agreement until 2025 and there aren’t many circuits around the world that are as picturesque or as loved by the drivers and their teams as Albert Park,” he said.

“We’ll be working very closely with F1 to ensure Albert Park is a venue for Formula One for many years into the future.”

Originally published as NSW government considers poaching Melbourne’s Formula One

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