Australian F1 and MotoGP stable amid COVID
By Mat Coch
Thursday 4th February, 2021 - 6:10pm
Formula 1 and MotoGP will remain in Australia for the duration of their original contracts despite both skipping 2020.
Australia was set to host the opening round of the 2020 F1 season before coronavirus triggered its cancellation on the morning of opening practice.
The MotoGP event was similarly cancelled, though well before teams travelled to Australia.
Both events have contracts for the coming seasons, with F1 to remain in Melbourne until at least 2025 and MotoGP at Phillip Island until 2026.
Given neither hosted their contracted events last year, it was unclear how that would manifest itself.
“The current contract for Formula One is till 2025, that remains and the current contract for 2026 is the contract for Moto GP,” Andrew Westacott, Chief Executive Officer of the Australian Grand Prix Corporation, confirmed to Speedcafe.com.
There had been speculation that a year could be added to both events, as has been done in some instances elsewhere.
That is not the case for Melbourne, with organisers striking agreements with Liberty Media and Dorna, commercial rights holders for F1 and MotoGP respectively.
“Those sorts of things are tied up into the broader topic of commercial discussions and so I think it’s fair to say with every promoter the circumstances can vary,” Westacott explained when asked of extensions to the contracts in lieu of not hosting events in 2020.
“There’s, in some instances been additional years, in some areas there’s been waving of fees, in other areas there might be deferral.
“It’s all done on a case by case basis.
“What I’d say is that in both instances we’ve met and reached very amicable, mutually agreed outcomes that don’t change the nature of the relationship.”
The 2021 Formula 1 Australian Grand Prix is set to run across November 18-21, with the Australian MotoGP will be held four weeks earlier, on October 24.
Beyond this year, there has been talk that the Formula 1 and MotoGP events could swap dates, with the latter becoming the season-opener in March.