MELBOURNE, July 6: The F1 Australian Grand Prix & Australian MotoGP will not take place in 2021 due to the ongoing effects of the global pandemic – including a slower than forecast rollout of the Commonwealth vaccination program and subsequent caps to international traveler intake.
The MotoGP at Phillip Island had been scheduled for October 24 and the Albert Park Formula 1 race for November 21, but the sports’ governing bodies required assurances this week that the events could proceed.
Given the lower than expected vaccination rates and the impact of the National Cabinet decision, those assurances could not be provided within that time frame.
The Victorian Government understands the need for Formula 1 management and MotoGP controller Dorna Sports to confirm their schedules and the decision not to proceed in 2021 was mutually agreed with those bodies.
Planning will begin immediately for the return of the iconic international events in 2022.
The decision of the National Cabinet last Friday to set a phased roadmap to re-open the nation built on widespread community vaccination means organizers and fans can have increased confidence looking to next year.
The Formula 1 Australian Grand Prix and Australian MotoGP are much-loved fixtures on Victoria’s renowned events calendar, attracting thousands of fans to Albert Park and Phillip Island respectively, and showcasing the state to a global audience of tens of millions of people.
The Formula 1 Australian Grand Prix has been a pillar of the major events calendar since it was enticed from South Australia in 1996.
The latest contract extension agreed with Formula 1 management means that the race will be held at Albert Park until at least 2025. The Australian MotoGP is contracted to Victoria until 2026 and has been held at the Phillip Island circuit since 1997.
The Government is ensuring Victoria remains Australia’s events leader with a further $152 million for the Major Events Fund across four years – creating an annual pool of $100 million to attract high-value events and attractions to the state, supporting jobs and businesses.
A study by consultants Ernst & Young put the value of major events to the Victorian economy at $2.5 billion a year prior to the global pandemic.
Quotes attributable to Minister for Tourism, Sport and Major Events Martin Pakula
“It’s very disappointing that these much-loved events can’t proceed but this is the reality of the pandemic – but until we get much higher vaccination rates we cannot return to more normal settings.”
“We are getting to work on plans for 2022 immediately and can’t wait to welcome the world’s best drivers and riders and all motorsport fans back to Albert Park and Phillip Island.”