Hitting the Apex: Albert Park Street Circuit

It’s Melbourne Race Week! Read on to know everything you need to know about the Albert Park Street Circuit.

Written by Mees Drijgers

March 20, 2024

The Albert Park Street Circuit, also known as Melbourne Grand Prix Circuit or simply Albert Park, is a semi-permanent circuit around Albert Park Lake, located 3 kilometres south of central Melbourne. The track joined the calendar in 1996, when a deal was made to host the Australian Grand Prix in Melbourne from then onwards, instead of at Adelaide’s street circuit, the venue F1 had raced at since Australia joined the calendar in 1985.

Aerial view of Albert Park (Photo via @F1 on Twitter)

 

Before the start of the 2021 Grand Prix, some changes to the track were made: the track was resurfaced for the first time since 1995, the chicane in Turn 9 and Turn 10 was removed, Turns 1, 3, 6, and 15 were widened, and changes were made to Turn 13 to improve overtaking. Due to the cancellation of the Grand Prix in 2021 because of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, the 2022 Grand Prix was the first GP to take place on this new layout. 

GENERAL INFORMATION

  • Track distance: 5.278 km / 3.28 miles
  • DRS zones: 2
  • Corners: 14
  • Elevation: 2.5 metres
  • Laps: 58
  • Race lap record: 1:20.235 Sergio Perez (2023)
  • Direction: clockwise

Albert Park (Photo via @alfaromeostake on Instagram)

 

According to F1.com, Albert Park configuration for this year is as follows:

 

PREVIOUS TYRE COMPOUNDS

  • Selected compounds in 2023: C4 (soft) C3 (medium) C2 (hard)

  • Selected compounds in 2022: C5 (soft) C3 (medium) C2 (hard)

The Australian Grand Prix usually takes place at the beginning of the season. It was the second round on the calendar in 2010, and opened the F1 season from 2011 till 2019. In both 2022 and 2023, it was the third Grand Prix on the calendar. In 2024, Albert Park will again be the third destination on the F1 calendar, following the races in Bahrain and Saudi Arabia.

 

Photo via @scuderiaferrari on Instagram

 

Michael Schumacher is the most successful driver at the circuit, with a total of 4 wins. Ferrari is the most successful constructor with 9 wins. Lewis Hamilton owns the record of most pole positions at the track; he’s scored 8. Ayrton Senna, Alain Prost, and Niki Lauda all have corners named after them at the track.

 

Albert Park is one of the faster race tracks on the calendar. At the beginning of the race weekend, it can be quite bumpy and slippery, and as the weekend progresses drivers will gradually find more grip due to the track being rubbered in more with each session. To allow drivers to be able to chuck their car into a corner, they need a car with a “well-sorted chassis” and a reactive front end. The track features medium to high-speed characteristics in each sector, annually reconstructed grass and gravel run-off areas, and concrete barriers along Lakeside Drive, which make the track feel like both a traditional circuit and a street circuit.

PREVIOUS WINNERS

  • 2023 Max Verstappen
  • 2022 Charles Leclerc
  • 2019 Valtteri Bottas
  • 2018 Sebastian Vettel
  • 2017 Sebastian Vettel

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Mees was introduced to the world of F1 by one of her friends in July 2020 and hasn’t missed a race weekend since. Her favourite drivers are Alex Albon, Lewis Hamilton, Oscar Piastri, and George Russell; outside of F1, she also actively supports Liam Lawson and Callum Ilott. She specialises in writing about F2, but is looking to specialise in FE and IndyCar as well, after starting to watch both series in 2022. After getting her Bachelor’s degree in English Language and Culture, she is currently getting MA degrees in Translation and English Literature & Culture. When she’s not watching motorsport, she’s either watching football matches (preferably Real Madrid), reading a book, or watching streams on Twitch.

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