Australia dismisses 'leaked' calendar, saying 'Melbourne will again host F1 season-opener'

Australia GP (TeamTalk)
Australia GP (TeamTalk)

• Australia insists it will host the season-opening race in 2021.

• A supposed 2021 calender 'leaked' on the internet.

• F1 will publish the 2021 calendar later this year.

For more motoring stories, go to www.Wheels24.co.za

The Australian Grand Prix has not been moved to a new slot in October next year despite recent reports suggesting otherwise, according to the race's organisers.

A Spanish motoring website published a 'leaked' schedule, which they attributed to Belgian media, claiming next year's action would begin in Bahrain and that the Melbourne event would take place on 24 October, in between the Japanese and United States Grands Prix.

But in a statement to Wide World of Sports, which is part of the Nine Network, Australian Grand Prix Corporation boss Andrew Westacott insisted the 2021 campaign would begin down under as it has almost every year since the race was moved from Adelaide to Albert Park in 1996.

Westacott said in a statement: "The Australian Grand Prix Corporation is in regular dialogue with Formula 1 on the 2021 provisional calendar, which will be published in the coming weeks. Melbourne will again host the F1 season-opener in the traditional March time slot, which will form a significant part of the recovery of the major sports and events industry in Victoria."

False claim

It had been claimed by Soymotor.com that the global health pandemic was the reason why the Australian Grand Prix would be put back seven months from its usual date, even though Oceania has been hit less hard than many other parts of the world.

This year's race in Australia was cancelled two days beforehand, with no practice sessions having taken place, after McLaren withdrew because a member of their staff had tested positive for the coronavirus at a time when the pandemic was becoming a worldwide issue.

It is the first year since 1946 that the Australian Grand Prix has not been held.

Eventually, the 2020 season began with the Austrian Grand Prix on 5 July and will comprise 17 races with other grands prix in China, Vietnam, the Netherlands, Monaco, Azerbaijan, Canada, France, Singapore, Japan, the United States, Mexico and Brazil having been cancelled.

The original F1 calendar for 2020 included 22 races, which would have been a record, although it is thought this could increase further in the future - while the new Concorde Agreement allows for up to 25.

Westacott's confirmation that Melbourne will host the race in 2021 puts to bed any suggestions the grand prix will be held elsewhere, with South Australian officials recently talking up The Bend as an alternative if restrictions had not eased sufficiently in Victoria by next year.

We live in a world where facts and fiction get blurred
In times of uncertainty you need journalism you can trust. For only R75 per month, you have access to a world of in-depth analyses, investigative journalism, top opinions and a range of features. Journalism strengthens democracy. Invest in the future today.
Subscribe to News24
DAYS
HRS
MINS
Voting Booth
Who should have replaced Sergio Perez at this weekend's British GP?
Please select an option Oops! Something went wrong, please try again later.
Results
Sebastian Vettel - At least he'll get a taste of what the 2021 car will be like
26% - 560 votes
Nico Hulkenberg - He's been with the team before
28% - 588 votes
Fernando Alonso - A true racer, and the fastest Spaniard around
33% - 708 votes
Jenson Button - Any team can benefit from a champion driver
13% - 278 votes
Vote