Bye Bye Melbourne


Not my cup of cake
Valued Member
This article in the Herald Sun reports that there could be no Australian Grand Prix after 2015. The state of Victoria will have to subsidise the event to the tune of Aus$ 50 million in 2011, rising to $70 million by 2015. The circuit also needs Aus$ 8-9 million spent upgrading it and, if Bernie had his way, would be installing lights to make it a night race.

This could be megaphone negotitation by the politicians in Victoria but it's still pretty serious. The loss of Australia would leave Brazil as the only race in the southern hemisphere, so not much of a "World" Championship. Should Australia go I would imagine this will almost certainly lead to more races on bland, featureless circuits in the Middle East - Woo Hoo! NOT! ... 5992919181
If was a full World Championship there would be ~200 GPs per year.

Australia is just a small country population and TV attendance wise. India is a bigger priority.
DOF_Power - I wasn't suggesting every country should have a Grand Prix to make it a World Championship, simply that the races should be spread across the globe to make it representative and this should include more countries in the Southern Hemisphere (which India isn't BTW).

F1, as currently set up, requires considerable investment from local tax payers. Using your logic why isn't a Grand Prix in Indonesia being suggested (4th largest population), or Pakistan, Bangladesh & Nigeria (6, 7 and 8 according to the CIA World Fact Book). Why? Because they can't afford it. Realistically India can't afford a Grand Prix but their politicians think they should have one (the question about their priorities is a completely different debate). Australia, as a 1st world economy, can afford one but is being priced out by FOM.

Just on population and economies, the USA has the 3rd largest population (after China and India) and the largest economy in the world and we won't see a race there until 2012.
DOF_power said:
If was a full World Championship there would be ~200 GPs per year.

care to explain how little things like transport costs, jet lagged drivers, audiences getting bored with constant exposure, etc would be overcome.

200 GPs would be a championship race every 2 days. It takes about 5 days to setup, race and clear down. Somebody get this man a reality check.
FB, I think there is a little bit of sword rattling from the Aussie government, but I have to say I commend them for doing so. While I'd love to see a GP continue down under, it has to be at a realistic price and Bernie is getting just a bit too greedy. Somebody needs to take a stand against him and tell him that they want a GP, but not at any price.
It would be a pity to see Melbourne go, as I feel it is a very good test for the drivers. But obviously the only consideration paid to whether a GP will be held in a certain location is the cash one. Bernie, in cahoots with CVC, can and will charge exorbitant fees for holding a GP until all corners of the globe have been explored, with governments footing the bill for glamorous paddock facilities that exist for the sole purpose of entertaining Bernie's future partners (victims?).

2015 seems a long way away though. Who knows what will be going on at that point in time.
Despite what is being said I can't see Bernie really letting the Australian market go - just like in the end he wasn't willing to let Silverstone go.

There is a big fan base in Australia and is one of the few GPs that gets sell out crowds every year. Bernie won't let it get away from him and believe the government are just making a stand.

I do love Melbourne - although I have to say would love to see it go back to the old Adelaide street circuit.

Come to think of it if Melbourne says no to the GP then wouldn't suprise me if Sydney snapped it up - big rivalry between those cities.

Anyways. 2015 - Bernie might be dead by then. Or at least frozen chrogenecially

Hi and welcome to the site by the way; another refugee from 606 I see.

You may well say that Bernie wouldn't let the Aussie GP go, like he didn't let Silverstone go; but boy oh boy, didn't he extract his pound of flesh from the Northamptonshire circuit, in terms of the inflation-busting increases in the fees year-on-year of 7% or thereabouts; time will tell whether they are able to live with it. As Melbourne seem to have been struggling not to lose money as it is, I'm sure they wouldn't be prepared to accept a similar deal. That could prove to be the sticking point with Bernie.
I can't stand the drive towards night races purely on the basis of European viewing times. Most motorsport fans generally except that when you hold a race in Australia it's up with the lark time or watch a re-run of the race later.

As I understand it, there is a fee paid to FOM/CVC to host the race plus the track side advertising and race sponsorhsip is also paid directly to FOM/CVC. The primary source of revenue for the hosts or the race is purely from ticket sales and pitch rentals for traders etc plus moneys from parking and camping. It's easy to see where the shortfall in funding occures.

If a race isn't protected by a "market value image" such as Monaco or a government or private individuals are prepared to bank roll the gap in funding as is the case for the Middle East GP's then any race is living on borrowed time.

F1 is a global sport and should be spread as far and wide as is possible though it's a shame that the prime motivation for doing so is no longer to provide the widest of challenges for drivers and to allow the greatest number of fans to see a race but to make the maximum ammount of cash for FOM/CVC, The FIA and lets not forget, The Teams and Drivers for they are as much to blame for the grab for cash as Mr Ecclestone.
cider_and_toast said:
and lets not forget, The Teams and Drivers for they are as much to blame for the grab for cash as Mr Ecclestone.

I'm not sure the teams get much from Bernie from the fee he charges for hosting an event. I thought their revenue stream was from sponsorship and the TV money according to where they finished in the WCC?
Sadly we'll never know thanks to the paperwork being more secret than a very secret thing. (why hasn't wikileaks found that one?).

But I'm sure that the teams get more than just the TV money from Bernie. (just look at Ferrari's "been around a while" bonus). I expect all teams get a basic payment then the TV money in order of WCC finishing places etc. I may be wrong though.
I'm just wondering if there'll be a Australian GP in 2011. :thinking: Isn't there a ruddy great lake the size of Wales heading straight for Melbourne?
Since 1996 Melbourne has kicked the season off in fine style (with a couple of exceptions - 2006?/2010). Either way, it was the best way to kick off the season, wildly unpredictable most of the time with grip issues, safety cars and an inherent 'on-edge' nature that lacks at other tracks. Along with Montreal it is for me the track that harks back best to an era where a mistake meant a rapid exit into a wall and no second chances. To see it, and its enthusiastic supporters, left without a race would be ridiculous. Someone needs to tell Bernie that not all races can be held in a featureless desert behind closed doors or he will sap the support that has made him so much money in the first place.

Any way, I am ranting -


P.S. I am from 606 - I hope that we can leave the wums there.
: off topic :

rapidcaptain said:
P.S. I am from 606 - I hope that we can leave the wums there.

As one of the site mods we try really hard to keep this forum nice and friendly so we couldn't agree with you more.

A warm welcome to the site RC and happy posting.

As has been said, it would be a big loss if Melbourne loses the GP (and as Snowy mentioned, the flooding could do for this year's race! >:( ).

I can't see the gain from making Melbourne a night race, either. Would the viewing figures in Europe really be much more if the race was at 9am, when most F1 fans would get up at silly O'clock to watch the race live anyway. Would many casual viewers tune in, instead of doing what they normally do on a Sunday morning? I think not.

We can just hope that the race organisers are just 'negotiating '... :unsure:
Indeed, would it be fair to the Australian F1 fans to make it a night race? They already have to stay up late on a Sunday evening to watch the European F1 races, it would really rub salt in the wounds to make them have to do the same for their own event!
I would have thought having the race broadcast at 6am, repeated at 1pm and then again at 10pm would result in far greater viewing figures. I very seldom miss the race live, the lunchtime repeat and the night repeat, surely I am not alone?
Am I the only one who likes these stupid o'clock GP's? Maybe its having the TV to myself and having no background noise and silly questions. I remember when the race was closer to 3.30 am, now that was tough.
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