Melbourne and Albert Park once again hold the opening race of the season. Home to the Australian Grand Prix since 1996, first held the race in 1953 as a non-championship race. The circuit built around a lake and still follows largely the original layout. Sixty years ago Ferrari took the victory with two Aussies and at Caversham, following another win a fortnight later in Albert Park.
The first World Championship event took place in Adelaide, a circuit like the current one was a street circuit. Adelaide may have had the battles between Prost / Senna and held the 500th World Championship Grand Prix in 1990, which saw tension between the two McLaren drivers at loggerheads post-Japan.
The 1994 race was as tense as Damon Hill and Michael Schumacher fought for the championship. Schumacher went off track because of overseer and hit Hill taking them both out winning the championship.
Albert Park is a fitting circuit for the race as there are always breakdowns, accidents on track and drama. This weekend should give us a first look at the new faster cars, wider tyres and aero. The drivers are facing a big physical challenge with the technical changes for this season meaning it could get tense both physically and mentally.
Facts and figures
|Race||2017 Formula 1 Rolex Australian Grand Prix|
|Venue||Melbourne Grand Prix Circuit, Albert Park, Victoria|
|Circuit Length||307.574km (191.071 mi)|
|Lap Record||01:24.125 Michael Schumacher, F2004, 2004|
|Most wins drivers||Lex Davison (4)
Michael Schumacher (4)
|Most wins manufacture||McLaren (12)|
What happened in 2016?
Nico Rosberg picked up where he left off in 2015 beating Lewis Hamilton to take another win at Albert Park and his fourth successive win. Rosberg jumped Hamilton at the start and pulled away, until McLaren’s Fernando Alonso hit the back of Esteban Gutierrez leaving his car shattered into pieces after hitting the back wheel of the Haas car which sent him flying off, bringing out the red flag.
It was not bad for Haas, despite losing Gutiérrez with Romain Grosjean who finished an impressive sixth giving the team eight points on their debut. The Frenchman described as “Standing on the top step of the podium.”
2015 vs 2014 Race Data
|P1 Fastest||P2 Fastest||P3 Fastest||Q1 Fastest||Q2 Fastest||Q3 Fastest||Race Time||Fastest Lap|
A lap of Albert Park (Hamilton 2015)
Lewis Hamilton accelerates out of the last corner along the pit straight gets up to 345kph before breaking around the 150-metre board hits the inside kerb at turn one crossing back across to the outside for turn two. Then builds speed on exit and through Turn Three runs to the kerb. Builds up to 310kpm for four, decelerates to 89kpm in third gear.
On exit builds a bit of speed before going to the outside to hit the apex. As he heads to the inside, there is a kick of oversteer. He then crosses back across the track taking the next corner in sixth gear, running to the inside and along the kerb. Crossing back to the outside and then goes through the next corner.
He goes back to the outside taking a bit of kerb. Through the kinks then breaks down 136kpm for the next corner where he goes through the centre of the corner. He heads to the outside continuing build speed through the next corner, and through the kink. Breaks to 109kph at the mid-corner, then speeds up out of the corner.
He continues the speed hitting 300kph before decelerating for the next corner he takes it at 227kph. Builds a tiny but of speed for the next corner, opening the car up reaching 300kph. Then goes down to 139kph for the next corner, then he speeds up then takes the next corner then slows down slightly. He reopens the throttle before breaking into the second to last corner at 80kph.
Opens the car up through the last corner accelerating once again crossing the line at 310kph and a 01:26.327.