JULY 8, 2021
Australia to lose season-opening race date
Melbourne looks set to lose its spot as the scene of Formula 1's traditional season opening race.
Due to covid restrictions, the Australian GP has been cancelled for a second consecutive year - but officials insist they are already looking beyond the 2025 contract.
"We are very keen to extend it," said Martin Pakula, minister for sports and tourism for the Victorian state government.
"There aren't many circuits around the world which are as picturesque or loved by the drivers and their teams as Albert Park."
However, given the 2020 and 2021 cancellations, F1 CEO Stefano Domenicali might be forgiven for thinking about dropping Melbourne as the season opener.
Pakula doesn't deny it.
"We've been talking with F1 about April for some time," he admitted when asked about a race date for 2022.
"As you know, other events went into that first and second slot this year and I think F1 are keen to continue with those events."