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Australian GP 2022 race "make or break for Melbourne"

Australian GP 2022 race "make or break for Melbourne"

F1 News

Australian GP 2022 race "make or break for Melbourne"

Australian GP 2022 race "make or break for Melbourne"

Australian Grand Prix Corporation CEO Andrew Westacott believes the event's 2022 running is "make or break" for Formula 1 in Melbourne.

The Australian GP was cancelled ahead of first practice in 2020 after a member of McLaren team personnel tested positive for coronavirus.

Due to Australia's strict covid protocols, the 2021 race was also cancelled after initially being pushed back to November where it would have acted as the third-last race of the year, a space now filled by Qatar.

Speaking to Australian publication Drive, Westacott revealed the "real risk" posed by a third consecutive cancellation in 2022.

“It is a make or break for Melbourne," said Westacott.

“I think there’s a real risk that with the amount of competition for slots on the F1 calendar, patience only goes so far and patience can wear very thin.

“So, if we weren't able to take the 2022 event in Australia, then I think F1 would be well within their rights to be looking at alternatives to Melbourne.”

Melbourne has spent 262 days across six different lockdown periods since March 2020 with the latest period of restrictions eased on Sunday.

Despite this, the 2022 Australian GP will be obliged to enforce contact tracing and utilise capacity zones to minimise the risk of transmission.

Westacott added: “I am absolutely reassured by the dialogue and the very, very strong support we have from our Sports and Tourism Major Events Minister, Martin Pakula,” said Mr Westacott.

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