Tennis Open "a template" for successful Australian GP - Ricciardo
Daniel Ricciardo has described the decision not to postpone the Australian Open tennis championship as "a bold challenge" but hopes a successful competition will provide a template for the city to host Formula 1 in November.
In early January, the Australian Grand Prix was officially postponed, moving from its position as the season-opener on March 21 to become the third-last race of the year on November 21.
The Australian Open, which was pushed back three weeks to allow for players and officials to self isolate for 14 days ahead of the tournament, will take place between February 8 - 21 in Melbourne.
Speaking to Melbourne newspaper 'The Age', Ricciardo said: "I'm a massive tennis fan and I'm going to be watching it, and I'm hoping they can pull it off because it's a template in some ways for how we can get our event done in November.
"If it goes smoothly for the Open, that's great for us. It's a bold challenge for the city to take on and I admire them for that.
"It wasn't ever going to be realistic for us to do the 14-day quarantine for an event that goes for four days. Tennis, you're potentially there for two weeks so it makes more sense in that respect."
Last year, the Australian Grand Prix was cancelled at the 11th hour after a member of McLaren team personnel tested positive for Covid-19 - the effects of the pandemic at that point only just beginning to be felt across the world.
"I'd hate to have come back to Melbourne in March like we did last year, everything is right about to start, and then we get called off again," Ricciardo added.
"It was such a massive shame for everyone once; twice would have been the worst. Shifting it to November gives us a chance to have a proper event, and that's what we're hoping for."
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