The Australian Grand Prix for the 2021 Formula 1 season is set to be postponed, according to reports.
As Australia remains under a strict lockdown and the coronavirus pandemic is undergoing second and third waves in different countries, it appears that Australia will not be able to host the race that traditionally kicks off the season.
Motorsport.com claims that the changes will come despite F1 planning a relatively normal 2021 season with 23 races laid out for the year. In 2020 the March 21 event was scrapped with just hours before Friday practice, and kicked off a string of cancellations and postponements before a new season was organised.
'Mercedes had no grounds for complaint' - Horner
- McLaren boss praises Norris' mental health work
- Arise Sir Lewis: Hamilton knighted in New Year's Honours List
With Australia enforcing strict rules on those who can enter and leave the country, and also movement within the country, it may not be possible for the planned race to go ahead. That means that the March 28 Bahrain Grand Prix could now be the 2021 curtain-raiser.
With ticket sales and construction work yet to start for the Australian GP it may be simpler to postpone the race for a later date, when and if the pandemic recedes or government policy changes.
The country has 279 known current cases of Covid-19, and less than 1,000 total confirmed coronavirus deaths. Melbourne is due to host the Australian Open in February, with all players having to quarantine for two weeks before the event starts.
Remarkable Hamilton equals Schumacher's tally of seven world titles
Verstappen: 'I don't feel sorry for Hamilton'
Abu Dhabi Grand Prix
'No assurances' Hamilton will race next season, says Mercedes boss Wolff