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Why F1 legend fears for Australian GP

Formula 1 great Alan Jones believes a "bloody miracle" will be needed for the Australian Grand Prix to take place in March, so great is the challenge posed by COVID-19.

Autosport yesterday reported the opening round of this year's Formula 1 World Championship could be postponed due to Australia's tough travel restrictions and the outbreak of a new strain of the coronavirus.

The season is still scheduled to get underway in Melbourne on March 21, but Autosport has reported the Bahrain Grand Prix is likely to open the series on March 28.

Jones fears it'll be impossible for the Australian Grand Prix to be held in March.

"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 been able to host the first round," Jones was quoted by News Corp.

"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.

"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. If they've got to stay an extra two weeks, it compromises the rest of the season.

"I'm hoping some bloody miracle will happen and we might reach a bit of a conclusion in the next couple of weeks, but failing that, I just can't see it happening, to be honest."

The pandemic forced the 2020 Australian Grand Prix to be postponed just hours before the first practice session.

The Austrian Grand Prix instead kicked off the 2020 season across July 3-5, and Australia last year missed out on hosting a Grand Prix.

Although the 2021 season-opener could be stripped from Australia, Melbourne could host a Grand Prix later in the year.

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