In 2023, the Australian Grand Prix F1 will once again take place at the Albert Park Street Circuit, commonly known as Albert Park.
The lights will go out in Melbourne on April 2nd. Albert Park Street Circuit features fourteen turns and is of moderate length, measuring only 5.3 kilometers. The track underwent significant modifications before the 2022 Australian Grand Prix.
Many turns in the first sector were made faster, the chicane of former turns 9 and 10 was removed, and the circuit now boasts an unprecedented four DRS zones on the calendar.
Max Verstappen’s History in Australia Making his debut in Australia, Verstappen spent a considerable time in the points until the Renault engine gave out.
Once in the Red Bull, the circuit wasn’t initially a favorite for Max Verstappen. In his early years with the team, he secured fifth and sixth positions.
It wasn’t until 2019 that the Dutch driver managed to reach the podium, pursuing Lewis Hamilton’s Mercedes. Perhaps 2021 could be the year for Verstappen to make a strong impact, provided that Red Bull can get their affairs in order from the beginning of the season.
Australian Grand Prix Triumph
In 1985, the long-awaited project to include the Australian Grand Prix in the Formula 1 World Championship calendar finally came to fruition. Held on the challenging street circuit of Adelaide, the Australian Grand Prix secured the coveted privilege of concluding the world championship, offering the prospect of hosting decisive races for the global title. However, this scenario materialized only twice (in 1986 and 1994) due to circumstances. Despite the relatively low stakes of most Australian GPs in Adelaide and the somewhat “early vacation” atmosphere, the races often provided the audience with unconventional and eventful spectacles.
Albert Park Race Controversy
In 1996, the government of Jeff Kennett, with undisclosed but presumed significant spending, relocated the race to a reconstructed semi-urban circuit at Albert Park in Melbourne. The decision stirred controversy, prompting protests by the “Save Albert Park” group. They argued that the park had become a private playground for a significant part of the year, compromising its public function. Additionally, the group contended that money spent on motorsport could be better invested in constructing a permanent circuit elsewhere.
They also sought to demonstrate that the economic benefits derived from the race were false and exaggerated. Race organizers and the government maintained that the economic gains outweighed the costs, and the park’s public infrastructure saw substantial improvements through the race-related renovations.
Grand Prix Evolution
The venue change also led to the event transitioning from being the final round of the championship to becoming the opening round (with the exception of the 2006 edition, moved from March to April due to the Commonwealth Games in Melbourne).
After surviving threats to its existence, organizers confirmed the Australian Grand Prix in Melbourne until 2015. To suit European audiences, Bernie Ecclestone insisted on a night race, akin to the Singapore Grand Prix. Local authorities initially resisted, raising uncertainty about the event’s future. However, a compromise emerged, and since 2009, the race commences at 5 p.m.
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