MARCH 12, 2008
Sydney stirs it up
As Bernie Ecclestone and the Melbourne authorities continue their negotiations about the future of the Australian Grand Prix, the city of Sydney - Melbourne's constant rival - has been stirring up the situation by suggesting that it could hold a race under floodlights at the Eastern Creek circuit. Nice as it might be to take F1 to Sydney, the claims are not being treated very seriously in Australia as Sydney has not been very active with big events since the Olympic Games in 2000. The state premier Morris Iemma says that it is possible to light Eastern Creek.
This is rather stating the obvious. It is also possible that there might be a Grand Prix in Tibet if someone is willing to pay, but the likelihood of someone signing the cheques is remote.
In addition the Sydney circuit would need some considerable updating before qualifying for an F1 race.
There have been a lot of other projects mentioned in Australia but none have the financial clout of Melbourne. The two sides in the negotiations have been making statements about what is needed but the feeling in F1 circles is that this is part of the process of finding a compromise deal that suits everyone.
The race remains the most popular of races amongst the F1 fraternity and despite all the negative media coverage in Australia, the event continues to be popular with fans.