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Australian Grand Prix cancelled

NEWS STORY
06/07/2021

Australia's round of the 2021 Formula One World Championship has been cancelled as minister admits that it would be almost impossible to establish the required quarantine facilities.

The Victoria State Government has confirmed the cancellation of both the Formula 1 Grand Prix in November and the Australian Motorcycle Grand Prix which was due to take place in October.

"We regret to announce that the 2021 Australian Grand Prix has been cancelled due to restrictions and logistical challenges relating to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic," said organisers in a statement.

"The ongoing COVID-19 pandemic and resulting travel complications and logistical restrictions mean it has not been possible to confirm the viability of the event at this time, and it will therefore not feature on the 2021 calendar."

Victorian Sports and Tourism Minister Martin Pakula admitted that it would be almost impossible to establish quarantine facilities for up to 1,600 associated with the F1 event.

"What made that more difficult is that quite legitimately - and I want to emphasise this - quite legitimately Formula One, and Moto GP required assurances and undertakings and guarantees this week about the conduct of those events," he said.

"With travel caps being halved, with us not yet being at a critical mass of Victorians and Australians who've got the jab, running big international events is very, very challenging," said Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews.

"We'll get to that point by the end of the year," he added, "(once) vaccines are here in sufficient numbers."

"While it is disappointing we won't be racing in Australia this season, we are confident we can deliver a 23 race season in 2021," said F1 in a brief statement, "and we have a number of options to take forward to replace the place left vacant by the Australian Grand Prix.

"We will be working through the details of those options in the coming weeks and will provide further updates once those discussions are concluded."

The event had already been rescheduled after the original March date was not possible due to the pandemic, sand this allowed organisers to carry out major changes to the Melbourne track aimed at improving the racing.

"For me personally, I can't wait to have the chance to race at home again," said Daniel Ricciardo, according to The Age, "and it'll be even sweeter when we do because it's been so long. Fingers crossed things can change for 2022 and we get to see the awesome fans at Albert Park again and put on a good show for them.

"I normally smile," he added, "but it's hard. I'm really gutted we're not going back home to Oz this year.

"I'm not coming home, for the others it's not their home, but I know everyone enjoys the Australian Grand Prix and coming to Melbourne. The main thing is that everyone keeps their chin up, everyone stays well and stays healthy."

Today's news marks the second successive year that the race has been cancelled.

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READERS COMMENTS

 

1. Posted by TokyoAussie, 13/07/2021 3:22

"Quarantine in Australia is a federal government responsibility that the states have had to take up because the federal government has shirked that responsibility, like most of its responsibilities. I can't blame Victoria for choosing public health over a sporting event. I only wish the government here in Japan felt the same way. Olympics in the middle of a state of emergency. Brilliant."

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2. Posted by elsiebc, 08/07/2021 3:13

"@ Egalitarian I don't know about things down under but I read a recent Rasmussen poll here in the States. It measured people's knowledge of facts against their news sources. Folks who cited RM's network for news outpaced all others when it came to knowing actual facts... in every category. "

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3. Posted by Egalitarian, 08/07/2021 2:20

"@ Simon. Sorry Simon. That comment sounds remarkably similar to a conservative voter whose only news source is a Rupert Murdoch-based one. Forgive me for being so patronising, but I really hope your news sources go beyond the detritus delivered by anything Murdoch. As for the states' response - The non-conservative state governments haven't done anything remarkably different from the conservative state governments. Most of the time any 'failures' have come down to the behaviours of individuals or groups who believe they are exempt from the responsibility of considering others in society. But the media, for what it is in Australia, always need something to write - truth or otherwise. Much like some of the F1 media. (phew! finally got it back to F1...)- Cheers"

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4. Posted by elsiebc, 07/07/2021 16:29

""it would be almost impossible to establish quarantine facilities for up to 1,600 associated with the F1 event" But they all wear the masks!"

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5. Posted by Pavlo, 07/07/2021 9:40

"@Bill Hopgood: in Austria the certificates (test or vaccination) were checked in the entrance to the track, and then just a minimum restrictions inside.
It was really awesome and uplifting experience, like the old good days."

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6. Posted by Bill Hopgood, 06/07/2021 18:23

"Australia as a whole is suffering the same issues as us in New Zealand: A stroll out rather than a roll out of vaccine.
We have in NZ a policy of elimination of COVID yet with different variants coming up this will not be possible.
Living with this respiratory disease will be necessary to get back to anywhere near pre COVID life.
Living with COVID means protecting the most vulnerable in society with vaccines and treatment and making sure our health systems do not get overrun.
It was rather uplifting to see so many fans in the stands at Austria.
Looking forward to seeing the same in the UK which this time last year was going through such a terrible time."

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7. Posted by Simon in Adelaide, 06/07/2021 13:39

"Unfortunately Victoria has been the most inept State, closely followed by Queensland, when it comes to dealing with incoming travellers and it comes as no surprise that they are unwilling to give any guarantees with respect to the instigation of lockdowns.

In all honesty I would blame the FIA if Australia was dropped from the calendar ."

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8. Posted by @R1Racing71, 06/07/2021 12:14

"Back to back Silverstone GP please "

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9. Posted by Pavlo, 06/07/2021 11:42

"One more Austria, please ;)"

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10. Posted by Forza Minardi, 06/07/2021 10:25

"An opportunity to Sepang to fill the gap? "

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11. Posted by Motorsport-fan, 06/07/2021 8:32

"This news highlights how well we are doing here in the UK, all the best to our friends down under."

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