The Australian Grand Prix might end up not being the 2021 season opener despite it being listed as the first grand prix in the recently ratified 23-race calendar, according to reports.
The 2021 F1 season is set to get underway in Melbourne in March, but Bahrain may instead host the first race of the season amid reports that organisers of the Australian GP want the event to be rescheduled over travel concerns due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
“At the moment it is very difficult to enter Australia and from what I hear, Melbourne wants another date on the calendar and the season would start in Bahrain,” Auto Motor und Sport (AMuS) has reported, citing sources in the paddock.
“From what we hear, the start is in jeopardy. The organisation does not want to take the risk of already building the circuit, which costs money, and then having to cancel the race the week before because the government says so,” the German-language publication added.
The 2020 Australian Grand Prix was cancelled at the last minute as the COVID-19 pandemic continued to escalate across the globe.
The season did eventually get underway a few months later, with the season opener taking place in Austria and concluding in Abu Dhabi earlier this month after a total of 17 grand prix were held.