Melbourne won't lose Grand Prix
8 March 2004 –
Melbourne won't lose its Formula One Grand Prix in 2006. F1 boss Bernie Ecclestone was quoted by reporters in recent days worrying that he might have to cancel the race because of a clash with the Commonwealth Games.
Melbourne is scheduled to host the games on March 15 - 26 (2006). 'We'll be here in 2006,' the diminutive Briton said on a rare visit to the circuit on Sunday, 'and we'll try and sort out a date that works for everybody.'
Melbourne has a contract with F1 that says the Victorian capital should host the first-race of the Formula One season but it can't meet that stipulation in 2006.
Bernie said moving the round to later in the season might cost Australian Grand Prix Corporation chairman Ron Walker 'more money' but he appeared to be joking. 'I think there was a degree of flippancy in Mr Ecclestone's remarks,' said Ron. 'It's a big thing to have your first race interrupted because it affects seventeen other races. There are all sorts of issues to sort out.'
Sources insist that late-April is Melbourne's preferred 2006 race-date.