Australian Grand Prix Corporation CEO Andrew Westacott is hoping Formula 1 history can repeat itself and the new date for his race proves to be a title decider.
The Australian GP has been the season-opening race in all but three seasons since the event moved from Adelaide to Melbourne in 1996. One of those exceptions was last year when it was cancelled in the wake of the start of the Covid-19 pandemic.
For coronavirus reasons again, Australia's curtain-raising event this year has had to be postponed until mid-November, shuffling into a position in the record-breaking 23-race calendar with only Saudi Arabia and Abu Dhabi to follow.
Although there is obvious disappointment Melbourne's Albert Park will not host the first round this year, Westacott is "excited" at its new position as a potential title decider, and the possibility of a repeat of recent years.
“Whilst I have always had a passion for the opening round of the Formula 1 season and all that emotion that it brings to the fans to start a new season, I am also very excited by the fact that we will be the third last round for a couple of reasons," said Westacott.
“Lewis Hamilton has won the championship in the third last round three out of the last four years."
Hamilton did so in 2017, '18 and '19, while last year he did it with rounds to spare.
Prior to its switch from Adelaide to Melbourne, the Australian GP had been positioned as the season finale for 11 years.
Reflecting on historical results, Westacott added: “The last time Australia hosted the Formula 1 event in November was in Adelaide in 1995.
"In that year, it was won by Damon Hill and Michael Schumacher was the winner of the world championship, again, in the third last round [the Pacific Grand Prix]."
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