Organisers of the Australian GP have confirmed that Melbourne will kick off the 2021 season.
The news follows rumours that with the Victorian capital still on high alert as a city-wide covid lockdown begins to ease, Bahrain could take over as the first Formula 1 race of next year.
"We are pleased to inform you that the event will be held in its traditional March timeslot in Melbourne and will be announced as the season-opening race when the provisional calendar is released in the coming weeks," the Australian Grand Prix Corporation said in a statement.
"The exact date is yet to be finalised, but you can plan with confidence that the event will be held in mid to late March."
The AGPC added that the return of Formula 1 to Melbourne, after the race had to be cancelled at the eleventh hour at the start of the pandemic this year, is significant for "the recovery of the major sports and events industry in Victoria".
"The landscape for staging major events has changed and we're working closely with health authorities and the Victorian government on sensible, flexible, adaptable, modular, and most importantly, covid-safe plans for welcoming fans to Albert Park."