The Australian Grand Prix will open Formula One's 2021 season, says Australian Grand Prix Corporation CEO Andrew Westacott.
The race at Melbourne's Albert Park is to return to its traditional late-March slot when the calendar for 2021 is published, Westacott told Speedcafe.com.
Westacott said its MotoGP counterpart would also retain its traditional October slot.
"What I know for both - I'll call them world tours, but with both motorsport calendars - that both intend to issue their provisional calendars for the 2021 season in mid-to-late October," he said.
"What that means for Formula 1 is: Melbourne will be in its traditional March season opening slot on the provisional calendar."
The Formula One circus arrived in Melbourne in March despite the coronavirus pandemic, only for the race to be cancelled after a McLaren team member tested positive for COVID-19. Westacott says that mustn't be repeated in 2021.
"Once the provisional calendar is put out there in October, as the first race, it won't be more than a month's time before that's finalised, and locked away," he said.
"That will be, obviously, a collective decision, but once it's locked away, we need to commit to that, because it's not in anyone's interest to have a cancellation of the nature of March this year."
Westacott said he hoped the race would take place before spectators.
No 2021 F1 calendar has yet been published. Melbourne has a contract with F1 until 2025.