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Melbourne secures Grand Prix until 2012?

THE city of Melbourne is understood to be close to concluding a deal to host the Australian Grand Prix until the year 2012. The race has been held in Albert Park since 1996 and Grand Prix Corporation boss Ron Walker is keen to secure the event for as long as possible to stop other Australian cities bidding for it. In recent months there have been suggestions that Adelaide might try to win the event back again and Sydney may be in position to make a bid for the race once the Olympic Games are out of the way.

Walker is in a very strong bargaining position at the moment as he played a crucial role in putting F1 boss Bernie╩Ecclestone into contact with the US investment company Hellman & Friedman, which has agreed to pay Ecclestone $1bn for a share in Formula One Holdings.

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