For the second year in a row the F1 Grand Prix in Melbourne has been cancelled due to the ongoing effects of the global COVID-19 pandemic.
Minister for Sports, Tourism and Major Events Martin Pakula blamed the pandemic and the "slower than forecast" rollout of the COVID-19 vaccine program by the Commonwealth Government for the cancellation of both the F1 Grand Prix and the MotoGP at Phillip Island.
The F1 Grand Prix was schedule for 21 November, but the sport's governing bodies required assurances this week that the event could proceed as planned.
"Given the lower-than-expected vaccination rates and the impact of the National Cabinet decision, those assurances could not be provided within that time frame," the Victorian Government said.
"The Victorian Government understands the need for Formula 1 management and MotoGP controller Dorna Sports to confirm their schedules and the decision not to proceed in 2021 was mutually agreed with those bodies."
The Formula 1 Australian Grand Prix has been a pillar of the major events calendar since it was enticed from South Australia in 1996.
The latest contract extension agreed with Formula 1 management means that the race will be held at Albert Park until at least 2025. The Australian MotoGP is contracted to Victoria until 2026 and has been held at the Phillip Island circuit since 1997.
"It's very disappointing that these much-loved events can't proceed but this is the reality of the pandemic but until we get much higher vaccination rates we cannot return to more normal settings," Pakula said.
"We are getting to work on plans for 2022 immediately and can't wait to welcome the world's best drivers and riders and all motorsport fans back to Albert Park and Phillip Island."
Updated at 4.39pm AEST on 6 July 2021.
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