clearn.png
Friday January 22nd, 2021 2:06AM

F1 season to start in Bahrain after Australian GP postponed

By The Associated Press
Related Articles
  Contact Editor

LONDON (AP) — The start of the Formula One season was delayed by one week on Tuesday after the Australian Grand Prix was postponed because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

With the race in Melbourne moved from March to November, the season will now start in Bahrain on March 28.

The Australian race, initially set to open the season on March 21, has been rescheduled to Nov. 21 with F1 organizers citing “the ongoing situation regarding COVID-19.” The Chinese Grand Prix has also been postponed but no new date has been set. Strict travel restrictions for the pandemic make Australia and China among the hardest countries for F1 teams to enter.

The season will instead start with the Bahrain Grand Prix less than four months after the Sakhir venue held two races as part of the 2020 season.

A race has been added at the Imola track in Italy on April 18, a week after the scheduled date for the Chinese GP. There is a vacant slot on May 2, with the Portimao circuit in Portugal among the leading candidates for that weekend.

“Discussions with the promoter and authorities in China are ongoing with the potential to reschedule the race later in the season if possible.” F1 said in a statement.

There is no obvious back-up date in the calendar. Races in the second half of the season are organized back-to-back in three-week blocks, putting heavy strain on team staff.

Postponing the Australian GP already means pushing back the end of the season in Abu Dhabi by a week to Dec. 12. The calendar stays at 23 races, the most ever.

Martin Pakula, the minister for tourism and major events in the Victorian state government which backs the Melbourne race, said it was a sensible decision which potentially could mean international fans attending — if Australia's borders re-open in time.

“This is the right decision and we thank Formula 1 management for their co-operation in setting a new schedule,” 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.”

The pandemic has disrupted the F1 season for a second year. Last year's race in Australia was canceled after one team member tested positive for the coronavirus. Fans were preparing to enter the circuit for Friday practice when organizers announced the cancellation.

That started a cascade of postponements and cancellations which meant the rescheduled 2020 season didn't start until July. There was a compressed 17-race schedule through December with all races in Europe or the Middle East.

  • Associated Categories: NASCAR News, Other Motorsports
  • Associated Tags: motorsports, Open Wheel, Auto Racing, Asphalt, road course, F1, Formula One
© Copyright 2021 AccessWDUN.com
All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed without permission.
Cannon McIntosh opens Chili Bowl with Monday win
Cannon McIntosh scored a statement win on Monday night, as he opened the 35th annual Lucas Oil Chili Bowl Midget Nationals at Oklahoma’s Tulsa Expo Raceway with a victory...
11:51AM ( 51 minutes ago )
F1 season to start in Bahrain after Australian GP postponed
The start of the Formula One season was delayed by one week on Tuesday after the Australian Grand Prix was postponed because of the COVID-19 pandemic.
11:34AM ( 1 hour ago )
PODCAST: Hard Left Turn - Fans off season bucket list Pt. 2
Last week, our intrepid Hard Left Turn crew shared with you some of their bucket list of items to read, watch and experience as we continue to wait out the off-season.
8:47PM ( 15 hours ago )
NASCAR News
Other Motorsports
Cannon McIntosh opens Chili Bowl with Monday win
Cannon McIntosh scored a statement win on Monday night, as he opened the 35th annual Lucas Oil Chili Bowl Midget Nationals at Oklahoma’s Tulsa Expo Raceway with a victory...
By Bryan Hulbert
11:51AM ( 51 minutes ago )
PODCAST: Hard Left Turn - Fans off season bucket list Pt. 2
Last week, our intrepid Hard Left Turn crew shared with you some of their bucket list of items to read, watch and experience as we continue to wait out the off-season.
By AccessWDUN Staff
8:47PM ( 15 hours ago )
F1 negotiations with Australian GP are 'live and active'
Government officials in Australia are involved in “live and active” negotiations with Formula One organizers about the timing of the race that is scheduled to open the season on March 21...
By The Associated Press
12:04PM ( 5 days ago )
SpeedFest 2021 moving from Watermelon Capital due to COVID spike
Officials from the Championship Racing Association Watermelon Capital Speedway at Crisp Motorsports Park have announced that CRA SpeedFest 2021 will not...
By Series PR
1:10PM ( 6 days ago )
Pierce McCarter scores first Hangover victory at 411
Pierce McCarter topped a stout field of Super Late Models to score his first Hangover victory at 411 Motor Speedway in Seymour, Tennessee on Saturday.
By Track PR
12:00PM ( 1 week ago )