Australian GP hit by sponsor withdrawals

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Several major F1 sponsors have cut their spending on the opening round of the season in Australia, facing its promoters with the prospect of losing significant amounts of money.

According to the Herald Sun BMW has axed its 450,000 (??507,000) corporate hospitality budget for the race, joining Foster’s in cutting its spending on the race.

Race title sponsors ING has already announced it is ending its Formula 1 sponsorship at the end of 2009.

Autosport’s Dieter Rencken (subscription required) adds that moving the Grand Prix to a later start time of 5pm to suit European television audiences better has had several negative effects:

Pitched midway between Paddock Club and top line grandstand prices, a raft of corporate suites mainly situated on the runs to and from Turn 1 provide Australia’s high-rollers with civilised race experiences. Fine food and wines are served in air-conditioned comfort but in a more relaxed atmosphere than found in the stifling Paddock Club has in the past 10,000 to 15,000 booted and suited punters.

Being captains of industry they have generally accepted invitations on the basis of being able to head for Sydney, Perth, Adelaide or Brisbane by air on Sunday evening and be in their office with the kangaroos on Monday morning. No more is that possible…

Australia is not the only F1 venue facing a falling demand from spectators. Tickets sales for the Malaysian Grand Prix are 20% down on the same time last year.

Singapore has sold 60% of its 4,000 Paddock Club places since they went on sale on February 6th. Paddock Club tickets for its inaugural race last year went on sale on November 28th 2007, and 3,000 had been sold by January 2008.

Read more: 2009 Australian Grand Prix

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Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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10 comments on “Australian GP hit by sponsor withdrawals”

  1. These are established GP venues experiencing such problems, yet Bernie is still trying to get more countries to build more white elephant projects with no guarantee of income.

    By the way Keith, I’m getting an”Error 500 – Internal server error” when I try to access the homepage but not so when Its a subsequent link. Or is it just from my end?

  2. Perhaps it might just be a cache error affecting me only. Seems to have cleared up now.

    1. Nop, nop… I have the same one!

  3. server’s having issues, should be ok

    how many of those 10-15k have been sold in Aus? what’s the ticket sales like?

  4. Thanks for the warning guys, am looking into it.

  5. I thought the point of having a race in Australia would be to bring in an Australian audience. It seems that Bernie and CVC have rather lost the plot in seeking the international audience instead.
    I still believe that Bernie just doesn’t know how to work a VCR or DVD-R, so doesn’t think that anybody else can. Perhaps one of his daughters needs to show him how its done!

  6. If Lindsay Fox builds a new track near his airport, the AusGp has a future,21985,25107150-39478,00.html

  7. Above, you have the 3 dates of the race weekend listed, but you have Sunday mislabeled as Sunday.
    Friday 29th March 2009 should be Sunday 29th March 2009
    Great site! Keep it up!

  8. melbourne is one of the best tracks also like barcelona aswell

  9. Julien Lacombe
    1st April 2009, 15:16

    Mercedes transfer it’s focus from Mclaren to Brawn GP by sending budget and world champion Lewis Hamilton to the new star team. We still don’t know who from Button or Barrichello leave his place, and who take the ex Mclaren mercedes of Hamilton. Let’s head to Sepang now!

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