Future of F1 in Australia?
1st March 2012, 9:27 at 9:27 am #130994
For a while now Bernie has been talking about the need for Australia to hold the race much later in the day so that there can be a bigger audience in Europe watching it on TV. The drivers always mention how much they enjoy the Australian GP, both in the days it was in Adelaide, and now Melbourne. Its quite obvious that Formula One now is more about the money than anything else, and therefore the biggest influence on IF Australia can continue to hold an F1 event will be the ability to hold a race at night.
Melbourne would not spend the money on lighting around Albert Park, and to be honest, it would be disgusting to see something like that built around it. The same for Adelaide.
So the question is, how can a compromise be made? Would the difference of a few more hours help keep it in Australia? And if so, what about the option of Perth holding it? Perth is 3 hours behind the eastern states during the summer, and maybe they could hold a twilight race, as it currently is in Melbourne (although I am not sure what time it gets dark in Perth in March).
If the time difference could help, is there any place suitable in Perth or near the west coast for a street circuit?1st March 2012, 10:42 at 10:42 am #194723
The Australian GP is one of the best on the calendar. However, Bernie does not get as much money from it as he could from other races. These days, more people watch F1 not in Europe than in Europe but that doesn’t concern him.
All this talk is just a way of Bernie trying to extract more money from a race by making it seem vulnerable, we have previously seen this at Silverstone.
I don’t think the Victorian government will give in to him and this will lose Melbourne the GP, but other cities have expressed interest in it so I hope it still stays in Australia
Bernie demands a night race, something Melbourne is not very keen on, perhaps other cities such as Sydney or Perth will be.1st March 2012, 11:03 at 11:03 am #194724
@ivz – I think your post is a total over-reaction to Bernie’s comments. How many times have we seen Bernie make a single demand of a circuit with multiple issues shortly before their contract is due to be renewed, only for that circuit to resolve all of their issues and get a contract extension without actually fulfilling Bernie’s original demand? The answer is “plenty of times” – we’ve seen it everywhere from Sepang to Silverstone.
Every year, the public and politicians question the need for the Australian Grand Prix, and there’s usually some newly-elected poltician claiming that they support the race, but they’ll be playing hardball with Bernie to get a better deal. It has happened for at least the past two years, and probably in 2009 as well. Nothing has ever come of it. This is just Bernie’s way of getting Ron Walker to tidy up the management of the race, so that when it comes time to re-negotiate, they don’t have to tolerate failed, but nevertheless self-important politicians (like, say, Lord Mayor Robert Royle) using the race for their own purposes.
By the time 2015 comes around, all of this malarkey will be forgotten.1st March 2012, 11:04 at 11:04 am #194725
yeah, it’s gone..
90% sure that the race won’t continue past 2015. Even if Bernie and Ron get together again, the complaints and anger from the locals is growing every year. it’s going to reach a flashpoint soon, i’m sure of it.
The only thing that may save the GrandPrix is if the local motorsports fans actually rise up, and get their voice heard. In sensationalist newspapers around Melbourne (don’t even get me started on the Herald Sun https://twitter.com/#!/heraldsunreader) the majority of views getting circulated revolve around a very small, very persistent group of people hating on the grand prix. The main arguments are all just “the park’s getting ruined!”, “all this money could be spent on hospitals!” and “somebody please think of the children!”.. These arguments are getting mass publicity, and are swaying the public and politicians. Currently, every Australian that doesn’t know anything about Motor Racing (there’s a lot of them!) pictures F1 fans as this http://images-2.drive.com.au/2011/10/06/2673106/car-on-fire-3_1024-600×400.jpg
If this persistent bunch of GP Haters keep spamming the media, the race is going to be gone in 2015. If Motor Sports fans of Melbourne make their voices heard; by commenting on news articles, buying tickets to the GP or just plain convincing your friends that F1 isn’t all “drivers going in circles for 2 hours”.. we might just convince the politicians that there’s enough of a following here to warrant the 50 Million a year spend.1st March 2012, 11:06 at 11:06 am #194726
oh, and yeah.. the problem isn’t with Bernie, it’s with our government and their crazy decision making1st March 2012, 16:24 at 4:24 pm #194727
I’m sure the Victorian goverment would be happy to keep it if it wasn’t such a huge expense. But my question is if (or really when) Melbourne give it up, what are the chances it could be held somewhere else in Australia?
And with such a huge focus on TV times, would an extra 2 or 3 hours later make a difference?1st March 2012, 19:45 at 7:45 pm #194728
These Bernie and Ron Walker stories come along every March, and they’re a sure sign that the season’s about to start! I don’t agree that “nothing has ever comes of it”, as the Melbourne race moved later in the day a couple of years ago, and plenty has come of Bernie’s demands at Silverstone, for example.
But it doesn’t matter to me what time the race is, now that I’ll only be watching highlights of it. So far it’s only here in Britain and Japan that (I’m aware) F1’s been sold to subscription TV. But I suspect it’s just the start – surely there’ll be more juicy TV deals for Bernie, all across Europe. All this business about European TV ratings never made much sense to me – even less so now.
A late-afternoon / evening race means lots more time for support races if you’re watching at the track though.1st March 2012, 20:33 at 8:33 pm #194729
sbl on tourParticipant
well said bullfrog
nowadays eccclestones comments/statements are tosh, its about time he realised he,s becoming a laughing stock, ok a rich one, but a laughing stock none the less
bernie , awa an saunter!8th March 2012, 3:44 at 3:44 am #194730
It’s really, really simple. Sydney needs to fight hard for the GP. We want it because Melbourne has it, and if Sydney wants it, Melbourne will move heaven and earth to keep it.
Come on Sydney, let’s fight to have the GP here to make sure it stays in Melbourne!
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