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Australian Grand Prix’s welcome problem

DEBATE around how future Formula 1 Australian Grand Prix undercards should look is a welcome case of being spoilt for choice, says Motorsport Australia president Andrew Fraser.

For two successive editions, there have been four support categories to F1 at Albert Park: Formula 2, Formula 3, Supercars, and Porsche Carrera Cup Australia.

Prior to F2 and F3’s debut Down Under last year, S5000 had featured on the 2022 bill.

Supercars was this year clearly bumped down the pecking order, characterised by the loss of the alternate pitlane (which wasn’t even used in competition by F2) and restrictions on paddock access.

Ryan Wood’s Mustang being wheeled around the makeshift Supercars paddock. Pic: Ross Gibb

Those matters triggered questions as to whether it’s worth the championship returning next year, and similarly whether Supercars actually adds to the event.

Both answers seem to be yes after a stellar weekend of racing, with early indications that the Supercars paddock could be moved to an open area on the opposite side of the pit straight for 2025.

Asked pre-event as to his thoughts on the importance of having Australia’s premier category compete at the AGP, Fraser responded: “It’s a pretty awesome problem to have.

“If we look at grands prix around the world, sometimes they struggle to get good racing on the undercard, and here in Australia we have got precisely the other problem, which is that we are spoilt for the amount of racing and the quality of racing.

“Supercars is obviously a national championship and it does get showcased here in front of a record crowd…

“Supercars is the premier category in Australia so of course it’s great to be here, but ultimately it’s about trying to squeeze everyone into what is turning into a bigger and bigger event each year.

“Those guys are going to have a chat about how it might work into the future and we’ll be supporting them.”

A record four-day estimated attendance of 452,055 was reported for the 2024 AGP.

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