Aus GP has government ‘commitment’ for 2022 go-ahead

Henry Valantine
Australian GP host track Albert Park pit straight. March 2020.

A view of the start/finish straight at Albert Park, home of the Australian Grand Prix. Melbourne March 2020.

Australian Grand Prix boss Andrew Westacott says he has received assurances from local government that the race will be able to go ahead in 2022.

Albert Park has been used as a drive-through Covid testing centre but the track has also been transformed with a new layout for the coming season, which is expected to increase the average speed over a lap and promote further overtaking opportunities – and the organisers are confident the new configuration will indeed be on show after a two-year absence from the calendar.

The race is due to be the third round of the 2022 World Championship, taking place between April 8-10, and the organisers say ticket sales have been going well for the event.

Spectators are required to be fully vaccinated if they are to attend the race in Melbourne and barring any further extreme outbreaks, Formula 1 will return to Australia with a full crowd.

“We’ve a commitment from the Victorian Government that the event’s going ahead,” Westacott told in an interview.

“We’ve a commitment from Formula 1 that they are coming here for Round 3. We are selling tickets like hot cakes and we are 80 days away from the event (at time of interview).

“So everything is happening, everything is getting ready, and [I] can’t wait to host the best drivers in the world in new cars on a new track.

“But having said that, what I say is we’ll be anything but normal – we will have all-new cars on track, we’ve got new entertainment and music across the four days.

“There will be the need for everyone to be vigilant from a safety point of view and for attendees to be 100 per cent vaxed. But we are in a massive park, it’s predominantly outdoors and we’ve been starved of major events.

“So we are working with the government to make sure everything we do allows us to have maximum crowds.”

Events in Australia and around the world have been hosted behind closed doors during the pandemic, but crowds are slowly being allowed to return to venues in the nation – with the Australian Open tennis able to hold a significant portion of the crowd capacity on its courts.

When asked about whether Formula 1 would be closed to the public, the answer was unequivocal.

“I’m not even contemplating that,” said Westacott. “I think Australia has moved on from that and I think Victoria has moved on from that.

“That’s not even a consideration at the moment and I don’t think ever will be.”


But should the worst happen and the race be cancelled for a third year running, he added fans need not worry about where their money has gone.

“They always have the safeguard that because we are a government-underwritten event, if, God forbid, anything did happen, they get their money back,” Westacott stated.


Planet F1 Verdict


Australian GP gets 'commitment' for go-ahead

Australian Grand Prix organisers say they have received government backing for the race to happen in 2022.