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The Australian Grand Prix has been axed for the second consecutive year due to "restrictions and logistical challenges" amid the coronavirus pandemic.

The Melbourne spectacle was called off in March 2020 shortly before the opening practice sessions were due to take place.

The Australian GP is normally the opening race of the new Formula 1 season but it was postponed until November this year in a bid to ensure it would go ahead.

Those hopes were dashed with a statement released on Tuesday morning which confirmed the event – which was due to be the third-last race of the season – has been cancelled.

The Albert Park circuit will not host an F1 race for the second year in a row
(Image: AFP via Getty Images)

"The Australian Grand Prix Corporation (AGPC) in conjunction with the Victorian Government and Formula 1 today announced the 2021 Formula 1 Australian Grand Prix has been cancelled due to restrictions and logistical challenges relating to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic," reads the statement.

"The 2021 Formula 1 Australian Grand Prix was due to be held at the Albert Park Grand Prix Circuit from 18-21 November.

"Tickets for the event had not gone on sale.

"AGPC will continue to work with Formula 1 and the Victorian Government regarding the 2022 calendar timings for the Formula 1 Australian Grand Prix event."

Lewis Hamilton won the 2019 edition of the Australian Grand Prix
(Image: XPB Images/Press Association Images)

Australian Grand Prix Corporation Chairman Paul Little added: "We’re deeply disappointed that for a second consecutive year, both MotoGP and Formula 1 fans won’t be able to see the world’s best riders and drivers compete at the wonderful Phillip Island and Albert Park Grand Prix Circuits.

"We appreciate the challenge Australia faces with current international travel restrictions and the importance of vaccinations.

"I would like to reassure our motivated and professional staff, suppliers and partners, as well as the Victorian tourism and major events community that we will work tirelessly to deliver these iconic events in 2022."

Ricciardo will not race in front of his home crowd for the second year in a row

Australian star Daniel Ricciardo, currently driving for McLaren, said it was a "huge disappointment" not to race in front of his home crowd for the second year in a row, but he says he "understands the reasons" the decision has been taken.

He added: "For me personally, I can't wait to have the chance to race at home again, and it'll be even sweeter when we do because it's been so long.

"Fingers crossed things can change for 2022 and we get to see the awesome fans at Albert Park again and put on a good show for them."

Which circuit should host the 23rd race of the season after the Australian Grand Prix was cancelled? Have your say in the comments.

Meanwhile, Formula 1 CEO Stefano Domenicali said he is "confident" there will be a 23-race season in 21, saying: "We have a number of options to take forward to replace the place left vacant by the Australian Grand Prix.

"We will be working through the details of those options in the coming weeks and will provide further updates once those discussions are concluded."