Beloved Australian GP series declares ‘we deserve better’ after alarming F1 demotions

Jamie Woodhouse
The main straight at Albert Park prior to the start of the Australian Grand Prix race weekend.

The main straight at Albert Park.

The Supercars Championship is evaluating its future on the F1 Australian GP schedule after losing access to the pit lane and fans.

The Australian Grand Prix at Melbourne’s Albert Park serves as one of the most iconic stops on the Formula 1 calendar, but ahead of the 2024 staging Australia’s signature Supercars Championship has been left feeling uneasy over their treatment.

Supercars team owner frustrated ahead of Australian GP

It is a stacked support-race bill for the 2024 Australian Grand Prix with Formula 2 and Formula 3 in action, which has seen Supercars booted out of the second pit lane to make way for F2, leaving Supercars personnel in tents behind the facility with fans not given access to the area.

It also means there will be no pit stops at this SuperSprint round.

And this has led chief executive Shane Howard to make it clear that the situation must be discussed with a new deal required to keep Supercars on the Australian Grand Prix schedule beyond 2024.

“This year will be a big change for us and we are working through that with the Australian Grand Prix Corporation,” Howard told the Herald Sun.

“We would like to be in the pit lane … but we acknowledge that Formula 2 is Formula 1’s primary support.

“I understand their process in regard to it not being a general admission area because when you are trying to move race cars and lots of people in that area, it’s a recipe for a problem.

“But we have been working very closely with [AGPC chief executive] Travis Auld and his team and Travis has made it very clear that he wants us there and he will look to try and do everything we can to improve what we have so we can put on a good show.

“But we need to rectify this situation with the fans. It is very important for our fans to be able to get access to our drivers and our teams. Unfortunately, we won’t be able to fix it this year but we are going to work together and see if we can fix this [for the future].

“We want to be back but we will need to address those areas.

“We’ll need to work with the corporation to deliver on everybody’s expectations, be that our own being a championship round, being in a remote paddock and giving the fans what they want – good racing and access to our category.

“We will need to sit down together and just see what we can do and then once we have debriefed with everybody then we can make a calculated decision.

“It’s a world-class event and we want to be part of it but, as I have said, it has to work for everybody.” recommends

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Ryan Walkinshaw, co-owner of the Walkinshaw Andretti United team, made it clear to Formula 1 that he is not happy with how the series has been treated, particularly in regards to how the races have been scheduled.

The opening 100km-race will be followed by an 80km and two 70km contests.

“I do think it’s important [to be there] and I won’t pretend that I am not frustrated by the way I feel Supercars have been treated,” he said.

“We have been a staple of that event for a long time, the fans love us, the corporate partners that we have see it as a really important event and we do an enormous event of partner activations both on track and off track during the course of the F1 week, especially for my team with having Zak [Brown, McLaren Racing CEO] in town from McLaren.

“It’s hugely important to us. It is frustrating when you see we are getting these races at unusual times and they are very, very short. I think we deserve better.

“I think we add an enormous amount of value to the event.”

In Formula 1, Max Verstappen will be looking to equal his own record of 10 grands prix wins in a row with Australian Grand Prix victory.

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