With its absence from this year’s opening race, Australia’s Albert Park has taken the opportunity to undergo a major renovation.
The move to alter the track comes as a repercussion of a much-needed resurfacing after 25 years of being raced upon. After all, after 71 years of car evolution, what time better than the present to evolve the track?
Reducing lap times by almost 5 seconds, the modifications aim not only to increase the speed of the track but to also give cars more opportunities to overtake.
In light of creating more overtaking opportunities, turns 1, 3, 6, 13, and 15 will all be widened and have their cambers adjusted to provide multiple driving lines. This will impact Turn 6 in particular, which will be widened by 7.5 meters meaning a turn that is currently a minimum speed of 149 km/h will be increased to a roaring 219 km/h.
Furthermore, the chicane at turns 9 and 10 is due to be removed: with a new long straight, could we see a potential DRS zone?
The alterations do not stop at the track. Formula 1 spectators will also revel in the new upgrades as views of the striking Albert Park will be enjoyed from newly refurbished general admission stands, grandstands, and corporate suites.
Even the residents of Melbourne can have their share in the new alterations. Increased lakeside parkland, improved lighting, and additional on-street parallel parking all contribute to an exciting range of community benefits.
Once the new aerodynamic regulations are put into place for 2022, Albert Park will give a real motorsports performance. After speaking in an official Formula 1 interview, it is apparent that Daniel Riccardo, the only Australian driver on the grid, agrees:
“if next year promises everything it does with being able to follow the car in front and the racing to be enhanced, then coming to a circuit like Albert Park with these changes should make a pretty amazing spectacle”.
You’ve never seen Albert Park like this before 🙌
— F1 Australian Grand Prix (@ausgrandprix) April 1, 2021
With that being said, there is no doubt Riccardo wants to hit the new circuit as soon as he possibly can. Will the new and improved Albert Park prove to be the most iconic track in Formula 1?