Robert Kubica, Williams, Albert Park, 2019

Victorian government committed to April race date for Australian GP

RaceFans Round-up

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In the round-up: The Victorian State Government has given assurances the Australian Grand Prix will take place as planned on April 10th this year following its cancellations in 2020 and 2021.

In brief

Victorian government commit to April Melbourne race date

The Australian Grand Prix will not be postponed to a later date after a commitment by the Victorian state government to hold the race in April.

There has been no race around Melbourne’s Albert Park circuit over the last two F1 seasons due to the impact of the pandemic. The 2020 event was called off on Friday morning after McLaren team members tested positive for Covid-19 during the initial spread of the virus. The Australian Grand Prix was intended to take place in 2021, but was delayed multiple times before being cancelled.

Speaking to Speedcafe, the Australian Grand Prix Corporation’s Andrew Westacott said that the government of Victoria had assured them the race would go ahead on April 10th.

“We’ve got a commitment from the Victorian Government, that the event’s going ahead,” said Westacott. “We’ve got a commitment from Formula 1 that they’re coming here for round three. We’re selling tickets like hot cakes, and we’re 80 days away from the event. So everything is happening, everything is getting ready, and (I) can’t wait to host the best drivers in the world, in new cars, on a new track.”

Melbourne’s Albert Park circuit is due to host the third race of the season on a heavily revised layout. The Formula 1 season begins in Bahrain on March 20th.

Kanaan keen to run 25th Indy 500 in 2023

Tony Kanaan, Ganassi, IndyCar, Indianapolis Motor Speedway, 2021
The 2013 Indy 500 winner took 10th place last year
IndyCar driver Tony Kanaan says he hopes he will get the opportunity to run the Indy 500 for the 25th time in his career next year.

Chip Ganassi recently confirmed that the 47-year-old would race for them in May’s 106th edition of the race – the only IndyCar event he will compete in this season.

Kanaan, who won the race back in 2013, said he was able and willing to race in next year’s running of the famous race, which will mark his 25th year in the series.

“Do I have any things lined up for next year? No. Do I still want to do it? One hundred percent. Do I still think I can do it? One hundred percent,” said Kanaan.

“Look at what happened to Helio [Castroneves]. I mean, my question will be, what about if we go win number two? Are we coming back or not? So I’m not announcing anything because I actually don’t know. I can tell you my intentions are not [for this] to be the last one. Next year will be my 25th year in IndyCar, and I think it would be pretty cool if I could do that.”

AJ Foyt holds the record for most Indy 500 starts, having taken part in the race 35 time, in every year from 1958 to 1992.

Smolyar moves to MP for third year in F3

After two years at ART, Alexander Smolyar has moved to MP for a third season in the FIA Formula 3 championship. The 20-year-old placed sixth in the category last year, winning two partial-reverse-grid races including the season-opener at Circuit de Catalunya. MP are yet to announce who his two team mates will be.

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Comment of the day

With superlicence rules set by the FIA limiting how inexperienced drivers entering Formula 1 can be, @sjaakfoo questions whether the sport even needs it:

There is no benefit to this system at all. It’s preventing nothing, it’s helping nobody.

Like none of the drivers that got into F1 with “too little experience in motor racing” are worse off for it. Kimi won a WDC, Max won a WDC, Button won a WDC. Yes, these drivers were “fast tracked” into Formula 1, but not because of money or having a good manager, it was because they were stellar drivers that teams saw something in that made them want to sign them.

On the opposite end, you have the pay drivers like Stroll who were also fast-tracked, but then you still ended up getting Nikita Mazepin (who’s not as good as Stroll by quite a margin, but that’s besides the point) that still ended up in F1 anyways.

So again, who or what is this system for? F1 isn’t any better or worse off with this system in place. Everything’s the same except now there’s arbitrary rules that would prevent Max Verstappen from coming into F1 if there was to ever be a Max Verstappen again. And 2015 with Verstappen was a much more entertaining season then 2015 without Verstappen, so I’m not convinced that’s a good thing.

Happy birthday!

Happy birthday to Oukilf1, Bruno and Ehsansatti!

On this day in motorsport

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Will Wood
Will has been a RaceFans contributor since 2012 during which time he has covered F1 test sessions, launch events and interviewed drivers. He mainly...

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38 comments on “Victorian government committed to April race date for Australian GP”

  1. F1 should avoid Melbourne, the Victorian government is super reactionary to the whims of petty politics and flights of fancy. If they run a poll that even hints at negative reaction from having an event, they will once again cancel it on the day it is supposed to run.

    April is way to far in the future to predict how this government may react.

    1. @jasonj Victoria doesn’t require quarantine for fully vaccinated arrivals, so I’m not worried for now.

      1. @jerejj It’s a long way to April, and the definition of vaccinated is on shifting sands already, god know what the random rules for attendance will be when the day comes, if the day comes. I’m pessimistic because this government is petty, vengeful and erratic, as a simple tennis match has become headlines and highly politicised this past week.

        1. @jasonj It will go ahead despite the best efforts of ant-vaxxers and freedum warriors.

          1. @johnrkh Well, comprehension may not be your thing, that’s fair enough, at least you’re confident that your making some sort of sense. Keep fighting shadows only you know you’re fighting.

        2. Not a simple tennis match, but an individual that knowingly broke the rules of entry

  2. Obviously, the superlicense system is for the FIA to make money and ensure their lower categories are worth more, but I think that’s what CotD is implying.

  3. The super license weighting just needs to be adjusted, 5th! in F2 shouldn’t be as many points as 3rd in indy, FE or F3…
    There should be just as many points for winning a series, an equal amount of points for the top 10 in F2/Indy and FE (around where Indy is now), then F3 should be behind that again.

    If there are less pay drivers for teams to choose from who can barely make it to the top quarter of the F2 field, it increases the likelyhood of those who actually win the feeder series to join the top flight. I really think making F2/Indy and FE equal feeder-series would be a much fairer system.

    Getting rid of the super license points system all together would be a step backwards, it just needs better tuning.

    1. @skipgamer I reckon keeping other restrictions while axing the points system would suffice.

    2. an equal amount of points for the top 10 in F2/Indy and FE

      Performances in Formula 2 have higher applicability to qualifying become a Formula 1 driver than Indycar and Formula E. Weighing them differently is only logical.

      1. I think the quality of competition is on par, if anything better in Indy/Fe to justify equal weight.

        1. I wasn’t referring to the quality of the drivers, but rather that Formula 2 is racing on F1 circuits while both Indycar and Formula E follow their own distinct philosophies in circuit design and selection.

    3. @skipgamer

      Getting rid of the super license points system all together would be a step backwards

      Why? You don’t actually give a real argument for it, rather than the non-argument that it is a step forwards compared to not having it. To me, those kinds of comments imply that people can’t actually give a good reason, so they just appeal to some generic ‘progress.’

      1. If I gave a reasoning for every statement I’d end up writing paragraphs for every comment. Sometimes it’s okay to have an opinion without justification. I’m not writing theses’.

        Anyway, reason being it would give teams more choice to chase sponsorship dollars or nepotism and even less chance for the deserving winners of feeder series to find a seat. Which is already a problem.

        1. In a way @skipgamer it just shifts the balance of who can get the opportunity to those with bigger budgets so they can get to the needed level (see how Stroll got competent with a lot of training; not that he’s the worst, there are certainly less talented drivers I’d say, but even so, no doubt he’s there bc. of family money, lots of it).

          Yes, it might to some extent keep out rich talent lacking wannabees without persistence and experience to make up for that lack of talent but it doesn’t solve the issue, which is that the path to F1 in both very expensive, and biased to male European drivers, keeping a large part of humanity with little chance to not only find out they have the talent and attitude needed but also reach the maximum of their potential if they do.

      2. @aapje we could also hold your post to the same standard you have held others – since you seem to be implying that you think it would be a positive thing to scrap the current superlicence points system, where is your argument in support of that position? Currently, it would appear that you can’t actually give a good reason for your own position either.

        1. That not how debating works. You can’t accuse a person who asks for an argument of not providing an argument themselves.

    4. Points per series should be on number of laps per season and average pole time. The faster the series, or the longer the races, the more points should be awarded.

      But like most things FIA, it’s all political.

  4. Why do they have to keep changing things. I had the Australian track dialed in. I know exact how fast I can take a turn, exactly how much to brake and accelerate out. I hate learning new tracks. Just leave it alone.

    1. @sunnchilde To try & help passing or at least make the track more flowing, like with Yas Marina Circuit.

      1. And if it works as well, we’ll just have another one of our regular Melbourne procession stinker on our hands, but at least it’s not to start the season this time.

  5. Victoria is almost a failed state, it is so badly run. The government will shut down the race on a whim, like they have done to other public events and gatherings over the past 18 months.

    1. Like how the Aus Open isn’t going ahead right now?

    2. @Adrian, I doubt.
      Fully vaccinated people are welcome without isolation.s fully vaccinated people are welcome without isolation, after all.

      1. Something went wrong, which caused some orders to appear twice.

        1. Words, not ‘orders’ I should pay more attention.

    3. Not sure if you are aware, Adrian – but there’s been a global pandemic going on over that period.
      The places that haven’t been shutting things down are the places where you’re most likely to become seriously ill or die.

    4. @Adrian *The Australian GP will take place unless Bill Gates can get enough people fitted with the 5G tracking via the Covid vaccinations and turn us all into slaves. Of course, we must not forget the Deep State and the lizard people who run the planet.
      I have a plentiful supply of tin foil hats, Dexamethasone, ivermectin and bleach if you’re interested.

      *This post is meant a joke and is not to be taken seriously.

    5. someone or something
      21st January 2022, 16:44

      I’m receiving weird political vibes from this ‘failed state’ nonsense. It’s very reminiscent of the similarly worded propaganda about California that the American right has increasingly been pushing in the past few months. I didn’t even have to ask Wikipedia to get an idea of what political affiliation the current Government of Victoria has, or where Victoria ranks among the Australian states in terms of ‘failed state” stuff, such as GDP per capita, HDI, life expectancy, education, and why not CoViD vaccination rates …
      Now, I’m not going to post spoilers, but I ended up having a good laugh about how accurate my predictions were …

  6. No stumbling blocks should arise anymore for the Australian GP nor the other two-year cancellations, for that matter, especially if the earliest one can finally go ahead.
    The temporary infrastructure build-up commences early next month as per the lead time reference I got five years ago from the AusGP website, so quite soon. That’s the ultimate deadline, but everything should be okay.

    1. Melbourne will be fine – I’m more reserved about Japan, though.
      They are seeing another infection wave right now, and have no plans on opening their borders any time soon.
      Vaccination rate is a little slow, too, further hampering their re-opening.

      1. @S I see what you mean, but I’d be surprised if Japan still had entry restrictions come August when the ultimate deadline arrives as per the last two years. Time will tell, but I’m confident about all scheduled events for now.

  7. The COTD recipient makes a good point; FIA is known for making complex, inconsistent and superfluous rules:
    Why have a complex points system when most teams will go for talent rather than young wannabes?
    Why have a minimum weight when budgets are limited?
    Why the confusing rules which caught out Kimi/AR in Italy?
    Why have complex SC ending write-ups when giving the RD full responsibility and free rein to determine timings?

  8. People saying the Australian GP will be canceled have no idea of the situation.
    The reason the 2021 race was canceled was due to a mandatory 14 day quarantine for incoming travellers to Victoria. This doesn’t exist anymore so isn’t an issue.
    Also with the high vaccination rates (78% double dosed but much higher if you discount 12 yo and younger) the is no chance of VIC going back into lockdown.
    Victoria has moved on from a “Covid-Zero” strategy to a “you have to live with it” one.
    The biggest threat really would be to the track build, with all time high case numbers possibly impacting the workforce with Covid isolations, but that is something that will be worked through I am sure.

    1. Wait until your favourite F1 driver / team principal / journalist / personality / whatever turns out to be one of those anti-vaxxers and pulls the entire sport into disrepute trying to enter Australia anyway.

      1. Oh right. Atleast some #3 driver will get a chance.

      2. If you didn’t realise, Djoker, brought everything on himself. He lied on his visa and granted himself exemption due to supposedly catching covid in December. Catching covid doesnt immediately grant you 6 months vaccine exemption according to current Australian guidelines, you have to have an acute medical illness requiring hospitalisation or have suffered confirmed cardiac complications from covid infection.

  9. Err regarding race of champions..

    What exactly is Culthard champion of?

    GB has a choice of many motorsport champions.

    Maybe.. Sir Lewis Hamilton? Or is he to vain to attend?

    I remember when Schumacher and Vettel attended, when Schumacher was clear GoAT and Vettel was reigning champion.

    Atleast GB should have a current F1 driver. They have a number of good ones.

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