Formula 1: Australian Grand Prix likely to be postponed due to COVID-19

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With the global COVID-19 situation worsening day by day, organisers and fans of F1 are once again concerned about their season-opener. The Melbourne Grand Prix could well be postponed, as per ESPN.

An already bleak looking 2021 is about to get even bleaker for fans of F1 as postponement of the season-opener in Melbourne looks more and more likely.

After the cancellation of the 2020 Melbourne Grand Prix amidst the initial COVID-19 outbreak, organisers seem more than keen to re-schedule the event rather than strike it from the calendar entirely.

On Monday, when asked about plans for the start of the season, an optimistic Formula One spokesperson said: “In 2020 we proved that we could return to racing safely and delivered what many thought was impossible in March. We have set out our 2021 calendar and look forward to the return of F1 in March this year."

Last year asked patience of sports fans while the virus was brought under control. Lovers of motorsport were no different, waiting until July for its eventual resumption.

Austria played host to 2020’s opening race with Valtteri Bottas claiming first place. A five-second time penalty and issues with the Mercedes cars meant that Lewis Hamilton missed out on the podium finish the first half of his race promised.

Meanwhile, behind the scenes, plans for a condensed F1 season were put into action, with what was meant to be a record-breaking 22-race season being reduced to just 17 across Europe and the Middle East.

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With Australia unlikely to host F1 until later in the year, speculation now surrounds the location of the 2021 season opener. Bahrain would seem the logical choice; not only is its Grand Prix due to happen at the end of March, but it played host to two races during November and December in an improvised 2020 schedule.

It does look, however, that even this could be a stretch too far for a touring sport like F1. Seven of the sport’s 10 teams are based in the UK, one of the countries most affected by the latest spike in COVID-19 infection rates. Many countries have temporarily banned travel to and from Britain, presenting the sport with an obvious dilemma.

A pity, you’d have thought, especially for UK-based fans of the sport. Hamilton winning Sports Personality of the Year subsequent to his seventh World Championship win, equalling Michael Schumacher’s record, as well as George Russell continuing to build on his impressive start in the sport means that the Brits have momentum, momentum they will not want to lose.

This year will be a trying year for F1. Will we see yet another Hamilton demolition job? Or will there be more twists in the track?

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