There is increasing speculation that the season opener in Melbourne, scheduled for 21 March, is to be postponed.

Though there is no official word from either F1 or the Australian Grand Prix Corporation, the strict, ongoing restrictions on travel into the country, combined with increasing reports of new strains of the virus around the world, are causing organisers to consider postponing the race until later in the season.

While there is talk that Bahrain, currently scheduled for 28 March could now become the season opener, it is the continued doubt over the races that follow that is the problem.

With Stefano Domenicali now in charge of the sport, the best thing the Italian could do right now is announce that the original 23-date schedule is under review and begin making plans for an alternative schedule.

The uncertainty over the virus, combined with reports of new strains are once again threatening the sport and despite the various vaccines that are now available there is no sign of a return to normality any time soon.

Last year saw the season opener in Melbourne scrapped just a few hours before the opening practice session, and while fans stood outside the gates of the Albert Park circuit, the likes of Sebastian Vettel and Lewis Hamilton were already heading home.

Tickets for the Melbourne race have not yet gone on sale though work on the temporary grandstands would normally begin later this month.

A decision would also need to be made in the coming weeks in terms of the shipping of the whole F1 apparatus.

Organizers in Melbourne have already issued strict guidelines for the event, with officials to be tested and placed in isolation 96 hours beforehand. Furthermore, some of those attending will be expected to quarantine for a further 14 days after the event.

Indeed, ahead of the forthcoming Australian Open in Melbourne, players will be quarantined for 14 days before the tournament.

As was the case last year, F1 and the teams cannot afford for the season not to happen. However, rather than reacting Domenicali would be best served by taking a proactive stance from the outset.

To date, Australia has suffered 909 deaths due to COVID, while 21 new cases in the last 24 hours brings the total of current cases up to 1,817.

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