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Australian Grand Prix Postponed To November

F
ormula One (F1) has announced the Australian Grand Prix, which serves as the 2021 F1 season opener, has been postponed until November.

The move means the F1 season will now begin a week later with the Bahrain Grand Prix on March 28, with the F1 releasing a revised calendar for 2021 with the 2021 Chinese Grand Prix also being postponed to later in the year due to COVID-19 restrictions.

The postponement of the Australian Grand Prix in Melbourne to November 18-21 has been confirmed as a result of Australia’s continuing COVID-19 restrictions that would limit fans at the event in Melbourne.

Formula One CEO and president, Stefano Domenicali, who recently replaced Chase Carey as F1 CEO, said F1 gained experience and new safety measures in 2020 after becoming the first ‘truly international sport’ to restart following the COVID-19 outbreak.

“It has been a busy start to the year at Formula One and we are pleased to confirm that the number of races planned for the season remains unchanged,” Domenicali said.

“The global pandemic has not yet allowed life to return to normal, but we showed in 2020 that we can race safely as the first international sport to return and we have the experience and plans in place to deliver on our season.

“It is great news that we have already been able to agree a rescheduled date for the Australian Grand Prix in November and are continuing to work with our Chinese colleagues to find a solution to race there in 2021 if something changes.

“We are very excited to announce that Imola will return for the 2021 season and know our fans will be looking forward to the return of Formula One after the winter break and our revised season opener in Bahrain.

“Obviously, the virus situation remains fluid, but we have the experience from last season with all our partners and promoters to adapt accordingly and safely in 2021,” he said.

The postponement of the Australian Grand Prix at Melbourne’s Albert Park was reported as a possibility last week after an F1 spokesperson said the organisation hopes Australia will relax its border restrictions and enforced hotel quarantine later in the year.

The 2020 Australian Grand Prix was cancelled last year just hours before it was set to begin, after a McLaren mechanic tested positive for COVID-19.