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Bernie Ecclestone, head of F1 commercial rights holder Formula One Management (FOM), is prepared to sign a long-term extension to Melbourne's Grand Prix contract, with the 82-year-old eager to put an end to speculation over the future of the event.
Ecclestone, who was the subject of scrutiny after annual race costs were leaked last month, believes Melbourne should forever be a fixture on the Formula 1 calendar and plans to visit the street venue for the first time in eight years to begin negotiations.
"Everybody loves Australia and loves Australian people, and it's good to be there," Ecclestone told the official Australian Grand Prix podcast. "I understand we get a little bit of criticism but I don't know why.
"We're happy with Melbourne and I'd be happy to sign a 50-year contract. We don't have a problem with Melbourne; we hope we're going to be (there) forever."
Melbourne organisers signed a five-year extension to the city's Formula 1 contract back in 2011, with the agreement currently set to expire after the 2015 campaign.
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