The traditional F1 season-opening Australian Grand Prix is likely to be moved to later in the season because of Victoria’s strict 14-day quarantine requirements for international arrivals.
While no official confirmation has come from the sport’s governing body, it’s been widely reported the season will begin in Bahrain on March 28 instead of Melbourne on March 21 as originally planned.
Formula One’s pre-season testing has been scheduled for March 2-4. Teams would need at least a week to prepare for the race after completing a fortnight of isolation, likely making the original plans unviable.
“It hasn’t been postponed yet – and I don’t expect an official announcement today or in the next few days,” Sky Sports’ Craig Slater said. “But one insider has told me that it is impossible that it can take place under the current Covid restrictions in force in Australia.”
Formula One bosses have only said: “In 2020 we proved that we could return to racing safely and delivered what many thought was impossible in March.
“We have set out our 2021 calendar and look forward to the return of F1 in March this year.”
Any postponement would leave the sport with a tricky task of finding a new spot for the Australian race on its calendar.
Sky Sports reports the race would likely have to be delayed until at least August because of the Australian weather, but a record 23-race season leaves few openings.
Daniel Ricciardo. (Photo by Robert Cianflone/Getty Images)Source:Getty Images
PROVISIONAL 2021 F1 CALENDAR
March 21 – Australia (Melbourne)
March 28 – Bahrain (Sakhir)
April 11 – China (Shanghai)
April 25 – TBC (TBC)
May 9 – Spain (Barcelona)
May 23 – Monaco (Monaco)
June 6 – Azerbaijan (Baku)
June 13 – Canada (Montreal)
June 27 – France (Le Castellet)
July 4 – Austria (Spielberg)
July 18 – United Kingdom (Silverstone)
August 1 – Hungary (Budapest)
August 29 – Belgium (Spa)
September 5 – Netherlands (Zandvoort)
September 12 – Italy (Monza)
September 26 – Russia (Sochi)
October 3 – Singapore (Singapore)
October 10 – Japan (Suzuka)
October 24 – USA (Austin)
October 31 – Mexico (Mexico City)
November 14 – Brazil (Sao Paulo)
November 28 – Saudi Arabia (Jeddah)
December 5 – Abu Dhabi (Abu Dhabi)
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