The Australian Grand Prix will remain in Melbourne until at least 2037 with a new deal to be the season-opening race on at least four occasions and Saudi Arabia to kick off the 2024 campaign, the Victoria state government said on Thursday.

The deal for a further two years at Albert Park follows a 10-year extension announced in June.

“Part of the deal will see Melbourne host the first race of the Formula One season for at least four years between 2023 and 2037,” the government said in a statement.

It added that Saudi Arabia would host the 2024 opener “out of respect for Ramadan”.

This year’s Australian Grand Prix drew a record crowd of around 419,000 over the course of the weekend and the government said next year, with Formula Two and Three included on the programme, was set to be even bigger.

“The demand for next year’s (race) has already reached fever pitch, with event organisers eyeing record attendance numbers after tickets for the main race day sold out in only three-and-a-half hours after they went on sale,” it said.

Australian Grand Prix Corporation chief executive Andrew Westacott said he will stand down after next year’s race, which is scheduled from March 30-April 2.