Australian F1 GP to stay at Albert Park: premier

MELBOURNE (AFP) – The loss-making Australian Formula One Grand Prix will stay at its Albert Park street circuit, the Victorian state government said on Thursday.

Race cars line up in pit lane before the start of a practice session for Formula One's Australian Grand Prix, Albert Park street circuit in Melboune, in March. AFP

Victorian Premier John Brumby ruled out moving the race to another part of Melbourne after the race posted its biggest loss in five years last financial year.

"I think it (the chance of moving the grand prix) is about as close to zero as you can get," Brumby told reporters.

The Victorian state government has a contract to run a twilight Australian Grand Prix until 2015, but pressure is building on the event after losses of 130 million dollars (124 million US) over three years.

Attendance was up at this year's race over 2009. But costs rose after the start time was moved to the evening to suit global television audiences, and the event was in the red to the tune of 49 million dollars.

The GP is funded by the Victorian state government and has consistently lost money since Melbourne replaced Adelaide as Australia's Formula One venue in 1996.

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