The Australian Grand Prix has been removed from the Formula One calendar for the second year in a row.
F1 organizers made the decision on Tuesday to cancel the 2021 race due to challenges with stricter travel restrictions announced by the Australian government last week aimed at stopping the spread of the new Delta variant of the coronavirus.
The 2021 race had already been postponed from its usual spot in March as the season opener, to a new date in November because of coronavirus-related restrictions. The Australian race, which takes place annually in Melbourne, was also canceled in 2020 just as news of the coronavirus started to break. The Australian MotoGP round scheduled for October has also been canceled.
Australia is not alone as races originally planned for Canada, China and Singapore have all been canceled as well. Despite the cancellations, F1 organizers are still hopeful of hosting a record 23 rounds this year. Special rounds in Italy, Portugal and Austria have already been held to fill in for missing rounds. A special round in Turkey will also take place in October.
Organizers are now in the early stages of planning for the 2022 Australian Grand Prix. They are looking at hosting the race in April, meaning Australia won’t host the season opener. Organizers decided to keep the Bahrain Grand Prix as the first race of the new season after the success of this year’s race in Bahrain which was moved up to March after the Australian race was first postponed.