Robert Doyle, Lord Mayor of Melbourne, wants to lose the Australian Grand Prix at Albert Park. The race costs AU$ 50 million (€ 36.48 million). Which is a lot of cash. F1 supremo Bernie Ecclestone is prepared to talk. “Love it or lose it”, is the reasoning.
Yes, F1 is expensive. But Australia needs F1. Sports in Australia is, due to its remote location and vastness, self-centered. There’s Aussie rules football, the V8 Supercars, … all ‘inbred’ sports. Sorry my dear Aussies, it’s what it is.
Sure, there’s the Australian Open. If you’re into cycling you know the Tour Down Under. But the great Commonwealth of Australia doesn’t have too many world renown (annual) sporting events. Getting rid of Formula 1 would be a great loss to the sporting nation which Australia definitely is.
As a Belgian, I recognise the debate. The Belgian Grand Prix costs The regional government of Wallonia many euros. Yet Belgium, a small country only famous for beer, chocolate, waffles and having no federal government, also needs international sporting events or athletes. We didn’t get the 2018 Football World Cup, Justine Henin just retired. What’s left? Spa-Francorchamps puts Belgium on a map.
Keep Formula 1, Melbourne.