Australian Grand Prix and MotoGP off

Melbourne’s Albert Park has been the home of the race in Australia since 1996

The Australian Grand Prix has been called off for the second year in a row because of the coronavirus pandemic.

The Australian round of the MotoGP world championship, scheduled for 24 October, has also been cancelled.

The Formula 1 event was due to take place from 19-21 November but has been abandoned because of tight border controls in Australia.

Australian Grand Prix Corporation chairman Paul Little said he was “deeply disappointed” in a statement.

“We appreciate the challenge Australia faces with current international travel restrictions and the importance of vaccinations,” he added.

The Australian race was only to be followed by two more in the F1 season – Saudi Arabia and the season-ending Grand Prix in Abu Dhabi.

But Australian border rules require visitors to quarantine for 14 days, a condition of entry expected to be in place until at least the end of the year.

Organisers of the event ultimately cited “restrictions and logistical challenges relating to the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic,” for the cancellation.

Formula 1 chief Stefano Domenicali said a 23-race season would still be possible despite the cancellation.

“While it is disappointing we won’t be racing in Australia this season, we are confident we can deliver a 23-race season in 2021 and we have a number of options to take forward,” he said.

The Australian round of the MotoGP world championship, scheduled to take place at Phillip Island, has also now been wiped out for a second successive year.

The event organisers said: “The ongoing pandemic and resulting travel complications and logistical restrictions mean it has not been possible to confirm the viability of the event at this time, and it will therefore not feature on the 2021 calendar.”

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