The 2021 Australian Grand Prix is facing postponement amid growing concerns over coronavirus. with the race under threat due to strict travel restrictions.
This year’s season-opening race, pencilled in for 21 March, looks unlikely to go ahead due to a new series of restrictions put in place by the Australian government. All members of F1’s travelling circus would be required to spend 14 days in quarantine upon their arrival in the country.
Last year, the race at Melbourne’s Albert Park circuit was dramatically cancelled after a British mechanic from McLaren tested positive for coronavirus. The sport went on to navigate a 17-round season in just 23 weeks, with Lewis Hamilton clinching a record-equalling seventh world championship.
Formula One bosses had planned for a record-breaking 23-race schedule, but that is already in jeopardy – although there are hopes of moving the Australian GP to a new date later in the year, with the Bahrain Grand Prix on 28 March becoming the new curtain-raiser.
An F1 spokesperson 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.” An official decision on this year’s race is expected later this month.