• Australian Grand Prix

Australian GP race chief to retire from post

ESPN Staff
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Ron Walker has been a vocal critic of the new era of Formula One © Sutton Images

Ron Walker is to step down from his position as chairman of the Australian Grand Prix after 22 years, as part of an overhaul of the event.

Walker will retire from his role when his contract expires after next year's race, which will be the 20th since the Australian Grand Prix switched from Adelaide to Melbourne's Albert Park. Walker has already made waves this season as one of the most vocal critics of the sound of the new engines, but his retirement is down to his age and not concerns over the future of the sport.

"I'll retire next year, after 20 years [of the Melbourne race],'' he said. "I'm 75 this year and it's good governance to let someone fresh take the reins."

Walker played a pivotal role in bringing the grand prix to Victoria in 1996, and is also chairman for Moto GP at Phillip Island. His deputy, Cricket World Cup chief John Harnden, has already been hand-picked as a replacement by Walker.