24/05/2024

The pitlane of the 2011 race. Picture: https://www.flickr.com/photos/32985045@N08/5566728500

Almost a year since the cancellation of the 2020 Australian Grand Prix event, it seems F1 have already decided to postpone 2021.

Australian Formula 1 fans will have to wait even longer to get back to Albert Park with the Grand Prix race set to be postponed until late 2021, opening the door for Bahrain to kick the season off on Sunday, 28 March.

The delays are directly linked to Australia’s COVID-19 strict border restrictions as cases in both Victoria and New South Wales have been identified in recent weeks.

As it currently stands, any team member entering Australia would be forced into hotel quarantine before being allowed to gain entry to Melbourne.

The news is undoubtably a massive let down for Australian racing fans.

The 2020 instalment of the Australian Grand Prix was cancelled with thousands of fans left stranded outside of the gates for Friday practice on the eve of Australia’s first lockdown.

So what does this mean for F1 fans both in Australia and around the world?

The strange year that was 2020 is simply set to continue in 2021.

FIA president Jean Todt warned the F1 community to be prepared for anything in an interview with Autosport

“It’s not like the season is ending, [so] we start from a white piece of paper. Lockdown is still going to happen, confinement, the virus is there,” he said.

“There has been progress. We are expecting a vaccine, so it will be good for the population, good for the planet to be able to enjoy that.

“But I’m sure that over the next days, we will hear quite a lot of potential changes on the different calendars, not only Formula 1, but on other calendars.

“If I had to commit on a back to kind of normal, even if I feel it will be a different life behind the COVID-19 crisis, I think half of next year, in my opinion, will not be as we could have expected to have in a normal season.”

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F1 will need to keep an eye on the changing conditions in Europe as well. United Kingdom Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced a third lockdown for the next few months.

With F1, F2, F3 and the W-Series on the calendar in 2021, fan lockouts could be realistic for yet another season furthering losses usually accrued on race weekends.

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