Officials in Australia have said postponing its grand prix is “the right decision” and have assured that they will be able to safely welcome Formula 1 in November.
Australia was listed as the opening round of the 2021 campaign, 12 months after its 2020 round was cancelled at short notice, though doubts remained due to the pandemic.
Entry restrictions to Australia remain tight, with a mandatory 14-day quarantine period, and solutions for Formula 1 to travel in March could not be realised.
On Tuesday Formula 1 confirmed that the grand prix has been postponed until November 21, pushing Brazil forward one week, and the Saudi Arabia/Abu Dhabi rounds back one week.
“This is the right decision and we thank Formula 1 management for their co-operation in setting a new schedule for the 2021 season,” said Martin Pakula, Victoria’s Minister for Sport.
“The Australian Grand Prix is one of the great events in the world and we’ll make sure it can be run safely and successfully in November.”
Adelaide previously hosted Formula 1’s finale in the late 1980s and early 1990s but, assuming the event goes ahead, it will be the first time Melbourne has hosted a round late in the campaign.
“As the third-last race of the season, this provides the opportunity to safely host what could be the championship-decider in Melbourne in the lead-in to summer,” said Paul Little, Chairman of the Australian Grand Prix Corporation.
“We’d like to thank our loyal motorsport fans and employees for their understanding in these challenging times.”