Melbourne Track Guide

logo
Location: Melbourne, Australia Track Length: 5.3 km Laps: 58 Lap Record: 1:24.125

Albert Park Circuit

Australian Grand Prix F1 track guide

Albert Park has been the sole host of the Australian Grand Prix since 1996 and has established itself as the now traditional season opener of the Formula 1 season.

Located just three kilometres south of central Melbourne, the city is transformed with Albert Park converted into a challenging street circuit which is sure to blow away all the cobwebs from the drivers after the off-season break.

Albert Park is steeped in Formula 1 history having also hosted non-World Championship races in the early 1950s and, with the track hosting the first race of the season, has been the circuit where the likes of Lewis Hamilton, Kimi Raikkonen Fernando Alonso have all made their official Formula 1 debuts.

The Australian Grand Prix also represents Daniel Ricciardo's home race and he had a grandstand re-named after him in 2016.

The 5.3km street circuit consists of 16 corners, some of which are named after some of Australia’s iconic Formula 1 drivers such as Sir Jack Brabham and Alan Jones. Other World Champions such as Alberto Ascari and Alain Prost also feature.

The Australian Grand Prix's current contract with Formula 1 expires at the end of the 2025 season.

Australian Grand Prix F1 track information

The Albert Park street circuit incorporates a mixture of existing public roads which leads to drivers having to endure some bumpy surfaces in places.

Melbourne is one of the fastest tracks on the calendar, so a very responsive front-end of the car is needed so drivers have the confidence to really throw themselves into quick corners - especially the fast chicane that form a quick left-right Turns 11 and 12. Car placement is key here or time will be lost all the way down the back straight.

The back straight leads the drivers onto a quick-fire technical section before they bomb down past the main grandstand again to start the next lap.

Turn 1 (Jones) - A tricky start to the lap as drivers try to spot the apex to this right-hander

Turn 2 (Brabham) - Turn 1 quickly leads into a fast, sweeping left-hander where DRS is opened on exit

Turn 3 - Drivers slam on the brakes to negotiate this slow right-handed corner

Turn 4 - After Turn 3, it's a quick dart over to the right hand side of the track to open up this tricky left hander

Turn 5 (Whiteford) - The drivers are flat out through the next right-handed corner

Turn 6 - A straightforward medium-speed corner awaits the driver at Turn 6

Turn 7 (Marina) -  Turn 7 is flat out as drivers gently sweep to left

Turn 8 (Lauda) - Before arching back to the right in this next flat out corner

Turn 9 (Clark) - Drivers drop to second or third gear to tackle this right hander

Turn 10 - Then the foot is straight back on the throttle pedal as the track curls back to the left

Turn 11 - Just a dash of brakes is needed before flicking the car into this super-quick left-hander

Turn 12 - Followed by a quick flick back to the right as drivers really attack this chicane

Turn 13 (Ascari) - Turn 13 is a 90-degree right-hander, representing the start of the technical section

Turn 14 (Stewart) -  Another sharp right hander awaits at Turn 14

Turn 15  (Senna) - Before it feeds into a very slow left-hander

Turn 16 (Prost) - Drivers then flick to the right again once last time, gently easing onto the throttle to blast down the straight

Australia schedule: 2020 Australian F1 Grand Prix

Australia is the first race of the 2020 season, with the first practice session kicking off race weekend on Friday, March 13. Qualifying follows on March 14 with race day on Sunday.

Friday, March 13, FP1: 1200-1330

Friday, March 13, FP2: 1600-1730

Saturday, March 14, FP3: 1400-1500

Saturday, March 14, Qualifying: 1700

Sunday, March 15, Race: 1610

Australian Grand Prix tickets: how to get them for the big race

Formula 1 fans can get their hands on Australian Grand Prix tickets via the official Formula 1 ticketing website. Fans have the option to take in the whole Australian Grand Prix weekend with first practice on Friday and all the way through to lights out on Sunday.

Alternatively, fans can buy tickets for single days or for Saturday and Sunday.

General admission for all three days will cost £109.17, while general admission for race day alone is priced at £58.39.

Tickets can also be bought on grandprix.com and the Australian edition of Ticketmaster.

UK fans can purchase a package deal which include return flights from the UK, five nights accommodation in a four-star hotel in Melbourne including breakfast, with Grandstand Motor Sports from £1499 per person (F1 tickets not included).

Australian Grand Prix ticket lowdown: things to note

There are plenty of grandstands for fans to choose from if you are heading to the Australian Grand Prix at Albert Park.

Choosing the Brabham grandstand at Turn 2 will lead to an action packed weekend, especially on race day as this particular section of the track will see plenty of overtaking opportunities present themselves to the drivers.

Another excellent spot is the Waite grandstand at Turn 12. Fans in this section will have a perfect view of the drivers throwing their cars into this extremely fast left-right chicane before zooming off out of sight down the back straight.

There are also great vantage points to be had for those with general admission tickets. There is a large viewing mound called Brocky’s Hill next to the Waite grandstand which proves to be very popular, but a quieter, underrated spot lies at Turn 6 where fans can get super close to the cars before catching a glimpse of them again at Turns 9 and 10.

Australian Grand Prix directions: how to get there

The best and most effective way to travel to and from the circuit is by tram, which is free to use for all Australian Grand Prix ticket holders. Use the Light Rail GP Express to get to Gates 1 and 2, Clarendon Street GP Express to get to Gates 3 and the easiest way to reach Gates 5, 8, 9 and 10 is via the St Kilda Road trams.

Some local bus services that will get you close to the circuit are available while the Skybus offers a direct route from the track to the airport which is located approximately 25km away.

For fans flying to Melbourne, make sure to get a flight to the main Melbourne airport (MEL) at Tullamarine rather than Avalon which is considerably further away.

There is no public parking available at the circuit but there are 70,000 free car parking spaces for those in cars in the city of Melbourne.

The nearest train/tram station is Flinders Street Station.

Albert Park address:

Australian Grand Prix Corporation

PO Box 577,

South Melbourne

Victoria 3205

Australia

Australian Grand Prix history, memorable races and past winners

The Australian Grand Prix has been a happy hunting ground for Ferrari over the years, winning 12 times which is the joint-most with McLaren.

Albert Park has often been kind to the Scuderia in providing them with the launchpad for title success, especially at the height of Michael Schumacher's domination in Ferrari red in the early 2000s.

Michael Schumacher is a four-time winner at Albert Park, while his brother, Ralf, provided one of the most dramatic starts ever witnessed in Formula 1 at the iconic street circuit when his Williams BMW went flying high into the air with a further seven cars caught up in the melee.

The winners' list at Albert Park is littered with other star names. Sebastian Vettel, Lewis Hamilton, Jenson Button and Kimi Raikkonen are all World Champions with multiple wins in Melbourne.

Drivers with most wins

Michael Schumacher - 4 wins (2000, 2001, 2002, 2004)

Sebastian Vettel - 3 wins (2011, 2017, 2018)

Jenson Button - 3 wins (2009, 2010, 2012)

Lewis Hamilton - 2 wins (2008, 2015)

Kimi Raikkonen - 2 wins (2007, 2013)

Teams with most wins

Ferrari - 12 wins (1957, 1958, 1969, 1987, 1999, 2000, 2001, 2002, 2004, 2007, 2017, 2018)

McLaren - 12 wins (1970, 1986, 1988, 1991, 1992, 1993, 1997, 1998, 2003, 2008, 2010, 2012)

Williams - 6 wins (1980, 1985, 1989, 1994, 1995, 19960

Mercedes - 4 wins (2014, 2015, 2016, 2019)

Renault - 2 wins (2005, 2006)

Last 10 wins

2019 - Valtteri Bottas, Mercedes

2018 - Sebastian Vettel, Ferrari

2017 - Sebastian Vettel, Ferrari

2016 - Nico Rosberg, Mercedes

2015 - Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes

2014 - Nico Rosberg, Mercedes

2013 - Kimi Raikkonen, Lotus

2012 - Jenson Button, McLaren

2011 - Sebastian Vettel, Red Bull

2010 - Jenson Button, McLaren

Australian Grand Prix F1 circuit fastest lap

The race lap record is held by the legendary seven-time World Champion Michael Schumacher, who pumped in a 1:24.125 at the season-opening 2004 Australian Grand Prix.

Schumacher went on to win in Melbourne and would emerge victorious in another 13 races that season in the iconic F2004 - one of the most dominant Formula 1 ever created.

Ferrari team-mate Rubens Barrichello finished second in the 2004 race with Renault's Fernando Alonso completing the podium.

Australian Grand Prix F1 circuit: what the drivers say

Daniel Ricciardo: "It’s a very enjoyable lap to nail with a variety of high and medium speed parts. Turns 4 and 8 are a lot of fun. It’s super quick in these high downforce cars, under the trees with grass verges either side."

Esteban Ocon: "The Albert Park track is quite old school. It's narrow and very technical. The secret to a good lap is being neat and tidy because it's largely made up of low and medium-speed corners.

"I would say the most exciting part of the lap is the high-speed chicane through Turns 11 and 12 because it's easy to make a mistake and lose time."

Schedule:

Practice 1 13 Mar 2020 12:00 PM
Practice 2 13 Mar 2020 4:00 PM
Practice 3 14 Mar 2020 2:00 PM
Qualifying 1 14 Mar 2020 5:00 PM
Qualifying 2 14 Mar 2020 5:25 PM
Qualifying 3 14 Mar 2020 5:48 PM
Race 15 Mar 2020 4:10 PM