Australian Grand Prix bosses confident race will kick-start 2021 F1 season despite unknown over coronavirus pandemic

AUSTRALIAN GP bosses are confident their race will kick off the 2021 F1 season – despite the coronavirus pandemic.

This year's race in Melbourne was called off at the 11th hour following a positive test among the McLaren team.

Despite the local promoter insisting the race was going ahead, the plug was eventually pulled by F1's CEO, Chase Carey.

As a result of the pandemic, Melbourne Airport is currently closed to incoming flights.

However, Australian Grand Prix Corporation CEO Andrew Westacott says he was confident of meeting the mid-March race date.

He revealed: "Melbourne will again host the F1 season opener in the traditional March time slot, which will form a significant part of the recovery of the major sports and events industry in Victoria."

F1 bosses are still drawing up their calendar for 2021 after struggling with this season's schedule.

The plan so far is for it to include at least 22 races.

As well as the normal destinations,fans will also get to witness new GPs in Holland and Vietnam- whether from the track or on TV.

There is also a suggestion that there could also be an F1 race staged in Saudi Arabia.

Lewis Hamilton is leading this year's competition and has a 69 point lead over Mercedes team-mate Valtteri Bottas.

Racing resumes in Portugal this weekend as the Brit looks to extend his lead and surpass Michael Schumacher's win record.

Reigning world champ Hamilton, 35, will be hoping he doesn't have any more car trouble after being forced to change his own wheel on his £70,000 electric motor after getting a blow-out on the motorway.

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