The Australian Grand Prix will enforce a general ban on all exemptions from COVID-19 vaccination, making it mandatory to be vaccinated to participate.
- No medical exemptions will be accepted for unvaccinated participants in the Australian Grand Prix
- The race organizers say that Novak Djokovic’s situation has not affected the rules
- The event is scheduled to kick off with full audience capacity in April
Australian Formula 1 Grand Prix chief Andrew Westacott said the terms and conditions of participation in the event were clear.
“The rules are simple to get into the country and the rules are simple to operate in Formula 1,” Mr Westacott said.
He said the move would be crucial for teams to maintain their continuity while in Australia.
Sir. Westacott said the Australian Grand Prix Corporation (AGPC) had drawn up its COVID policies well in advance of the recent Novak Djokovic saga at the Australian Open.
“Our events have been in place well before the recent time at the Australian Open,” he said.
“These rules are understood by Formula 1, they are understood by the FIA (Fédération Internationale de l’Automobile), they will be written into the sporting rules and I am very sure that [it] it’s just a rite of passage to enter the country. “
Leading F1 drivers Lewis Hamilton, Daniel Ricciardo and Max Verstappen have been loud in their support for vaccination.
They joined 19 other F1 drivers last year in a video promoting vaccines.
All staff in the F1 folds must have been vaccinated and medical driver Alan van der Merwe was unable to take part in several races last season due to being unvaccinated.
Sir. Westacott said anyone who tested positive for COVID-19 during the event would be excluded from running.
“There is zero tolerance. Whether you are Lewis Hamilton or Valentino Rossi in MotoGP, if you test positive, you are not driving that weekend,” he said.
The AGPC will try to hold its first Grand Prix in three years after both the 2020 and 2021 editions of the Australian Grand Prix were canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
“I will go on record and say zero chance of cancellation,” Mr Westacott said.
The race itself is set for a renewal, as the Albert Park track re-emerges for the first time in 25 years, reducing the expected lap times by five seconds.
The Australian Grand Prix is scheduled to continue with full audience capacity on 10 April.