Organisers of Formula 1’s Australian Grand Prix say the parkland setting of their race gives them the “perfect opportunity” to formulate a Covid-safe event.
Formula 1’s Australian Grand Prix takes place within Albert Park, located a couple of miles outside of Melbourne’s Central Business District.
The event was due to open the 2020 season but was cancelled a couple of hours prior to the start of practice amid the worsening Covid-19 pandemic.
On Tuesday Formula 1 confirmed that the Australian Grand Prix has been listed as the first round of the 23-event 2021 campaign, due to take place across March 18 to 21.
The majority of this year’s 17 rounds will have taken place without spectators in attendance owing to restrictions imposed by respective authorities.
Melbourne’s round is typically one of the most popular on the calendar, with figures released by Formula 1 for 2019 declaring a weekend attendance of 324,100, a number surpassed only by Britain and Mexico City.
With four months remaining until the 2021 race the Australian Grand Prix Corporation – which runs the event – expressed confidence over the prospect of allowing fans into the venue.
“We continue to work closely with health authorities and the Victorian Government as we develop our plans for fan attendance, which will be announced when finalised,” said AGPC CEO Andrew Westacott.
“We’re adopting a sensible, adaptable and flexible approach, ensuring that a safe environment for fans and participants is our top priority.
“Our massive parkland venue with 10.6 km of track frontage provides us with the perfect opportunity to create a Covid-safe venue.”
Melbourne’s other major sporting event, the Australian Open, is still scheduled to take place in late January, but currently with mandatory quarantine for participants arriving from overseas.