In 2021, the Formula 1 season will open in Melbourne. At least that's what Andrew Westacott of the Australian Grand...
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.
The Australian Grand Prix 2020
Where teams often don't show their true pace during the winter break, the Australian Grand Prix has also become an interesting yardstick. The many curves and the character of a semi-street circuit mean that overtaking is quite a challenge in Daniel Ricciardo's home race. In the last year of the current regulations, where teams are trying to get the maximum amount of downward pressure out of the current package, it will probably not get much better.
Albert Park Circuit
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.
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?
What does the race weekend of the Australian Grand Prix look like?
Halfway through March it will finally be over. On 13 March 2019 the first practice sessions of the race weekend (and the Formula 1 season) will be on the agenda. One day earlier the first press conferences will be held in Australia. Qualifying will take place on 14 March, prior to the Australian 2019 Grand Prix itself on Sunday 15 March.
What time does the Australian Grand Prix start?
As in previous years, the GP of Australia can be followed live in the live blog of GPblog from half an hour before the start of the race. The start time of the Australian Grand Prix is 5:10 UK time and the race can also be followed live on Sky Sports or F1 TV pro. The practice sessions and qualifying can also be followed on the Sky Sports or F1 TV pro.
|Practice 1||12 March 2020||21:00 - 22:30|
|Practice 2||13 March 2020||01:00 - 02:30|
|Practice 3||13 March 2020||23:00 - 00:00|
|Qualifying||14 March 2020||02:00 - 03:00|
|Race||15 March 2020||01:10 - 03:10|
|Times are in America/New_York Timezone|
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