The implied underlying threat to the continuation of the event in Melbourne after 2015 wasn't lost on Andrew Westacott, chief of the Grand Prix Corporation.
"There is always a risk from the other states," Westacott said. "This is why Melbourne can never be complacent when it comes to major events and doing things that is going to keep Melbourne in the tourist branding and business eye of the world," he added, explaining the benefits that staging an F1 race brought to the Victoria state capital.
"Melbourne probably doesn't need being put on the map, but that's what F1 does for a city, for sure," agreed Ecclestone.
Westacott said that Ecclestone's mention of a 50-year-contract to stay in Melbourne - ten times the usual duration of such agreements - was a ""wonderful sentiment", but that he was realistic that the city could not take anything for granted in the upcoming contract negotiations.