Former Aussie Formula 1 champion Alan Jones believes the inaugural Grand Prix this year in Melbourne should be pushed back later into the championship due to the travel restrictions as well as the rising woe of a new COVID spike in the country.
Just like several other sports, the 2020 F1 championship was heavily impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic, resulting in a number of cancellations and postponements of GPs. The Australian Grand Prix, which inaugurates the championship each year at the Albert Park Circuit in Melbourne, was scheduled for 15th March and was one of the races that were cancelled.
Alan Jones vouches for postponement of Australian GP to a later date
In recent times, there have been speculations that this year’s inaugural Grand Prix on 2021 is subject to a postponement into a later date (sometime in August) to counter the situation in Australia. The Bahrain GP, on the other hand, is rumoured to host the season opener.
Interestingly, Alan Jones’ words hold a similar notion. The only one of two Aussie drivers to ever clinch a championship (the other one being Jack Brabham), believes the Aussie GP should indeed be postponed to a later date than to have another cancellation like previous year.
“I have always loved the idea of Australia hosting the first round, because we’re the first ones to see new driver-car combinations, new regulations put into place … we’re very fortunate that we’ve able to host the first round,” Alan Jones recently said in an interview.
“But I can also understand the other side, the unwillingness to travel to the other side of the world and be locked down for two weeks. It’s a big ask,” the former Williams driver who won the 1980 Formula One season, added.
Amongst the fear of the new COVID strain, Australia is already fearing another strong lockdown, in addition to travel restrictions, which Jones believes will be make hosting a GP in March very hectic and could also ‘compromise’ the entire season.
“It’s a logistics nightmare getting all those cars, equipment, and personnel, and all the TV stuff from one side of the earth to the other, even though they’ve become bloody good at it, but if they’ve got to stay an extra two weeks, it compromises the rest of the season,” the 74-year-old ackowledged.