Melbourne will remain home of the Australian Grand Prix until at least 2035 after singing a new 10-year extension with Formula 1.

This year’s race at Albert Park was the first for three years due to the coronavirus pandemic, with 419,000 fans attending over the weekend – making it the biggest-ever crowd at a sporting event in Australia.

The Australian Grand Prix first joined the calendar in 1985, taking place at the Adelaide street circuit before moving to Melbourne in 1996.

The track underwent a major revamp ahead of the 2022 race with improvements made to the track, paddock and pitlane, including the removal of the old Turn 9/10 chicane.

Australia already had a deal in place until 2025 but has agreed to extend its contract for a further 10 years, with the new agreement featuring some added perks.

Melbourne will be entitled to host the opening race of the season in five of the next 13 years, having last held a season opener in 2019.

In addition to this, F2 and F3 will race at Albert Park for the first time next year as part of F1’s support programme – providing fans with more on-track action of the grand prix weekend.

“I am delighted to confirm that Melbourne and the Albert Park circuit will continue to be on the Formula 1 calendar until 2035,” said F1 CEO Stefano Domenicali.

“The race has always been a favourite for the fans, drivers and the teams and Melbourne is an incredible and vibrant international city that is a perfect match for our sport.

“This year we saw huge crowds and passionate fans at the Grand Prix, and we are very excited by the future in Australia as our sport continues to grow.”

Australian Grand Prix Corporation CEO Andrew Westacott believes the contract extension builds a great foundation to inspire the future generation of Australian racing drivers.

“This is a sensational announcement that is simply great for Melbourne and Victoria,” Westacott said.

“It builds on our rich motor sport history as well as Melbourne’s love of big sporting events and provides aspiration to the next generation of Aussie racing stars.

“We’re proud of our strong relationship with Formula 1 and together we will grow the sport in Australia and the broader Asia-Pacific region. Everyone at the Australian Grand Prix Corporation looks forward to taking the Formula 1 Australian Grand Prix to new levels over the course of the next 13 years.”