Australian Grand Prix Chair Ron Walker To Negotiate New F1 Contract With Ecclestone
The Napthine government has given Australian Grand Prix Chair Ron Walker the green light to negotiate a new Australian F1 Grand Prix contract with F1 CEO Bernie Ecclestone "despite crippling losses and the F1 boss facing corruption charges in Germany," according to John Ferguson of THE AUSTRALIAN. Tourism Minister Louise Asher Wednesday announced that "taxpayers had bailed out this year's F1 grand prix and last year's Australian MotoGP" to the tune of nearly A$57M ($51M), adding to total losses of hundreds of millions since the mid-'90s. While Asher noted an improvement in revenue and some cost savings, "the losses will weigh heavily on the government as it seeks to sign a contract extension" after the '15 car race. Asher said that Melbourne's A$1.4B major events calendar "was underpinned by the F1 race and the investment represented good value for the community" (THE AUSTRALIAN, 8/29).