F1 drivers have been warned they must be vaccinated against Covid at the Australian Grand Prix or risk a fate similar to tennis star Novak Djokovic.
The men’s World No.1 was booted out of Australia following a humiliating vaccine row that rumbled on for almost a fortnight.
He was prevented from defending his Australian Open title amid fears his unvaccinated status might incite anti-vax protests in the country.
And now F1 stars have been told in no uncertain terms they must have had the jab if they want to race Down Under.
Australian GP Corporation chief exec Andrew Westacott said: “The rules are simple to get into the country and the rules are simple to operate in Formula One.
“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.
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“There’s zero tolerance. Whether you’re Lewis Hamilton or Valentino Rossi in MotoGP, if you test positive, you don’t race that weekend.”
The Aussie race is usually the sport’s annual curtain-raiser but has been pushed back to third in the calendar due to Covid restrictions.
The 2022 season instead gets underway in Bahrain on 18th March.
Fans are still waiting to see whether British superstar Hamilton will be on the grid with rumours of his retirement yet to be fully quashed.