Melbourne is traditionally always the opening race in Formula 1, but on the semi-street circuit it is often a parade. Overtaking is difficult and that has been the main reason for the changes to the circuit.
The Australian Grand Prix track at Albert Park will undergo its biggest change since the race moved from Adelaide to Melbourne in 1996, this change will hopefully enable the race to be a greater spectacle and for overtaking and racing to be easier when the race is held in November this year.
Seven of the corners on the circuit are being modified, with two being removed entirely allowing for following to be easier thus increasing the number of overtakes seen in the Grand Prix. Turn 6 will be widened by 7.5 metres, allowing for the largest speed change on the circuit of 70 km/h in 2021 – the current minimum speed of 149 km/h is expected to be 219 km/h in 2021. A longer straight will be added with the removal of the Turn 9 and 10 chicane and adding the possibility of another DRS zone.
The widening of Turn 13 will allow for more overtaking opportunities as well as turns 1, 3 and 15 which will also be widened, while Turn 1 and the current Turns 13 and 15 will have their cambers adjusted to provide more racing lines.
There are also upgrades off the track, with the re-profiling delivering new locations for corporate suites, grandstands, and general admission fans, with spectacular views of the circuit. For the first time since it was constructed in 1995, the entire Albert Park circuit will also be resurfaced following the 2021 edition of the Grand Prix which will be held in November, allowing the circuit to maintain its high level of safety.
The project delivers a huge range of community projects in alignment with Park’s Victoria’s Albert Park Masterplan, these include : increased lakeside parkland, on-street parallel parking, improved lighting and cycling criterium routes.
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Andrew Westacott, Australian Grand Prix Corporation CEO feels that the circuit modifications will allow for faster racing and more opportunities for on-track battles between drivers and when the Grand Prix comes around in November the racing will be ‘back with a bang!’
“These circuit modifications mean faster racing, with plenty of new opportunities for drivers to battle it out – come November, the Formula 1® Australian Grand Prix will be back and better than ever.”
Since the 1950’s Albert Park has been associated with Formula 1 and these upgrades aligning well with the changes in specifications of the new Formula 1 Cars which come into play in 2022. The project will make for great racing and on top of this it will be of great benefit to the community.
“Since the 1950s Albert Park has been synonymous with Grand Prix racing with these upgrades aligning perfectly with the changes in specifications of the Formula 1 cars in 2022. While the project will make for more exciting racing, it also enhances the roads and surrounding facilities for community use beyond the event for years to come.”
Daniel Ricciardo – McLaren Formula 1 driver thinks that these changes will make what is already an exciting event even better and that’s what everyone wants to see – better racing and more battles between drivers.
“Sundays and making race days more exciting for everyone, that’s what we all want and I think these changes are in the direction of what we want. Better races, more battles – the changes are going to push us towards that.”
These changes should be great for the current cars, but for 2022 the changes will be of great benefit with the circuit being designed so that the cars can follow each other allowing for racing to be enhanced, this should attract more people to come to Albert Park and watch the racing.
“With these (2021) cars the changes should help a lot, but from 2022, if next year promises everything it does with being able to follow the car in front and the racing to be enhanced, then coming to a circuit like Albert Park with these changes should make a pretty amazing spectacle.
For someone who is notorious for being excellent under-braking, Ricciardo thinks that these changes can allow for some fun on the brakes and the Australian is confident that these changes will work.
“I see all of these changes as beneficial for Sunday and we can have some fun on the brakes. It’ll make the racing closer, I’m pretty confident of that.”
Mark Skaife OAM, iEDM Motorsport Director and five-time Supercars champion states that iEDm has a long history in overseeing great motorsport events of the highest quality, Skaife is thrilled to have partnered with the Australian Grand Prix Corporation to make an exciting event even better.
“iEDM has a long and proud history in producing world-class motorsport events – we’re thrilled to have partnered with the Australian Grand Prix Corporation to deliver this exciting upgrade to one of Formula 1’s most iconic circuits.”
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THE NEXT RACE 2021
|Bahrain ||26 Mar|
|14:30 - 15:30||Free practice 1|
|18:00 - 19:00||Free practice 2|
|15:00 - 16:00||Free practice 3|
|18:00 - 19:00||Qualifying|
|18:00 - 20:00||Race|
|Bahrain||57 laps||308.238 km|