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Lap times set to tumble at Albert Park

NEWS STORY
01/04/2021

As organisers reveal the full extent of changes to the Albert Park circuit ahead of November's Grand Prix, it is anticipated that lap times will tumble by 5 seconds.

Along with the resurfacing of the entire track, for the first time since 1995, changes to the actual layout will increase the opportunities for overtaking and promote faster and more competitive racing.

Turn 1 will be widened by 2.5 metres (to the drivers' right).

Turn 6 will be widened by 7.5 metres (to the drivers' right).

The current Turns 9 and 10 will see the chicane removed to create a straight, thereby creating the possibility of a fourth DRS zone.

The current Turn 13 will be realigned and slightly extended to create a tightened corner (between Turns 13 and 14). It will also be widened by 3 metres (to the drivers' right) and the camber adjusted.

The current Turn 15 will be widened by 3.5 metres (to the drivers' right) and its camber adjusted.

As previously reported, the pitlane was widened by 2 metres late last year.

According to the Australian Grand Prix Corporation, the average qualifying lap time will decrease by approximately 5 seconds, from 1:21.0s to 1:15.8s, while the average qualifying speed will increase by 15 km/h (9 mph), from 236 km/h (146 mph) to 251 km/h (155 mph).

The simulated top qualifying speed is approximately 330 km/h (205 mph) into the current Turn 11 (assuming the fourth DRS zone is ratified), while the largest speed change on the circuit is at Turn 6, where there will be an approximate 70 km/h (43 mph) difference in minimum speed through the corner in qualifying, from 149 km/h (92 mph) to 219 km/h (136 mph).

While there is the potential for a fourth DRS zone on the back straight, this is subject to FIA approval, though it is anticipated to be formalised mid-year. Furthermore, it is likely the circuit will reduce from 16 to 14 turns, though this is also subject to FIA approval.

"These modifications mean faster racing, with plenty of new opportunities for drivers to battle it out come November, the Australian Grand Prix will be back and better than ever," said Andrew Westacott, Australian Grand Prix Corporation CEO.

"Since the 1950s Albert Park has been synonymous with Grand Prix racing with these upgrades aligning perfectly with the changes in specifications of the Formula 1® cars in 2022. While the project will make for more exciting racing, it also enhances the roads and surrounding facilities for community use beyond the event for years to come."

"Sundays and making race days more exciting for everyone, that's what we all want," added Daniel Ricciardo, "and I think these changes are in the direction of what we want. Better races, more battles - the changes are going to push us towards that.

"With these (2021) cars the changes should help a lot, but from 2022, 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.

"I see all of these changes as beneficial for Sunday and we can have some fun on the brakes. It'll make the racing closer, I'm pretty confident of that."

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