|© AP Photo/Andy Brownbill
Formula One boss Bernie Ecclestone has confirmed Melbourne will continue to host the Australian Grand Prix as the opening event of the season until 2020.
Victoria state premier Denis Napthine announced Sunday his government had signed a five-year deal from 2016 which guarantees the race will remain at Melbourne's Albert Park until the end of the decade.
Napthine said the agreement with Formula One organisers included clauses ensuring the Australian event will be the first of the season and the race will be staged during the day.
Napthine said there was "enormous competition to have Grands Prix as major events around the world" and Melbourne had taken a hard line in negotiations.
Ecclestone congratulated Melbourne "on the excellent way in which it presents Formula One to the world."