Australian Grand Prix

Albert Park Street Circuit

First grand prix 1928

Number of laps 58

Race distance 307.574KM

Circuit length 5.303KM

About the Australian Grand Prix

The Australian Grand Prix is the first Grand Prix on the current Formula 1 calendar. It has been a regular on the F1 calendar since 1985, hosted firstly in Adelaide and later in Melbourne.

The country has staged some pivotal races in F1 history, along with some of the sport’s most controversial and exciting moments.

In 1994, it was the scene of Michael Schumacher’s famous crash with Damon Hill, and in 2016 we saw a huge crash between Fernando Alonso and Esteban Gutierrez.

Since the move to Albert Park in Melbourne in 1996, it has held the opening race of the season, apart from 2006 and 2010.

Although Lewis Hamilton has the record for most pole positions at Albert Park, the Brit hasn’t managed to win any of the races in recent years, with Sebastian Vettel taking the 2018 edition.

Albert Park Track Guide

The Albert Park circuit is a fast and technical track, and the first few corners of the F1 season can often see some accidents, such as Martin Brundle’s back in 1996.

The start-finish straight acts as the first DRS zone, with the straight following the first two turns the second.

The run after turns three and four are tight and difficult to master, as shown by Pastor Maldonado’s big crash on the final lap here in 2012, slamming his Williams into the wall whilst trying to catch Fernando Alonso for fifth place.

A few flowing corners follow before the tricky turns nine and ten, where it is imperative to get a good exit heading into the quick left-right of 10 and 11.

The lap ends with a run of right angled turns that lead back onto the start-finish straight.

One of the major criticisms of the track in recent times has been the lack of overtaking. In 2018, there were only five on track overtakes during the entire 58-lap race.

Race history

The second race in Australia was one of the most memorable in Formula One history. It staged the final race of the season and any of Nigel Mansell, Nelson Piquet or Alain Prost went into the weekend with a chance of winning the world championship.

Mansell took pole but lost places at the start but managed to get himself into a position where the title would be his. On lap 63, Mansell’s tyre violently exploded, forcing him out. Prost led home Piquet and took the title, his second of four.

In 1993, we saw the final time either Ayrton Senna or Alain Prost stood on the podium, Senna first in his McLaren and Prost second in his Williams. It was Prost’s final race and Senna was killed early the next season, before he could score a point for Williams, after replacing Prost for 1994.

However, possibly the most famous and controversial moment in Adelaide came in 1994, when Michael Schumacher deliberately swerved into Damon Hill as Hill was passing, forcing them both to retire, handing Schumacher the title, his first of seven.

Plenty of fans felt Hill had been hard done by, calling for Schumacher to be disqualified, but nothing came of it, and the moment will live on as one of the most controversial moves in the history of F1.

Recently, Melbourne has given us the first taste of what is to come during the season, but it hasn’t always been accurate. Only three times in the past nine years has gone on to win the title.

Will the winner of this year’s Australian Grand Prix go on to win the title?

When is the 2019 Australian Grand Prix?

The race weekend in Melbourne kicks off Friday March 15th, with Free Practice 1 starting at 12pm local time (1am BST, 8pm EST). FP2 starts that afternoon at 4pm (5am BST, 12am EST). On Saturday, FP3 starts at 2pm local time (3am BST, 10pm EST), and qualifying for the Australian Grand Prix takes place at 5pm on Saturday (6am BST, 1am EST).

The Australian Grand Prix will start at 4.10pm local time on Sunday March 17th (5.10am BST, 12.10am EST).

Session Date Time
Practice 1 14 March 2019 21:00 - 22:30
Practice 2 15 March 2019 01:00 - 02:30
Practice 3 15 March 2019 23:00 - 00:00
Qualifying 16 March 2019 02:00 - 03:00
Race 17 March 2019 01:10 - 03:10
Times are in America/New_York Timezone
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Australian Grand Prix News

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