• Australian Grand Prix

Australian GP to audit cost of race

ESPNF1 Staff
April 1, 2011 « Vettel 'against all the four-cylinder advocacy' | »
Melbourne put on another brilliant show at this year's Australian Grand Prix © Getty Images

The state of Victoria has commissioned an independent audit of the Australian Grand Prix to assess the extent of the expected losses it made by hosting the race last weekend.

The future of the Australian Grand Prix at Melbourne's Albert Park has been in doubt for some time with a faction of the local government unwilling to extend its current contract beyond 2015. Event organiser Ron Walker argues that the loss the race makes - expected to be in the region of A$50 million for the second year running - is offset by the visitors it draws to the city and the positive worldwide publicity.

Walker told ABC that he is hoping the audit reveals smaller losses than last year: "I'm very hopeful it will be the same as last year, perhaps a little bit less, but who knows. It takes a while to get all the numbers put together and the auditors will present the [Victorian] government with the figures in the next three or four weeks."

The grand prix weekend attracted 298,000 paying fans to the circuit according to Reuters, with 111,000 turning up on race day. Walker said those were impressive figures considering the race had to contend with the opening weekend of the Australian rules football season.

"When you think we had three football matches over the weekend to compete with the grand prix, we still did very well and maintained the status of the grand prix as the largest single-day sporting event in Australia."