The start of the Method One season was delayed by one week on Tuesday after the Australian Grand Prix was postponed due to 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 continued scenario concerning COVID-19.” The Chinese language Grand Prix has additionally been postponed however no new date has been set. Strict journey restrictions for the pandemic make Australia and China among the many hardest international locations for F1 groups to enter.
The season will as an alternative start with the Bahrain Grand Prix lower than 4 months after the Sakhir venue held two races as a part of the 2020 season.
A race has been added on the Imola monitor in Italy on April 18, per week after the scheduled date for the Chinese language GP. There’s a vacant slot on Might 2, with the Portimao circuit in Portugal among the many main 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 attainable.” F1 stated in a press release.
There isn’t a apparent back-up date in the calendar. Races in the second half of the season are organized back-to-back in three-week blocks, placing heavy pressure on workforce workers.
Suspending the Australian GP already means pushing again the tip of the season in Abu Dhabi by per week to Dec. 12. The calendar stays at 23 races, probably the most ever.
Martin Pakula, the minister for tourism and main occasions in the Victorian state authorities which backs the Melbourne race, stated it was a smart choice which doubtlessly may imply worldwide followers attending — if Australia’s borders re-open in time.
“That is the precise choice and we thank Method 1 administration for his or her co-operation in setting a brand new schedule,” he stated. “The Method 1 Australian Grand Prix is without doubt one of the nice occasions in the world and we’ll make sure that it may be run safely and efficiently in November.”
The pandemic has disrupted the F1 season for a second 12 months. Final 12 months’s race in Australia was canceled after one workforce member examined constructive for the coronavirus. Followers had been making ready to enter the circuit for Friday apply when organizers introduced the cancellation.
That began a cascade of postponements and cancellations which meant the rescheduled 2020 season did not start till July. There was a compressed 17-race schedule via December with all races in Europe or the Center East.