The future of the Australian GP is back in double after Victoria Premier John Brumby revealed that Melbourne may elect not to extend its current deal.
The deal runs out in 2014 and while the Albert Park circuit remains a firm favourite with fans and drivers alike, the bare facts show that the event has been losing money for some time.
Indeed, each of the last three seasons has seen the event post losses of more than A$40 million – with the 2010 race losing nearly A$50 million.
That had led to speculation about the future of the event and Brumby, who could lose his position as Premier in upcoming elections, admitted that there was no guarantee that the race would go on beyond 2014.
"I know there's a range of views in the community and it is a costly major event, but we've got it until 2014," Brumby told ABC Radio
. "We'll look at whether we go beyond that, I'm not making any commitment beyond that."
Should Australia leave the F1 calendar, there would be no shortage of replacements in the wings with the likes of Russia and Bulgaria hoping to join the calendar and F1 bosses keen not to expand beyond the 20 races that will be run next year.