Jan.19 (GMM) Every Formula 1 driver and team member will be “compliant” with border rules when they enter Australia for the first time since 2020 this April.
That is the insistence of Melbourne race boss Andrew Westacott, who was asked if the city’s farcical Novak Djokovic situation could be repeated as Albert Park finally rejoins the F1 calendar.
“It’s a massive global story, and it’s been out there for every sport fan and every sport journalist across the globe to report on, and therefore it’s brought focus on Melbourne and focus on the issue,” he told the Sydney Morning Herald.
Westacott admits the situation reflects badly on Melbourne’s claim to be a welcoming sports capital of the world, with world number 1 tennis player Djokovic initially granted a medical exemption to enter Australia.
His visa was ultimately revoked by the federal government just days before the Australian Open, with the immigration minister fearing Djokovic’s unvaccinated status could entice Australians to similarly reject the covid jab.
As for Formula 1, however, Westacott says there will be no grey areas or last-minute deportations.
“It’s a mandatory requirement for the sport and the travelling contingent to be compliant at the points of entry, and they will be compliant at the point of entry in Australia and Melbourne,” he insisted.