Aussie GP confident of new deal

Friday 27-September-2013 07:20

Melbourne could remain on the F1 calendar beyond 2015 after promoters revealed that talks with Bernie Ecclestone were progressing.

Australian GP CEO Andrew Westacott met with Ecclestone at the Singapore Grand Prix to discuss the race's future as the current deal expires in 2015.

"We have two events still go, but we are starting to look at the future," he told Autosport. "We had a meeting [with Ecclestone] here [in Singapore].

"We have been working with them for 18 years and there is a good desire from both parties to continue."

Westacott revealed that the grand prix, which takes place at the Albert Park circuit, turned a corner at this year's event when, for the first time, the costs of hosting the race were reduced.

"For the first time since the event came to Melbourne, we have reduced the cost from the previous year. The cost to the taxpayer in 2012 was $56 million, this year it was $50 million.

"We grew revenue by $4 million and we cut expenditure by $2 million. It is a great effort and Melbournians embrace the race. The event has a real place on the calendar."

Weighing in on reports that Bahrain could soon become the season-opening race instead of Australia, Westacott added: "What was important for Melbourne was that we always wanted to lock in March 16.

"Melbourne has so many events in March, that locking in the date for certain is great for sales. If we had to wait for a date later on in the year, that would put us behind in our plans."

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