F1 insists ‘no exemptions’ for vaccination requirements

Michelle Foster
F1 logo displayed on a gantry at the Bahrain GP. Formula 1 Sakhir March 2019.

Formula 1 logo displayed on a sponsorship gantry at the Bahrain Grand Prix. Sakhir March 2019.

Formula 1 has made it clear to the teams that “no exemptions will be sought for anyone” as the sport looks to host a 23-race season.

Covid-19 exemptions in sport have made headlines in recent weeks after the debacle that was the Australian Open tennis tournament and Novak Djokovic’s entry into the country.

The World No1 tennis player is against vaccination and believed he had been granted entry into Australia with an exemption as he had Covid in the three months prior to his entry.

But instead of making his way to the practice courts, the Serbian player was detained by border guards and questioned before being moved to a detention hotel.

And so began a drawn out process of back-and-forth, one that eventually ended with Djokovic being deported.

Days later it emerged that surfing legend Kelly Slater could be the next major sportsperson to be denied entry to Australia due to the vaccination laws.

Slater has yet to reveal his vaccination status with Federal Sports Minister Richard Colbeck making it clear that if he isn’t, he won’t be permitted to compete in the upcoming World Surf League championship events.

Australia’s next big international event is Formula 1 with the sport heading back to Melbourne after the last two seasons’ grands prix had to be cancelled.

Both the Australian Grand Prix Corporation and Formula 1 have made it clear to all the teams that everyone must be vaccinated or else they won’t be allowed entry.

The red Formula 1 branding set on a black background. Belgium August 2021.

F1 has gone one step further, saying “no exemptions” will be granted for “any” country.

F1 sources told PlanetF1 that “Formula 1 requires all staff who travel to any grand prix event, or travel anywhere on business, to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19.

“This requirement also extends to every driver and all travelling team staff, and no exemptions will be sought for anyone from any host country.”

The 2022 F1 season begins in Spain with pre-season testing at the Circuit de Catalunya, a three-day test that will be held behind closed doors.


After that the teams are off to Bahrain for the second pre-season outing with the Sakhir circuit also hosting the opening grand prix on 20 March.


Aus GP determined to avoid a Djokovic situation

Andrew Westacott have urged F1 drivers to get fully vaccinated before the Australian GP to avoid a Novak Djokovic situation.