Melbourne’s Albert Park circuit has hosted the Australian Formula 1 Grand Prix since 1996. The Victorian capital prides itself on its sporting heritage and there’s no shortage of motorised action in the city and surrounding areas. Formula 1 races on the track at Albert Park, in a historic part of the city: the track is pretty unique, being more or less a street circuit, but one where cars hit pretty high top speeds.
The ribbon of very smooth tarmac is 5.303 kilometres in length and features 16 corners, ten right handers and six to the left.
In terms of aero downforce, the Melbourne track is considered medium-high and this affects not only tyre wear and degradation, but also the braking system. There are nine hard braking points here, which means drivers spend 18% of the lap with a foot planted on the left hand pedal.
Friday’s free practice is always complicated, because as this is not a permanent circuit, the track rubbers-in more and more over the course of the weekend, thus leading to improved grip and better braking. Albert Park’s Turn 1 is the toughest, with the drivers approaching at 325 km/h, having to decelerate to just 140 km/h in just 115 metres in order to tackle the tricky right hander. In the space of just 2 seconds, the driver is subjected to a negative deceleration of around 5.2 G.
The most successful driver on the Albert Park Circuit is Michael Schumacher, who won 4 times, while Ferrari is the best constructor with 8 wins.
FIRST GRAND PRIX: 1996
NUMBER OF LAPS: 58
CIRCUIT LENGTH: 5.303 KM
RACE DISTANCE: 307.574 KM
LAP RECORD: 1:24.125 – Michael Schumacher (2004)
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