Lewis Hamilton and his fellow Formula One drivers have been warned that they will not get into the Australian Grand Prix if they are not vaccinated against COVID-19. Race organisers will be firm to avoid the furore involving tennis world No 1 Novak Djokovic’s revoked entry into Australia. Djokovic had his visa revoked upon entry into the country ahead of the Australian Open. The Serbian is a vaccine sceptic.
Australia have imposed strict laws on citizens during the pandemic. And Australian Grand Prix authorities have already told drivers that they will not be allowed to compete if they are not vaccinated. Chief executive Andrew Westacott has said that rules for the event have been made clear – that racers and staff will all need to be fully jabbed. There will be no exemptions – not even for seven-time world champion Hamilton.
“The rules are simple to get into the country and the rules are simple to operate in Formula One,” Westacott said. “To come into the event you’ll be 100 per cent vaccinated and there won’t be an exemption sought for anyone from anyone. Our arrangements have been in place well before the recent goings-on at the Australian Open. “These rules are understood by
Formula One, they’re understood by the FIA, they’re going to be written into the sporting regulations and I’m very confident that (it) is just going to be a rite of passage to come into the country. “There’s zero tolerance. Whether you’re Lewis Hamilton or Valentino Rossi in MotoGP, if you test positive, you don’t race that weekend.” Hamilton is understood to be fully vaccinated against Covid and has repeatedly urged fans to get jabbed.
Formula One has already said that everyone will need to be vaccinated to take part in events. “There are many issues to discuss with the teams,” F1 CEO Stefano Domenicali said earlier this month. “We will have the problem of Covid to manage again next year and it will not be easy. “But two years into the pandemic, we have completed some super-intense seasons and it makes us cautiously optimistic for what the start of the
2022 season should be like, where alas Covid may still be present. “But it is no coincidence that one of the last things approved in the last FIA World Council, as a precaution, is to have all F1 staff vaccinated to be in the paddock.”