• 2010 News

No sponsor for Australian Grand Prix

ESPNF1 Staff
December 29, 2009 « Daimler board criticised Schumacher deal | »
The Australian Grand Prix could end up costing the taxpayers even more in 2010 © Sutton Images
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The Australian Grand Prix, the second race of the 2010 calendar, could cost local taxpayers tens of millions of dollars after it was revealed it has yet to secure a title sponsor.

The event, which will be held in Melbourne's Albert Park on March 28, was previously supported by Dutch bank ING who withdrew in 2009. Even with their backing, the race still made a US$40 million loss. Without a major sponsor being found in the next three months, that deficit is likely to be even higher.

The organisers' chief executive officer Drew Ward insisted the race will still go ahead, adding efforts to attract a backer were still a "work in progress".

"There won't be any impact on the overall cost of the event in terms of overall sponsorship revenue," he told the Herald Sun. "If you look back at this year's event, general sponsorship interest was increased on previous years."

Although Melbourne normally occupies the opening spot on the calendar, in 2010 it will relinquish that to Bahrain, which last hosted the opening round in 2006 when Melbourne was tied up with the Commonwealth Games.

© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.

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