FORMULA 1 AUSTRALIAN GRAND PRIX

Posted By F1 Fast Lap













Melbourne
Race Date:
16 Mar 2014
Circuit Name:
Albert Park
First Grand Prix:
1996
Number of Laps:
58
Circuit Length:
5.303 km
Race Distance:
307.574 km
Lap Record:
1:24.125 - M Schumacher (2004)

When Formula One came to Australia in 1985 it set up home in Adelaide. However, ex-racer-turned-entrepreneur Bob Jane wanted a race in Melbourne. He created a huge 'thunderdome' and invented the AUSCAR series, bringing NASCAR action to Australia.

The desire to have a race in Melbourne did not wane. Despite the popular end of season slot for the Adelaide race, pressure was growing from the Melbourne motor sport community, and in 1992 Jeff Kennett was elected the new premier of the State of Victoria. He immediately set about improving Melbourne's profile. First on his list was the Australian Grand Prix.

An agreement was reached with Formula One in 1993, but the contract with Adelaide did not expire until 1995, so Kennett had plenty of time to prepare. A track was developed in Melbourne's beautiful Albert Park, part of it using closed-off public roads, and in 1996 the city held the first round of the world championship. Since then the race has become very popular with drivers and fans alike, and the party atmosphere of Melbourne keeps them coming back year after year.


Turn 1 is an incredibly challenging, medium speed corner that catches several drivers out. It
comes at the end of the first DRS zone but despite this it is not a prime overtaking spot  You brake just after the 100 metre board and shift down into third gear, then you accelerate as soon as you hit the exit kerb, keeping flat out round turn 2. It is important to gain a good exit, as the second DRS zone begins down the following straight. Turn 3 is the best overtaking place as you brake roughly 100 metres before the apex for the second gear corner.  It is reasonably easy to outbrake a competitor and you can use either the inside or outside; turn 4 is a left-hander than comes immediately after so the outside of turn 3 gives the inside for four. Turn five is a flat-out right hander with high g-force, and turns six, seven and eight make up a difficult complex at the back of the circuit. Six has a very challenging braking-zone due to trees' shadows obscuring the view of parts of the track. It is even more difficult in the wet as you are unable to see and puddles that will be sitting on the circuit, making it easy to spin off. Turn seven is similar to turn two; a flat-out left-hander after a tricky right, then turn eight is a long, flat-out right-hander which drivers now take with DRS. Turns 9 and 10 make up a slow chicane, some would say a pointless chicane, that leads onto a short straight. You brake about eighty metres from turn nine and you need good traction to carry as much speed as you can out of ten. Turns 11 and 12 make up a challenging, high-speed, left-right chicane where drivers ride the kerbs, however too much kerb can upset the car's balance.  Turn 13 can be used for overtaking but offline it can be quite dirty and slippery. Slipstreaming a car out of 12 can get them alongside another car, then braking late can get you down the inside of the third-gear right-hander. Turn 14 is an exciting right-hander that is taken in fifth-gear and requires a lift off the throttle. Turn 15 is the slowest point on the circuit and is a second-gear left-hander, and it is important to get a good exit from the near-flat-out turn 16 so you gain speed all the way down the pit straight.

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