Australian GP considering November date swap with MotoGP

A permanent date swap between Australia's Formula 1 and MotoGP races is on the table for 2022 and beyond.

Australian GP considering November date swap with MotoGP
Listen to this article

The two events, both run by the Australian Grand Prix Corporation, traditionally sit at opposite ends of their respective schedules, with Albert Park opening the F1 season in March and Phillip Island hosting MotoGP in October.

However, ongoing travel restrictions due to the pandemic have forced the postponement of this year's F1 race, which is now scheduled to take place on November 21, four weeks after the MotoGP race.

Read Also:

According to AGPC boss Andrew Westacott, that's opened the door for a major re-think in terms of timing for both events.

He says there are now four options when it comes to scheduling for 2022 and beyond, one of which is effectively a straight swap between the F1 and MotoGP events.

That would maintain the distance between the two, important for both event management and ticket sales, and address the regular calls from riders to shift Phillip Island to an autumn date in search of better weather.

"I can't emphasise highly enough that there is nothing definitive about the calendars in 2022," Westacott told Motorsport.com.

"We always enjoy the opening race position with Formula 1. It suits us and it's a major pillar of Melbourne's major events calendar.

"What I've also said is that a change of the nature we have now, with a November [Formula 1] event, gives us the opportunity to look at four very distinct scenarios.

"One is that both events are in an early season slot, February or March. Another is both races being in a late season slot, October or November. The traditional F1 at the start and MotoGP at the end. Or, the flip – MotoGP at the start and F1 at the end.

"I've got a very open mind about all of those four scenarios, and the pros and cons and opportunities they present to the sport. And the value those events deliver for Melbourne.

"All of them are on the table and a combination will be decided on when the calendars are finalised during the middle of this year.

"Taking into account tradition and new opportunities, I'm open-minded. There is categorically not one decision that has been made on it just yet."

Read Also:

There are still no guarantees either of the events will go ahead this year, with Australia's borders shut to the rest of the world.

Anybody entering the country is still subject to 14 days of hotel quarantine, a practice that is unlikely to be dropped until vaccines are at a significant level of worldwide circulation.

Australia's own vaccine programme started today (Monday) and is expected to be completed by October.

Melbourne did manage to host its first international event since the pandemic started, the Australian Open tennis tournament, this month, but competitors first had to undergo the full two-week quarantine.

Westacott says learnings from the tennis, as well as progress on the vaccine front, has left him confident the Formula 1 paddock will make it to Melbourne in November.

"It's always complex, you only have to look at the tennis and how they've approached it," he added.

"But my view, and the view of the government, is that we have the opportunity to continually develop and continuously improve the approach to staging events.

"We've got time now to do that, based on learnings from the tennis, from vaccine rollouts, from hotel quarantine, from all sorts of other health-related approaches. It's going to stand us in better stead to stage the event in November."

shares
comments

Related video

Ferrari will recover "large part" of power deficit - Vasseur
Previous article

Ferrari will recover "large part" of power deficit - Vasseur

Next article

Ranked! Carlin's greatest F1 graduates

Ranked! Carlin's greatest F1 graduates
Load comments
The key aspects of Porsche and Audi's planned F1 entries Prime

The key aspects of Porsche and Audi's planned F1 entries

The VW Group’s German superpowers of sportscar racing have all but confirmed they are coming to F1 when the next set of engine rules come into force in 2026. Here's why both manufacturers are all set to take the plunge, and crucially how it might work

Formula 1
May 19, 2022
How Vegas went from byword for F1 indifference to grand Liberty coup Prime

How Vegas went from byword for F1 indifference to grand Liberty coup

Holding a race in Las Vegas – party central, a city of dreams and decadence and, yes, more than a smattering of tackiness – has been on Liberty Media’s most-wanted list since it acquired Formula 1’s commercial rights. But, as LUKE SMITH explains, F1 has been here before and the relationship didn’t work out

Formula 1
May 18, 2022
Why de Vries' FP1 outing could add a new path to his current crossroads Prime

Why de Vries' FP1 outing could add a new path to his current crossroads

A Formula 2 and Formula E champion, Nyck de Vries is currently considering where his future in motorsport lies. Continuing in WEC and Formula E is possible and he's also courted glances Stateside after impressing in an IndyCar test. But ahead of his Formula 1 FP1 debut with Williams, he could have another option if he impresses...

Formula 1
May 18, 2022
Why Leclerc's crash shouldn't put off F1 drivers tasting history Prime

Why Leclerc's crash shouldn't put off F1 drivers tasting history

OPINION: For a demo run ahead of Monaco's Historique Grand Prix, Charles Leclerc was blessed with the opportunity to drive Niki Lauda's former Ferrari 312B3 - but a brake failure at Rascasse suggested Leclerc's Monaco hoodoo transcended contemporary F1. Although an awkward incident, Leclerc deserves credit for embracing F1's history.

Formula 1
May 18, 2022
Why the lack of "needle" between Red Bull and Ferrari is a mirage Prime

Why the lack of "needle" between Red Bull and Ferrari is a mirage

OPINION: The fight for the 2022 Formula 1 world titles between Red Bull and Ferrari so far features little of the public animosity that developed between the former and Mercedes last year. But that isn’t to say things are full on friendly or won’t get much worse very quickly…

Formula 1
May 17, 2022
The underdog F1 squad that thrust Senna into the limelight Prime

The underdog F1 squad that thrust Senna into the limelight

The Toleman TG184 was the car that could, according to legend, have given Ayrton Senna his first F1 win but for Alain Prost and Jacky Ickx at Monaco in 1984. That could be stretching the boundaries of the truth a little, but as STUART CODLING explains, the team's greatest legacy was in giving the Brazilian prodigy passed over by bigger outfits an opportunity

Formula 1
May 16, 2022
Why Aston Martin is unlikely to repeat Jaguar’s F1 mistakes Prime

Why Aston Martin is unlikely to repeat Jaguar’s F1 mistakes

Two famous manufacturer teams born out of humble midfield origins, splashing the cash while attempting to rise to the top of F1 in record time. There are clear parallels between Lawrence Stroll’s Aston Martin and the doomed Jaguar Racing project of 22 years ago, but Mark Gallagher believes struggling Aston can avoid a similar fate.

Formula 1
May 15, 2022
How rejuvenated Haas recovered its F1 mojo Prime

How rejuvenated Haas recovered its F1 mojo

US-owned but until recently Russian-backed, Haas seems to have reached a turning point in car performance after three gruesome seasons. And it needs to if it’s to attract fresh investment. Team boss Gunther Steiner tells Oleg Karpov how close Haas came to the abyss.

Formula 1
May 14, 2022