‘Premature’ to green-light Australian GP – PM

Tue, 18 May 2021, 10:00

May 18 (GMM) A question mark is still hanging over this year’s running of the postponed and rescheduled Australian GP.

While other countries are making progress in moving out of the pandemic, it’s a different situation in Australia – where the country is locked up tight to keep out all international cases of covid-19.

Prime Minister Scott Morrison says it is “premature” to say whether the grand prix and other similar events can go ahead this year.

“I would note how different it is coming to Australia, because in most of the countries they (Formula 1) are moving around in, covid is riddled through them,” he said on Tuesday.

“Australia is not riddled with covid, so the risk profile in other countries is very different. That is something that we certainly want to protect.”

Nonetheless, race promoter the Australian Grand Prix Corporation’s chief executive Andrew Westacott insists it is “all systems go” for the rescheduled Melbourne race in late November.

“As you can imagine, it’s something very, very complex, it’s very, very much a work in progress, and we’re working with the government on every one of the details right now,” he told local broadcaster ABC.

Westacott also played down rumours that Melbourne could follow Austria’s example with a second race in 2021, especially with a big question mark hanging over the Brazilian GP.

“I think the people in Brazil are very, very dead-set on hosting their grand prix two weeks earlier than us,” he said.

However, he also told SEN radio that a realistic deadline for clarity about whether the 2021 Australian GP will go ahead is mid September.

“The current date we’re looking at is around the 13th or 17th of September from a build commencement point of view,” said Westacott.

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