Australian Grand Prix boss Andrew Westacott says the future of the country's F1 event will likely depend on next year's race taking place as scheduled after two successive cancellations.
F1 is expected to return to Melbourne in April 2022, with the coastal capital of the southeastern Australian state of Victoria earmarked to host the third round of next year's F1 World Championship.
But the Covid pandemic that thwarted the 2020 and 2021 events is still governing the daily lives of many Australians, with Melbourne remaining in lockdown.
However, Australia is set to reopen its international border from November while the country continues to improve its overall vaccination levels.
Westacott is keeping his fingers crossed that restrictions will gradually be lifted in the coming months, but any setback could prove fatal for Melbourne's F1 event.
"It is a make or break [situation] for Melbourne," Westacott told Australian publication Driven.
"I think there’s a real risk that with the amount of competition for slots on the F1 calendar, patience only goes so far and patience can wear very thin.
"So, if we weren’t able to take the 2022 event in Australia, then I think F1 would be well within their rights to be looking at alternatives to Melbourne."
However, Westacott added that he had been "absolutely reassured by the dialogue and the very, very strong support we have from our Sports and Tourism Major Events Minister Martin Pakula."
A spokesperson for the Victorian Government is confident that increasing vaccination levels will help the state fend off another surge in coronavirus cases and safeguard The Australian Grand Prix's future at Albert Park.
"We are committed to the Australian Grand Prix," said the spokesperson, specking to Australia’s Wide World of Sports.
"With the number of vaccinations rising every day, we look forward to successfully hosting another race in Albert Park in 2022."
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