AUSTRALIAN Grand Prix bosses are anticipated to announce that they’re suspending F1’s season-opening race.
It’s one other large blow to the game after final 12 months’s calendar was wrecked and redrawn as a result of COVID-19 pandemic.
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Someway, F1 chiefs managed to get a 17-race season completed in 2020 however that they had deliberate for a back-to-normal 23-race schedule for this 12 months, kicking off in Melbourne on March 21.
Nonetheless, Australia’s strict journey protocols, plus a fear of growing numbers of new coronavirus cases, significantly within the UK the place seven of F1’s 10 groups are based mostly, means organisers want to delay the race till later within the 12 months.
It might be a blow for F1 and the Australian GP organisers after last year’s race was scrapped after a member of the McLaren staff examined constructive for COVID-19 the day earlier than observe.
It resulted in F1 being pressured to cancel the race and the season didn’t begin till July on the Crimson Bull Ring.
Australia took strict actions to manage the unfold of the virus and closed their borders to non-citizens quickly after the Albert Park race was cancelled final March.
Melbourne Airport was fully closed to incoming flights and any new arrivals are pressured to spend two weeks in quarantine motels as a precaution.
These protocols are even more durable for the Australian Open tennis match that is because of go forward in Melbourne from February 8.
The Victorian State Authorities has made it clear that the principles won’t be damaged to assist the tennis star’s journey schedules.
And the identical would apply to F1 drivers, groups and employees, who can be anticipated to spend as much as three weeks positioned in quarantine upon arrival.
Additionally, not like the tennis match that’s held in a single venue, the Albert Park avenue circuit requires three months of building work prematurely.
And with that deadline looming, it has pressured GP bosses to make an early determination on whether or not to delay the race till later within the 12 months.
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If the Melbourne race is delayed, it will imply the Bahrain Grand Prix that’s scheduled for March 28 can be the 2021 season-opener.
A spokesperson for F1 informed SunSport: “In 2020 we proved that we may return to racing safely and delivered what many thought was unattainable in March.
“We now have set out our 2021 calendar and look ahead to the return of F1 in March this 12 months.”