State Government keeps F1 Grand Prix race fee but stumps up ticket refunds

The state government has avoided paying a race hosting fee, worth tens of millions of dollars, to Formula 1 after this year’s Australian Grand Prix was cancelled because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The race was called off at the last minute in dramatic circumstances in March, with the pandemic gathering pace, key drivers walking out and the state government ordering the event could only go ahead without crowds at the Albert Park venue.


Chaotic scenes ensued as hundreds of fans arrived at the track for the first day’s racing only to be told the Grand Prix was off.

Sports Minister Martin Pakula told a parliamentary committee on Wednesday that the government-owned Grand Prix Corporation had struck a deal with the sport’s owners that the hosting fee, believed to be about $60 million, would not be paid this year.

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