Melbourne to host Australian Grand Prix until 2035

Melbourne joined the calendar in 1996 and by the time the latest deal ends the race will have been there for nearly 40 years. Daniel Pockett/Getty Images for AGPC

Melbourne will host the Australian Grand Prix until 2035 in a new deal that will also see Formula Two and Formula Three added to the schedule for the first time next year, organisers announced on Thursday.

The contract for the race at Albert Park was due to expire in 2025, with Sydney expressing an interest in taking it on. However, F1 confirmed on Thursday that it will continue to stage races in Melbourne until 2035.

The city joined the calendar in 1996, taking the place of Adelaide, and F1 will have been there nearly 40 years by the time the latest deal ends.

More than 419,000 fans attended this year's race in April, the largest crowd ever for a weekend sporting event in Australia.

The race, which was not held in 2020 and 2021 due to the COVID-19 pandemic, has been a season-opener but was third on this year's calendar.

It is not expected to return to the prime slot taken by Bahrain, although Australian Grand Prix Corporation boss Andrew Westacott said in April that he wanted the race to be held early in the season.

F1 CEO Stefano Domenicali said the race had always been a favourite for the fans, drivers and teams.

"Melbourne is an incredible and vibrant international city that is a perfect match for our sport," Domenicali said.

The paddock and pit lane facilities will be upgraded as part of the deal.