Date: 4th August 2014 at 9:10am
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Formula One’s curtain raiser in Melbourne, Australia looks set to remain following the signing of a new long-term contract.

Negotiations over a new deal between the race promoters at Melbourne and Formula One took the usual path.

We’ve seen it all before as both sides use the media to aid their negotiations, especially during the financial aspect of any new deal.

Rumours and fears that F1 would simply say goodbye to the track escalated as the 12 month talks continued, until a new deal was signed off in London last week.

The result? A brand new five-year deal was agreed.

?I congratulate Melbourne for the excellent way in which it presents Formula 1 to the world.? Formula One supremo Bernie Ecclestone told the media.

?Formula 1 is a key pillar of Victoria?s major sporting events strategy. This calendar is unrivalled worldwide, commencing with the Australian Tennis Open and Asian Football Cup in January, followed by the ICC Cricket World Cup in February, the Formula 1 Australian Grand Prix in March, the AFL Final Series, and the Spring Racing Carnival,? Premier of Victoria Denis Napthine said in a statement published on Sky Sports.

?Within this contract we hope to see Australia?s own Daniel Ricciardo win the Formula 1 Australian Grand Prix and become World Champion.

?I congratulate Australian Grand Prix Corporation Chairman Ron Walker for his success as a tough negotiator in getting the best deal for Victoria.?

Whilst the provisional calendar for 2015 is yet to be announced, it is fully expected that the opening race in March will be held in Australia.