A bid has appeared from the New South Wales government to poach the F1 Grand Prix from Melbourne and Australian F1 Grand Prix chief Andrew Westacott, isn’t happy.
This bid has appeared as a result of the NSW government announcing a $200 million event fund in June which was said at the time to put “NSW in pole position to secure major events.” This is in addition to Melbourne’s contract for the race expiring in 2025.
This isn’t the first time something like this to happen as Melbourne did the same thing to South Australia in 1996 and succeeded.
According to Channel 7, “sensitive high-level talks” are underway within the NSW government as they assess the feasibility of hosting the race.
The pitch is for a Monaco-style street race along Sydney Harbour, likely around The Rocks, in order to show off the harbour’s beauty and iconic sights. There are several logistical problems with this, the first being the requirement to shut down large parts of The Rocks for days at a time, the second having to do with very narrow streets and very wide F1 cars.
It’s the same problem Monaco has within modern F1, the cars are so wide that it is incredibly difficult to overtake. Often fans call the Monaco Grand Prix boring as a result. The difference though is that Monaco has a historical reason to be in F1, why add a new track that has the same problems as a historical track?
Andrew Westacott stated that he will fight to keep the race in Melbourne until 2025 and beyond. He told The Age,
There may be a spanner in the works, though. According to several overseas reports, there has been a bunch of frustration within the F1 paddock over Victoria’s hard-line policy on Covid-19 biosecurity restrictions. Organisers had to cancel both the 2020 and 2021 races as a result of Covid-19.
Westacott said, “There are always bids, and always forays from major events ministers and offices in various countries and cities around the world – they would not be doing their job if they were not reviewing their options. You can’t take your eye off the ball and you can’t be complacent in the world of major events. We are not complacent. It will be three years between events when April comes around, so our job is to make sure that everyone gets behind the event and it shows it’s worth for the Victorian visitor economy.”
The next race in Melbourne will not be season opener as it has traditionally been for the past few years going forward.
In other F1 news, here’s why Ferrari are the team to watch in 2022.