THE VICTORIAN GOVERNMENT on Thursday put the kibosh on plans to relocate the Australian Grand Prix from Albert Park after the current contract expires in 2015.
The FIA had approved a study into private sector plans to host the race at a $200m permanent circuit in Avalon, about a 40-minute drive from Melbourne.
But amid suggestions the new track could accommodate night racing and be cheaper to run, Major Events Minister Tim Holding said the Government wants the event to remain in Melbourne, held in the late afternoon.
"We like it here, it's right in the heart of the city, you get the aerial shots of Melbourne, it's got the lake, the bay, the CBD in it.
"If you went 20, 30, 40 kilometres out of Melbourne you lose all that," he told the Herald Sun newspaper.
Ecclestone Eyes New York GP
Bernie Ecclestone on Thursday said he is pushing to organise a grand prix on the streets of New York.
The F1 Chief Executive told Italy's La Gazzetta dello Sport that he hopes the race will be held for the first time in 2012.
"I'm trying for 2012, opposite Manhattan in New Jersey with skyscrapers in the background," said the 79-year-old.
"Fifteen minutes from the centre of New York to the circuit. (It would be) a wonder."
The last US Grand Prix was held at Indianapolis in 2007.
Ecclestone also mentioned to the sports newspaper his friend and business partner Flavio Briatore, who recently ruled out returning to F1 despite overturning his FIA ban for involvement in the crash-gate scandal.
"I think he could take up a role in the promotion of Formula One," said the Briton.