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Australian GP to have five season-opener slots under new deal

MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA – APRIL 10: Max Verstappen of the Netherlands driving the (1) Oracle Red Bull Racing RB18 on track during the F1 Grand Prix of Australia at Melbourne Grand Prix Circuit on April 10, 2022 in Melbourne, Australia. (Photo by Clive Mason/Getty Images) // Getty Images / Red Bull Content Pool.

The new Australian Grand Prix contract implies that Melbourne will host the F1 season-opener at least 5 times in 13 years.

Melbourne’s Albert Park was the traditional venue to start F1 season at before the COVID-19 pandemic began. However, Australia lost that spot after that.

According to the new Australian GP contract, Albert Park will host the season-opener in 2024 and 2025 as well as at least three more dates yet to be announced. In other cases, the Australian GP will be among first three races in the F1 calendar.

“One of the things that happens is that, it’s difficult enough [for us] to juggle four days of activity at Albert Park; Formula 1 has to juggle 23 races on a calendar,” Australian Grand Prix Corporation CEO Andrew Westacott commented.

“At the start of the season, taking into account Ramadan, taking into account Easter, taking into account other scheduling constraints, five races to headline the start of the season in Melbourne is a great result. And that’s the guaranteed minimum.

“What we’re going to find is that over the course of that time, we’re going to be either race 1, race 2 or race 3, very early in the season.

“It’s a great outcome. We saw 419000 people here as the estimated attendance for 2022. We see that continuing.”

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