F1 boss eyes long-term Melbourne deal

Tuesday 26-February-2013 13:45

The Australian Grand Prix will stay at Albert Park for the next 50 years if Bernie Ecclestone has his way.

Melbourne has hosted the race since 1996, but rarely a season goes by without politicians or local residents raising questions over the amount of money it costs to host the race.

Under the current terms, the race will stay in the Victorian capital until 2015, but the Formula One ringmaster is keen to keep the race there on a long-term basis.

Speaking to the Australian GP's Keeping Track podcast, he said: "We hope we're going to be in Melbourne forever. We're happy with Melbourne and I'd be happy to sign a 50-year contract. We don't have a problem with Melbourne.

"I understand we do get a little bit of criticism. I don't know why. You start wondering are we really wanted in Melbourne?

"It appears to be (wanted) now; whenever these sorts of things happen I'm told, 'Don't be silly about that, it's just one or two people making a noise. We're happy for Formula One to be there."'

Should Melbourne decide to pull out, then there are several other options for Ecclestone, but Albert Park remains his number one choice.

"We get proposals from other parts, but we're happy in Melbourne," he said.

"Everybody loves Australia and loves Australian people, and it's good to be there... and Melbourne, in itself, is a nice place."

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