Melbourne is getting fed up. According to reports, the city lost an estimated A$49.2 million this past year. That is just over double what the city lost just a few years ago in 2006, but estimates are projecting a loss of up to A$70 million by the year 2015, when the current contract is set to expire. The mayor of the city obviously doesn’t want Melbourne to incur these kinds of losses any more, and has even said that, should the worst happen, the city may simply walk away from the race. He says they have had 20 fantastic years, but that the losses outweigh any potential benefits they may see.
It would be sad to see Melbourne lose the race, or walk away from it, but those are some really high costs. Plus, with this being one of the big flyaway races for the teams, they also must feel the crunch when it comes time to head down under. Honestly, I wouldn’t be surprised if the Aussies end up dropping the race after this year, when they once again see a huge loss for their city. There really isn’t any gain to having a Formula One race in a city or country anymore. Sure it can bring in some tourist dollars, but obviously not enough to offset the actual cost of putting on the race itself, not by a long shot. And if Australia can’t afford to actually run the race, imagine how some of these other burgeoning countries with less capital are going to feel when they actually have to foot the bill. Sure, F1 seems like a sweet deal to places like India and Russia now, but I believe it will end up being more of a headache for them in the end.