Updated: 08/03/2014 10:43 | By Agence France-Presse

Australian GP extended to 2020

The Australian Formula One Grand Prix will stay in Melbourne until 2020, the Victorian state government said Sunday, after the conclusion of 12 months of negotiations in London.


Australian GP extended to 2020

Mercedes driver Nico Rosberg of Germany waves as he passes the chequered flag to win the Formula One Australian Grand Prix in Melbourne on March 16, 2014 - by William West

Victorian Premier Denis Napthine hailed the extension of the race from 2016 to 2020, and said he looked forward to Australian Daniel Ricciardo of Red Bull winning the Albert Park race during that time.

He said the new contract was agreed to last week after a year of negotiations in London.

"This is a terrific announcement that reaffirms Melbourne and Victoria as the major events and sporting capital of the world," Napthine told Fairfax Radio.

The GP is funded by the Victorian state government, and has consistently lost money since Melbourne replaced Adelaide as Australia's Formula One venue in 1996.

But Napthine said the contract would be a "great deal" for taxpayers.

"It's a better deal than the existing contract," he added.

The sport's ringmaster Bernie Ecclestone said in the same statement the contract was "well deserved by Melbourne".

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