Melbourne’s Formula 1 Grand Prix has been rescheduled for later this year, with hopes more spectators will be able to attend the major event.
The Victorian Government and the Australian Grand Prix Corporation have agreed to postpone the usual season opening in March because it was “unrealistic” due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Instead, a once-off date of November 21 has been booked in, almost three weeks after the Melbourne Cup.
The four-day event, which will run from November 18 to 21, will be subject to public health conditions and infection prevention and control will be central to the decisions made.
Quarantine and other aspects of the Grand Prix will be considered in due course, the state government says.
Tourism, Sport and Major Events Minister Martin Pakula said rescheduling the event was a sensible decision and would allow for more local, interstate and potentially international fans to enjoy the spectacle.
“This is the right decision and we thank Formula 1 management for their co-operation in setting a new schedule for the 2021 season,” he said.
“The Formula 1 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.”
Australian Grand Prix Corporation chairman Paul Little said it was exciting to confirm the new date.
“This wouldn’t have been possible without the strong support of the Victorian government and Formula 1,” he said.
Formula 1 chief executive Stefano Domenicali agreed.
“It is great news that we have already been able to agree a rescheduled date for the Australian Grand Prix,” he said.
“The virus situation remains fluid, but we have the experience from last season with all our partners and promoters to adapt accordingly and safely in 2021.”
The Formula 1 race has been run at Albert Park since 1996 and is contracted to be held there until at least 2025.