Australia’s Love of Motor Racing and their investment into the sport
Motorsport has a massive fanbase in Australia with everything from Formula One to the Supercars Championship, which is watched avidly at the various tracks around the country.
Formula 1 is particularly popular, with a Grand Prix based in Australia and no fewer than 17 Australian F1 drivers over the years. Although it’s an expensive sport to get into, Australia has produced more than its fair share of top-notch drivers throughout the history of F1.
The Australian F1 Grand Prix
The Australian F1 Grand Prix is currently held at Albert Park in Melbourne, the venue which took over from the previous race held in Adelaide.
Formula 1 has been in Melbourne since 1996, and every year, the venue is transformed over a six-week period. Albert Park is a recreational space with picnic areas, walking trails, and general sporting facilities for most of the year.
It takes approximately six weeks to create a temporary racing track, which then takes a further four weeks to take back down after the Australian F1 Grand Prix.
Around 300,000 spectators typically attend over the four days, with 100,000 spectators on race day. Even though the race is very popular, Victorian taxpayers have to stump up approximately $50 million every year to cover the costs.
In 2015, a new contract was signed to keep F1 at Melbourne until 2023. This was extended in 2019 to guarantee the Australian Grand Prix until at least 2025.
The street circuit can be pretty challenging for the drivers and can be slippery under the wheels, especially at the start of the weekend. Despite having some very tricky corners, it's also a fast track, with Lewis Hamilton clocking up an average 235 km/h in his 2018 pole lap. The track is now even faster after some recent changes to the circuit throughout 2021.
However, reviewing the Australian Grand Prix records at Melbourne, Michael Schumacher is still the man, with a scorching 1:24.125 which the racing legend set in 2004.
Investment in Motor Racing
The latest Australian F1 driver to make his mark on the grid is Daniel Ricciardo, a native of Perth. Born in 1989 and with the ferocious nickname Honey Badger, Ricciardo now drives for top team McLaren after taking over the Red Bull seat from fellow Australian Mark Webber.
Now in the hot seat at McLaren, Ricciardo has been heavily involved in the new sponsorship deal between McLaren and gaming brand PartyCasino, which is owned by Entain. The gambling giant has agreed to a multi-year sponsorship deal with McLaren, releasing content to promote responsible play while also providing cutting edge technology for fans, including a brand-new platform, Access.
Access will provide exclusive experiences and dedicated content for Ricciardo and McLaren fans, as well as providing investment via sponsorship in the team. Through the partnership, Entain and McLaren hope to explore strategies for managing risk and promoting safe play, two key areas where McLaren have great skill.
The Australian driver has spoken of his love for motorsport, and by taking the spot at McLaren, Ricciardo is guaranteed to benefit from the very best expertise in F1. Could this mean another Australian F1 champion is on the cards? Beating the other top drivers will be a tall order, but if anyone can do it, Ricciardo can.