The Australian Grand Prix at Melbourne's Albert Park which was scheduled for late November has been cancelled due the ongoing COVID-19 global health crisis.
The Australian Grand Prix Corporation, which has also cancelled the MotoGP round scheduled at Phillip island in October, says renewed border restrictions – including a 14-day quarantine period in an approved hotel - linked to the presence of the Covid Delta variant in the country cannot be overcome by the F1 community.
“We understand this is not the news MotoGP and Formula 1 fans wanted to hear," said AGPC CEO Andrew Westacott.
“I would like to extend my thanks to the Victorian Government, Formula 1 and Dorna Sports for their unwavering resilience and support during this challenging period, and for their ongoing commitment to these two great events.
“There are bound to be ongoing challenges with COVID-19, but I want to reassure
fans that while there is sadness and disappointment amongst our wonderful AGPC staff there is a tenacity and determination to make sure the next episodes of MotoGPTM at the Island and Formula 1 at the new Albert Park layout are sensational showcases of how we do things in Victoria.”
The Australian Grand Prix which was initially scheduled to open the 2021 season in March was pushed back to November in the hope of a dissipation of Covid in the country.
“While it is disappointing we won’t be racing in Australia this season, we are confident we can deliver a 23 race season in 2021,” said Formula 1 CEO Stefano Domenicali.
“We have a number of options to take forward to replace the place left vacant by the Australian Grand Prix.
“We will be working through the details of those options in the coming weeks and will provide further updates once those discussions are concluded.”
Formula 1's options include adding a second round of racing at The Circuit of the Americas, possibly racing in Shanghai and returning to Bahrain to race at Sakhir's outer loop.
However, with a cloud of uncertainty still remaining over F1's races in Japan, Mexico and Brazil, the sport could be challenged to deliver a 23-race season. But few teams would likely complain of a shortfall...