Australia to host twilight Formula One GP till 2015: officials - Mercedes-Benz Forum

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post #1 of 2 (permalink) Old 07-03-2008, 10:34 PM Thread Starter
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Australia to host twilight Formula One GP till 2015: officials

Australia to host twilight Formula One GP till 2015: officials
Fri 04 Jul, 05:39 AM

MELBOURNE (AFP) - Australia has secured the rights to host the Formula One Grand Prix in Melbourne until 2015, with a new twilight start to reach a greater television audience overseas, officials said Friday.

The race at Melbourne's Albert Park will start 90 minutes later at 5:00 pm (0600 GMT) from 2009 after a new contract was signed with Formula One management overnight, Victorian Premier John Brumby said.

"Next year's later start time will mean even greater television audiences in the United Kingdom, Asia and European markets, which means more exposure for 'brand Melbourne' than ever before," Brumby said.

The new timing is an apparent compromise following pressure from F1 chiefs for Australia to hold the race at night to suit European TV audiences. The event had been in danger of being handed to Russia, India or Korea.

The Victorian government had said it would do "whatever is fair and reasonable" to keep the event after its current contract expires in 2010, but had repeatedly refused to introduce a night race.

Formula One supremo Bernie Ecclestone said he was delighted with the new arrangement.

"I have wanted changes to the local race time so that we can increase the television audience in Europe and Asia," he said in a statement.

"I'm satisfied that the decision to move to a later start time for 2009 races is a win for television audiences in Europe and Asia, a win for Melbourne and a win for Formula One as a whole."

Despite the benefits of tourism and publicity for Melbourne, the Formula One race has been a costly financial exercise for Victoria.

The Melbourne race cost the state almost 35 million Australian dollars (33 million US) of taxpayer money in 2007 and has been budgeted for more than 40 million dollars this year.
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post #2 of 2 (permalink) Old 07-04-2008, 06:33 AM
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I guess everyone but US can make arrangements to keep their F1 grand prix. The british Grand Prix is going to move to Donnington Park from 2010! So Silverstone is going to be gone but if you live in UK at least you have a home race!
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