NSW government looks at poaching Melbourne F1 Grand Prix

The NSW government is reportedly running a ruler over the costs of poaching the Australian leg of the Formula One grand prix from Melbourne.

Melbourne has been forced to cancel its F1 grand prix two years in a row due to Covid restrictions but has the rights to host the event until 2025.

However, Channel 7 has reported the NSW government under new Premier Dominic Perrottet has conducted “sensitive high-level talks” around bringing the race to Sydney.

The NSW Government recently announced a $200 million fund to secure major events, with the reports the F1 race could be held on a circuit around Sydney Harbour.

It’s unlikely Melbourne would relinquish the high-profile event without a fight, with Victorian Sport Minister Martin Pakula confident the state could extend the contract beyond 2025.

“We’ve got an agreement until 2025 and there aren’t many circuits around the world that are as picturesque or as loved by the drivers and their teams as Albert Park,” he said.

“We’ll be working very closely with F1 to ensure Albert Park is a venue for Formula One for many years into the future.”

The race is heading back to Melbourne in April next year, a month later than its usual spot as the season opener in March.

Australian Grand Prix Corporation CEO Andrew Westacott said Melbourne should not “take anything for granted” given they poached the race from Adelaide.

“I’m confident that we’ve got such a strong relationship with Formula One that we will work on behalf of government to extend that contract,” he said. “For the time being we are focussing on April 10.”