Two cities could alternate Aus GP – report

Sun, 18 March 2012, 05:35

Mar.18 (GMM) Organisers of the grand prix in Melbourne are reportedly considering sharing the city’s formula one rights with another Australian state.

Under financial strain, Germany alternates the annual hosting rights between Hockenheim and the Nurburgring, and Spain is set to begin a similar scheme for the struggling Barcelona and Valencia organisers.

Under pressure to ease the burden on Victoria’s state taxpayers, organisers of the annual Albert Park race are considering something along those lines, the local Herald Sun reports.

Citing “high placed sources”, the Melbourne newspaper said Sydney or Perth could be the alternate race hosts.

Perth is the capital of Western Australia, and premier Colin Barnett said: “(The) grand prix is a great event, but WA will not be bidding for it.”

A spokesman for Victorian premier Ted Baillieu, however, did not rule it out.

“We’ve got the race until 2015 in its current form,” he said. “Negotiations beyond that will focus on value for money for the Victorian economy.”

Australian Grand Prix Corporation chairman Ron Walker, however, described the idea as “a formula for disaster”.

“All of our major events are hard won and we are not about to share ours with another Australian city,” he said.

The rumours are already swirling in the Melbourne paddock.

“I think to move it interstate would cause more headaches than it’s probably worth,” said Australian driver Mark Webber.

“It’s been so successful in Melbourne for so long now. (But) you never say never, nothing is forever.”

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