Australian Grand Prix CEO Andrew Westacott has warned The Bend off making an approach to host either Formula 1 or MotoGP in 2021.
South Australian circuit The Bend emerged as a candidate to host both F1 and MotoGP in 2021 should Melbourne and Phillip Island be unable to fulfill their contractual obligations due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.
The comments from The Bend co-owner Sam Shahin, offering the venue as an alternative, were made when the crisis was at its peak in the state of Victoria, but, at the time of writing, the state has seen just 12 new cases in the past 24 hours.
Speaking to Speedcafe.com, Westacott responded: “There was a famous line in The Castle that says, ‘Tell him he’s dreaming’.
“The strength of the Australian Grand Prix Corporation’s relationship with Dorna [MotoGP] and Formula 1 has never been stronger.
“We’ve got a MotoGP contract at Philip Island, down until 2026. It is one of the most picturesque circuits in the world for MotoGP.
“It’s a feature of Victoria’s tourism from a Phillip Island, Penguin Parade, and branding point of view; our beautiful coastline.
“Whilst lots of other states would covet MotoGP and Formula 1, it’s not going anywhere.”
Melbourne has hosted the Australian Grand Prix since 1996 and has a contract to host the race previously held in South Australia on the Adelaide streets through to 2025.
The Bend is the second longest permanent racing facility in the world and currently holds and FIA grade two licence although, with relatively minor upgrades, could gain the grade one licence required to host F1 in the future.
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