The Bend still ready to host Australian GP

Date published: January 5 2021 - Jamie Woodhouse

Bend Motorsport Park Australian GP

The Bend Motorsport Park says their interest in hosting the Australian GP remains as doubt over Albert Park grows.

The 2020 staging of the Australian Grand Prix at Albert Park was cancelled due to the global pandemic with a reworked calendar then seeing the Austrian Grand Prix serve as the new season-opener.

Albert Park returned to the 2021 schedule back in its traditional slot to open the season with the Australian Grand Prix, but now the event is in doubt again.

With the increasing number of COVID-19 cases being reported, especially from the new strain found in the United Kingdom, officials are growing concerned about hosting an Australian Grand Prix in March and instead are considering postponing it until later in the year.

If that was to happen then the Bahrain Grand Prix would likely become the season-opener, with testing also moved to the Bahrain International Circuit.

But, could there yet be an alternative?

The Bend Motorsport Park, around 65 miles away from Adelaide where the Australian Grand Prix used to be held, previously said that they were willing to step in and host an Australian Grand Prix if Albert Park was unable to do so.

And, that offer still stands.

“Our position is unchanged from 2020, meaning, yes, absolutely, we’d love to host the F1,” a spokesperson for the The Bend told GPFans Global.

“We haven’t approached F1 about this and are unlikely to as it is really up to them. We work with the FIA for our regular track activities so they’re well aware of our willingness if the need arises.

“The Bend can be upgraded to meet FIA Grade 1 requirements fairly rapidly as we have intentionally built the circuit with this in mind.”

GPFans go on to report that in an interview with Australia’s Auto Action, managing director of The Bend, Dr Sam Shahin said: “I am a proud South Australian, but I am a prouder Australian and I want to see the pinnacle of world motorsport come to Australia, irrespective of which city they attend.

“There is a lot of history and a lot of expertise in South Australia, and I am quite certain that should the opportunity arise we will be delighted to throw our hat in the ring.

“If it doesn’t, I will still be equally delighted and proud to attend the next Australian Formula 1 event in Melbourne.”

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