• Circuit News

Australian GP looks into venue change

ESPNF1 Staff
March 1, 2010 « No team has a distinct advantage - Massa | »
Albert Park has been a popular venue since 1996 © Getty Images

Organisers of the Australian Grand Prix are looking into building a new floodlit circuit to replace Albert Park as the race's venue.

F1 CEO Bernie Ecclestone appears to be leaning towards more night races in the Far East, and possibly Australia, to make the start time more agreeable for European audiences. A report in Australia's Sunday Herald Sun said the Confederation of Australian Motor Sport (CAMS) has been granted $130,000 in funding by the FIA to look into building a $200m permanent circuit in the Melbourne suburb of Avalon.

Albert Park currently has a contract to host the race until 2015, but it's thought a new floodlit venue would increase the city's chances of fighting off competition when the deal comes up for renewal. A permanent circuit would also mean taxpayers would not have to foot the bill for preparing the temporary Albert Park track each year.

The proposed site in Avalon is owned by Australian transport company Linfox, whose director Andrew Fox said: "I'm happy to put the capital up on behalf of the [Fox] family at Avalon and build a world class standard [circuit]."

However, Victoria State's sports minister James Merlino said: "A decision to relocate the race is ultimately up to government, regardless of CAMS's findings."

Albert Park will hold the second round of this year's championship on March 28.