In comments published by ABC in Australia, the Minister for Tourism, Sport and Major Events in the state of Victoria, Martin Pakula, said that he could not offer the F1 and MotoGP any certainty over this year’s event.
“I take no issue with the fact that those organisations needed that assurance this week,” he said. “They need to plan and they need to have contingencies in place.
“And given the very low national two-dose vaccination numbers and given the decision of the National Cabinet on Friday [to halve international arrivals], we are simply not in a position to give F1 management or MotoGP the sorts of guarantees and assurances and comforts that they need this week.
“This is the reality of the pandemic”
“This is the reality of the pandemic – but until we get much higher vaccination rates we cannot return to more normal settings.”
Albert Park played host to farcical scenes last year, as fans queued outside for the start of Friday practice, even though the race had been cancelled at the very last minute, and some drivers had already left the country, following positive Covid tests in the paddock.
This year should have been a reboot, on a revised circuit layout designed to improve overtaking opportunities, but tickets had not yet gone on sale as a result of the uncertainty.
“We understand this is not the news MotoGP and Formula 1 fans wanted to hear,” said Australian Grand Prix Corporation (AGPC) CEO, Andrew Westacott.