Australian authorities in Melbourne have ruled that Novak Djokovic’s visa is invalid. The Serb previously indicated that he could participate in this year’s Australian Open on the basis of a medical exception. However, upon arrival in the country, it was found that his team had applied for the wrong visa, a visa that does not allow for medical exceptions.
To date, the Australian government has stood firm and will not make an exception for Djokovic, as ‘no one is above the rules’. Djokovic is in a quarantine hotel until the lawsuit filed by Djokovic is filed on Monday.
What does this mean for Formula 1?
Can Formula 1 face similar concerns if the sport returns to Australian soil before the weekend of April 10? The GP on the Melbourne Grand Prix Circuit was not held in 2020 and 2021 due to the corona virus.
While it is impossible to predict what the situation will be like three months from now, it is unlikely that measures will ease drastically, given how the Omikron variant is spreading worldwide.
To date, however, Formula 1 as a unit has proclaimed a pro-vaccination message. Apart from a few infections, the sport has largely succeeded in moving around the world as a closed group without major problems, at least in 2021.
It is not known who has and who has not been vaccinated, although we know, for example, from Medical Car driver Alan van der Merwe (photo left) that he has not been vaccinated. He shared on social media that he wholeheartedly recommends the vaccine to everyone, but that due to personal circumstances he has not been vaccinated.
If, for that reason, he does not enter Australia like Djokovic, then a replacement will have to be looked for. Last year they already ended up with the safety car driver of Formula E, but the Australian GP this year coincides with a Formula E race. That still won’t be an insurmountable problem. In an exclusive interview with FPAL safety car driver Bernd Maylander once pointed out that a suitable solution can always be found in a ‘paddock full of drivers’.
F1 is working on strict, own policy
To date, none of the drivers or more prominent team members have openly spoken out against the corona vaccine. In the deeper layers of the teams, it is possible to change personnel in order to meet the corona requirements of the different countries.
FPAL understands, however, that Formula 1’s commercial rights holders are striving for a situation where all traveling personnel fully comply with applicable rules for all countries, without allowing any exceptions.
In addition, UK-based Formula 1 teams and F1 bodies are currently discussing their own policy to double vaccinate all traveling staff in any case, while teams based in other countries will follow suit, adapted to the requirements of the United Kingdom. concerning national governments.
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