The Australian Grand Prix is believed to have been scrapped from the 2021 Formula One calendar, 7NEWS reports.
The race at Albert Park in Melbourne was originally scheduled for March but a COVID-19 outbreak earlier in the year forced organisers to shift the event to November, between the races in Brazil and Saudi Arabia.
Australia has some of the world’s strictest quarantine protocols in place, with all international arrivals being forced to isolate in hotels for 14 days.
Race officials reportedly proposed the idea of having F1 personnel fly in and out of a ‘bubble’, as two weeks in hotel quarantine would cause complications for other races on the calendar. It’s believed the proposal was rejected by the Victorian government, leading to the cancellation of the event.
Victorian minister for sport Martin Pakula and Australian Grand Prix Corporation CEO Andrew Westacott will speak to the media conference at 3pm on Tuesday.
Last year’s Australian Grand Prix was canned hours out from the opening practice session, when the first wave of the pandemic first hit the country. If the 2022 race in Melbourne returns to its March slot, it would mean a gap of three years between F1 races in Australia.
News of the cancellation comes just weeks after organisers completed a series of track works at Albert Park, in a bid to improve the racing spectacle.
More to follow…