Formula 1 Discussed Making The Australian Grand Prix A Night Race
(Photo by Mario Renzi - Formula 1/Formula 1 via Getty Images)
— Updated on 22 March 2024

Formula 1 Discussed Making The Australian Grand Prix A Night Race

— Updated on 22 March 2024
Garry Lu
Garry Lu

Much to the disappointment of Sydney motorsport fans, Melbourne will serve as Formula 1’s host city until at least 2035. Though that doesn’t necessarily mean change is completely off the cards.

As Patrick Durkin of The Australian Financial Review has reported, aside from being reinstated as the opening event, the organisation has considered pivoting away from broad daylight and turning the Australian Grand Prix into a night race.

“We discussed about it, why not?” Formula 1 Group CEO Stefano Domenicali said when prompted about the possibility at last year’s SportNXT conference.

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Domenicali explained the long-term nature of Melbourne’s contract with Formula 1 encompasses several options, which will be discussed after the season kicked off with consecutive night races in Bahrain and Saudi Arabia.

“It’s a matter of investment… but it could be attractive, that’s why when you plan for so long, you can really think what is the best to create new products.”

Australian Grand Prix CEO Andrew Westacott added that Melbourne “works beautifully in the current arrangements,” but when it comes to Formula 1, you never say never.

“Las Vegas is a great example, a Saturday night race, not in the traditional Sunday slot,” noted Westacott.

Formula 1 Sydney Grand Prix 1

At the same conference, Stefano Domenicali revealed that while denying Sydney’s pitch to host the Australian Grand Prix was “not an easy decision,” opting to further the elite motorsport’s partnership with Melbourne was ultimately the right decision (day or night race).

“We had a very important offer from Sydney to have the Grand Prix, and that was dealt in a very, very professional way,” said Stefano Domenicali.

“At the end of the day… it was for the best of Formula 1, and we are very happy and proud to have that agreement with Melbourne because what has been done in the last few decades has proven to be very strong and successful.”

“It’s a destination city. We’re four kilometres from the CBD… The attraction is for new fans to come along because they can jump on a tram in our city and be at the circuit in 20 minutes to see something they’ve never experienced before, and when they experience it, they say, ‘I’m going to come back this year.’”

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“Last year’s event did two things, I believe. It showed that Melbourne delivers on the global stage, which is important. You cannot ever rest on your laurels in Formula 1, whether you’re a team or a promoter or a partner.”

“But it also showed the government the Victorian people love major events and when they’re delivered to the greatest standard, then they’re very, very good for the city.”

After a two-year absence due to COVID-19, the annual race event returned to the Victorian capital in 2022, drawing a record crowd of 419,000 in the process. According to the current estimates, that figure is expected to once again exceed 440,000 this weekend.

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Garry Lu
After stretching his legs with companies such as The Motley Fool and the odd marketing agency, Garry joined Boss Hunting in 2019 as a fully-fledged Content Specialist. In 2021, he was promoted to News Editor. Garry proudly retains a blue belt in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, black bruises from Muay Thai, as well as a black belt in all things pop culture. Drop him a line at [email protected]


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