Melbourne's Formula 1 Australian Grand Prix Has Been Cancelled for the Second Year in a Row
Just like in 2020, the 2021 event has been scrapped due to the pandemic.
For the second year running, Formula 1 cars won't race around Melbourne's Albert Park during the Australian Grand Prix, with the event cancelled once again in 2021. It was scrapped in 2020, too, after it was initially due to take place just as the COVID-19 pandemic hit Australia. This year, the race had already been postponed from March to November, but now it won't be held at all.
Announcing the news today, Tuesday, July 6, the Victorian Government advised that the event has fallen victim to the pandemic — and to Australia's slow vaccination program and new caps on international traveller numbers specifically — as has this year's Australian MotoGP on Phillip Island. The Formula 1 race was due to take place on November 21, and the MotoGP on October 24; however, the state was unable to give the sports' governing bodies assurances that both would be permitted to proceed.
As a result, the organisers of the two events have chosen to move on with their 2021 seasons without stops in Victoria. Both races are expected to return in 2022, though.
"The Victorian Government understands the need for Formula 1 management and MotoGP controller Dorna Sports to confirm their schedules, and the decision not to proceed in 2021 was mutually agreed with those bodies," said the Victorian Government in a statement.
The big Formula 1 race has hit Melbourne every year since 1996 — every year until last year, that is. At present, it's contracted to return to Albert Park between 2022–25. The MotoGP's history on Phillip Island is very similar, with the event first held there in 1997, and contracted to continue until 2026.
Victorian Minister for Tourism, Sport and Major Events Martin Pakula said that "it's very disappointing that these much-loved events can't proceed but this is the reality of the pandemic — but until we get much higher vaccination rates we cannot return to more normal settings." He continued: "we are getting to work on plans for 2022 immediately and can't wait to welcome the world's best drivers and riders and all motorsport fans back to Albert Park and Phillip Island."
Whether Melbourne's other big international sporting event, the 2022 Australian Open, will also be impacted by Australia's sluggish vaccine campaign and our traveller caps — and the fact that anyone heading here from overseas needs to quarantine for 14 days upon arrival — is obviously yet to be seen.
The Formula 1 Australian Grand Prix and Australian MotoGP will no longer go ahead in 2021. For more information about the cancellation, head to the Victorian Government website and the Australian Grand Prix website.
Published on July 06, 2021 by Sarah Ward