Melbourne aiming to host usual March season opener

Date published: September 30 2020

Australian GP decision was made as quickly as possible says promoter.

Organisers of the Australian Grand Prix are reportedly aiming for the track to host the season opener in March as per usual next year.

Prior to 2020, every Formula 1 season since 2011 had gotten underway at Melbourne’s Albert Park.

That looked set to be the case again in 2020, but this year’s race was cancelled when a team member of McLaren tested positive for COVID-19 just before the start of the race weekend.

The global pandemic continued to escalate after that, so much so that, since finally starting in July, the F1 circus has yet to leave Europe and will only do so for the final three races in the middle east.

Despite this, Autosport has reported that the goal is still for the 2021 Australian Grand Prix to go ahead in March as the season opener, with fans in attendance.

“Australian Grand Prix organisers are still working towards hosting the opening round of the 2021 Formula 1 season in March, according to Autosport’s sources,” the report reads.

“It is understood the preferred plan is to stick with the same mid-March time slot used this year, which would put race day at Albert Park on 14 March 2021.

“There are plans to have a spectator allowance as well, although Australia’s strict COVID-safe protocols will likely mean capacity will be limited and grandstands re-positioned.”

COVID-19 case numbers have begun to drop in Australia following a second wave and the hope is that things will be back to normal throughout the country as soon as by Christmas.

However, with Europe set to enter a second wave of its own in the coming months as the weather gets colder, there’s still a high chance that travel will be restricted between the two areas.

With other major sporting events such as the Australian Open also scheduled to take place early next year though, certain exceptions could be made to ensure that they can go ahead.

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