Aus GP looking to ‘grow the numbers’

Despite best efforts, new Australian GP chairman John Harnden says hosting the F1 grand prix will continue to cost about $50 million a year.

Last year Melbourne secured a new Formula 1 deal that will keep the Australian Grand Prix in the city until at least 2020.

Not everyone greated the new contract with enthusiasm as the race costs the government of Victoria about $50 million a year.

But with an increase in spectator numbers at this year's grand prix, Harnden is adamant it is money well spent.

"If we look at all the other great sporting events, in one way or another, they cost money," he told 3AW radio.

"You look at the infrastructure that is built and those sorts of things, they are a cost to the public."

He is, however, determined to ensure that the grand prix costs the state of Victoria as little as possible.

"I don't believe there is any more fat in there," he added.

"We've had growth (in revenue) the last couple of years and I think we really need to push hard to continue to grow the revenue."

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