AUSTRALIAN GRAND PRIX
ALBERT PARK - Melbourne
Australian GP: All you need to know
The Formula 1 season generally starts “Down Under” in Australia, the farthest trip of the year for we Europeans.
Albert Park circuit is, as the name implies, set in a park. In a previous life it was used as a rubbish dump and also a military camp. In 1864, it was named in honour of Queen Victoria’s consort.
The Australian Grand Prix has taken place here every year since 1996, after moving from Adelaide, where it was traditionally the final round of the F1 championship, so that Melbourne and Australia are now synonymous with F1 and the trip to one of the world’s sporting capitals is always appreciated by F1 folk, who enjoy the warm weather after the cold European winter.
Not just Formula 1 in Melbourne
Apart from the race track, Albert Park is famous for its beautiful wetlands which form a perfect habitat for some fantastic and exotic birds.
As a result, bird watching is taken quite seriously with some ‘twitchers’ travelling far and wide to view amongst others, the sulphur-crested cockatoo, the Willie Wagtail and the Laughing Kookaburra.
Melbourne does not mean only F1, it can at times seem like one giant sports venue, with international tennis tournaments, world cycling championships and other sports.
One of the coolest parts of the city, very near to the track, is St. Kilda and its beach, the nearest nightspot to the race track, famous for its noisy bars, live music and cake shops!
ALBERT PARK CIRCUIT
Melbourne is widely regarded as one of the world’s great sporting cities, hosting major events in tennis, football, golf, rugby, swimming and, of course, motor racing with the Formula 1 Grand Prix.
Recently, the Albert Park circuit has undergone a major redesign, which has shortened lap times by no less than five seconds. Most of the changes have been made to the middle sector of the track, with the removal of the chicane at turns 9 and 10, which is now one high speed corner, while turn 13 has been modified to increase overtaking opportunities.