The Formula 1 Australian Grand Prix 2021 has been postponed, with the event confirmed to take place in November.
With works to the Albert Park street circuit scheduled to begin in the coming weeks, an early decision had to be made in the best interests of all parties.
The change in date means the 2021 FIA Formula 1 Championship season will begin one week later at the Bahrain Grand Prix in March, while the Formula 1 Australian Grand Prix will move to the 18-21 November timeslot, setting up a mouth-watering month of Australian motorsport between October and November.
Starting off with the Shannons Motorsport Australia Championships’ season finale at The Bend Motorsport Park on 15-17 October, the following weekend will see all eyes on the iconic Phillip Island Grand Prix for the MotoGP’s Australian Motorcycle Grand Prix. The final round of the RSEA Safety Motorsport Australia Rally Championship will also take place in November.
Motorsport Australia CEO Eugene Arocca welcomed the new Australian Grand Prix date.
“While Melbourne could not open the season in March, having a new date confirmed is a terrific outcome for all parties involved,” Arocca said.
“The decision to keep Australia on the calendar underlines how important our race is to the Formula 1 Championship. While fans are used to seeing the cars on track on the streets of Albert Park in March of each year, we now have the honour of hosting an event at the business end of the season where the Championship fight could well and truly be decided.
“Congratulations to the Australian Grand Prix Corporation and the Victorian Government for working so hard to ensure that Formula 1 comes to Australia in 2021.
“November is also a vibrant and busy time in Melbourne and this event will certainly add to a busy motorsport and events calendar here in Victoria and across Australia.
“There is so much to look forward to later this year and to have two world-class Grands Prix running within a month of each other is a very exciting prospect for Australian motorsport fans.”
Australia wasn’t the only change to be made to the 2021 Formula 1 calendar, with Imola circuit in Italy to replace China for the second round on 18 April and an unconfirmed location to host the third round on 2 May.
Formula 1 CEO Stefano Domenicali was thrilled to keep Australia in the mostly unchanged schedule was confident the season would run every round.
“The global pandemic has not yet allowed life to return to normal, but we showed in 2020 that we can race safely as the first international sport to return and we have the experience and plans in place to deliver on our season,” Domenicali explained.
“It is great news that we have already been able to agree a rescheduled date for the Australian Grand Prix in November and we are very excited that Imola will return for the 2021 season.”
“Obviously, 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.
“We know our fans will be looking forward to the revised season opener in Bahrain.”
The new date for the Australian Grand Prix, which is still subject to World Motor Sport Council approval, confirms Australia as the third last race of the 23-round season – the largest Formula 1 calendar in its 70 plus year history.
The Formula 1 Australian Grand Prix 2021 will take place at Albert Park in Melbourne on 18-21 November.