Organisers of the Australian Grand Prix have pulled off a miraculous diving catch to save the race in 2021.
After months of rumours and speculation, the AGP in March is officially dead.
But it will live again in November as a potential cancellation becomes a confirmed postponement to the end of the coming season.
The AGP will now be slotted between the Brazilian GP and the new Middle-East double-header in Saudi Arabia and Abu Dhabi, with the race to be run on Sunday, November 21. It is exactly eight months after the original date.
The delay in the Albert Park event means Supercars will now race at Sandown on the original date in March, with other supporting categories – and perhaps Supercars – looking to juggle their race dates around the later AGP.
“It is great news that we have already been able to agree a rescheduled date for the Australian Grand Prix in November,” said the new CEO of Formula 1, Stefano Domenicali.
“This is the right decision and we thank Formula 1 management for their co-operation in setting a new schedule for the 2021 season.The 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” said Victoria’s minister for tourism, Martin Pakula.
The change to the Australian date means the 2021 F1 season will open in Bahrain, which is also expected to host the only pre-season test of the year. Covid lockdowns and restrictions in Europe make Barcelona, the traditional test track, problematic and the move to Bahrain also makes logistics easier for the start of racing.
“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,” said Domenicali.