Aston Martin F1 team owner Lawrence Stroll said at the presentation of new title sponsor Cognizant that the Australian Grand Prix has been postponed and that the Bahrain Grand Prix will be the first race of the season.

As many media wrote in the past few days, the Australian GP is about to be postponed due to the protocol on coronavirus in that country and negotiations are currently underway between the race promoters, the Australian government and Formula 1.

Although there is still no official confirmation, which would promote the Bahrain GP to the place of the first race of the season, Stroll confirmed that the matter has been resolved and that the Australian GP will be postponed for a later date.

“Melbourne has been, it’s not officially announced but it will be, not cancelled but postponed,” said Stroll.

“We will go there sometime in the fall and the first race will be Bahrain.”

“I do believe we’re in for a difficult two or three months.”

“There is a light at the end of the tunnel with the vaccine but I think the first few races will be slightly challenging.

“But Formula One management and the FIA, I really take my hat off to them to deliver 17 races as we did last year in 23 weeks, without really any major hiccups, in a very impressive manner.

“I think the worst is behind us and we’ve learnt through last year how to proceed with this year.”

Formula 1 has already considered moving pre-season testing to Bahrain this season, but they still decided to stay in Barcelona where a three-day test was to be held.

But as the postponement of the Australian GP is very likely, the teams agree that for logistical reasons it would be most logical to move testing to Bahrain, which would become the new first race of the season.

Autosport reports that the teams agree with that decision, but that they still cannot agree on the exact date of the pre-season tests because some want an earlier date and some as late as possible.

Last season, both Racing Point drivers, Perez and Stroll, contracted the coronavirus, and towards the end of the season, the current world champion Hamilton joined the list.

2021 F1 CALENDAR

1 Australia 21 Mar
2 Bahrain 28 Mar
3 China 11 Apr
4 Imola/Portimao/? 25 Apr
5 Spain 9 May
6 Monaco 23 May
7 Azerbaijan 6 Jun
8 Canada 13 Jun
9 France 27 Jun
10 Austria 4 Jul
11 Great Britain 18 Jul
12 Hungary 1 Aug
13 Belgium 29 Aug
14 Netherlands 5 Sep
15 Italy 12 Sep
16 Russia 26 Sep
17 Singapore 3 Oct
18 Japan 10 Oct
19 USA 24 Oct
20 Mexico 31 Oct
21 Brazil 14 Nov
22 Saudi Arabia 28 Nov
23 Abu Dhabi 5 Dec
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