Australian Grand Prix officials have announced all F1 drivers and staff must be fully vaccinated to avoid a repeat of the Novak Djokovic controversy that saw the world number one driver expelled.
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Mercedes superstar Lewis Hamilton and his Formula 1 drivers have been warned that they will not be allowed to compete in the Australian Grand Prix without being vaccinated.
Officials will want to avoid repeating the controversial and extremely public narrative surrounding Novak Djokovic’s visa cancellation. Number one in the world is deported from Melbourne after his entry to the country was revoked before the Australian Open.
He may be barred from re-entry for three years after his visa is cancelled. Australia has imposed strict laws on citizens during the pandemic – and Australian Grand Prix authorities have told drivers they will not be allowed to compete if they are not vaccinated.
The Australian Grand Prix is usually the opening event of the season, but will be the third in the 2022 calendar due to planning amid Covid restrictions. Race chief executive Andrew Westacott stressed that the rules were clear and all riders and staff had to be fully attended.
“The rules are very simple to enter the country and the rules are very simple to operate in Formula One,” said Westacott. “To participate in this event you will be 100% vaccinated and there will be no waivers for anyone from anyone.
“Our arrangement went well ahead of our recent match at the Australian Open. These rules are understood by Formula One, they are understood by the FIA, they will be written into the sports regulations and I am very confident that (it) will just be a rite of passage to enter the Country.
“There is no tolerance. Whether you are Lewis Hamilton or Valentino Rossi in MotoGP, if the result is positive, you don’t race that weekend”.
No rider has ever strayed from the regulations, although seven-time world champion Hamilton is said to be fully vaccinated.
F1 has said that everyone will need to be vaccinated to participate in events. When asked about the new pre-season vaccinations earlier this month, F1 CEO Stefano Domenicali said: “There are a lot of issues to discuss with the teams.
“We will have Covid problems to manage again next year and it will not be easy. But two years into the pandemic, we’ve completed some super intense seasons, and that makes us cautiously optimistic about what the start of the 2022 season will look like, while Covid is still present. face.
“But it is no coincidence that one of the last things passed in the last FIA World Council, as a precaution, was to require all F1 staff to be vaccinated to be in the race. grass.”
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Hamilton has yet to speak out publicly since Red Bull star Max Verstappen won his first world title in controversial scenes at the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix with an increase in retirement speculation. Mercedes’ fury was mainly directed at the FIA’s race director Michael Masi after he decided not to allow the cars to inflate on their own, as is tradition, only to change his mind to set up the final race between Hamilton and Verstappen.
Mercedes withdrew their appeal against the outcome after the FIA pledged to investigate the events surrounding the Safety Vehicle procedures.
Hamilton and members of the Mercedes team have not given any other media interviews after the season finale and the 37-year-old has yet to post on his social media account since the 12th event. December 2021.
The 2022 23-race campaign runs from March 18 to 20, with winter testing for the all-new generation of cars to be conducted from February 23.