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Albert Park

CIRCUIT PAGE
22/03/2017

CIRCUIT DIAGRAM

Click the image for a larger version of the circuit map

DETAILS

Albert Park

Albert Park Circuit
220 Albert Road
South Melbourne
Victoria 3004
Australia

Tel: (61) 3 9258 7124

Fax: (61) 3 9682 0410

Official website:
www.grandprix.com.au

STATISTICS (PRIOR TO 2017)

Length:

5.303km (3.295miles)

Race laps:

57

2016 winner:

Nico Rosberg (Mercedes)

Configuration:

Clockwise

First GP:

1996

Lap record:

1:24.125 (Michael Schumacher, Ferrari, 2004)

Type:

Street Circuit

Total races:

21

BIOGRAPHY

Albert Park was used for a non-Championship Australian GP as early as 1953, the first year the circuit was used. As the name suggests, it was laid out in a park and ran around a lake.

Melbourne boasts that it is the sporting capital of Australia, it has hosted the Olympic games, and city officials and businessmen lured the Australian GP away from Adelaide from 1996.

A medium-fast circuit with some extremely long sweeping curves over its 2.349 miles, Albert Park immediately became as popular as the slower circuit at Adelaide had been. The main difference was that whereas Adelaide had hosted the final race of the year, Melbourne hosted the opening round therefore, 1995-6, two Australian GPs were run consecutively.

The circuit uses sections of road that circle Albert Park Lake, a small man-made lake just south of the Central Business District of Melbourne. The road sections that are used were rebuilt prior to the inaugural event in 1996 to ensure consistency and smoothness. As a result, compared to other circuits that are held on public roads, the Albert Park track has a smooth surface.

The course is considered to be fast and relatively easy to drive, drivers having commented that the consistent placement of corners allows them to easily learn the circuit and achieve competitive times. However, the flat terrain around the lake, coupled with a layout that features few true straights, means that the circuit is not conducive to overtaking or easy spectating unless in possession of a grandstand seat.

Each year, most of the trackside fencing, pedestrian overpasses, grandstands and other motorsport infrastructure are erected approximately a month prior to the Grand Prix weekend and removed within six weeks after the event.

Land around the circuit (including a large aquatic centre, a golf course, a Lakeside Stadium, some restaurants and rowing boathouses) has restricted access during the grand prix weekend, consequently dissent is still prevalent among nearby local residents and users of those facilities, and some still maintain a silent protest against the event.

Nevertheless, the event is reasonably popular in Melbourne and Australia (with a large European population and a general interest in motorsport).

Fast Facts - Provided by the FIA

2017 marks the 33rd Australian Grand Prix and the 22nd to be held at Albert Park. The race joined the F1 calendar in 1985, with the first race being held in Adelaide. It moved to Melbourne in 1996, where it has been held since.

The most successful driver here is Michael Schumacher, with the German winning four times from 19 attempts. He recorded a hat-tricks of wins from 2000 to 2002 and then won again in 2004 - all for Ferrari. Next on the list is Jenson Button. The Briton won for Brawn GP in 2009 and then scored a brace of victories for McLaren in 2010 and 2012.

The 2017 grid features four past winners of this race. Fernando Alonso won for Renault in 2006, Kimi Raikkonen took victory for Ferrari in 2007 and Lotus in 2013, Lewis Hamilton won for McLaren in 2008 and Mercedes in 2015, while Sebastian Vettel stood atop the podium in 2011 for Red Bull Racing.

The 2017 race marked the grand prix debut of Lance Stroll. The new Williams driver comes to F1 having won last year's FIA F3 European Championship with 14 wins and six other podium finishes. Eighteen-year-old Stroll will be the first Canadian to race in Formula One since Jacques Villeneuve, who also made his F1 debut with the Williams team.

Villeneuve scored a quartet of personal firsts on his 1996 debut. As well as making his first F1 start, he took the first of 13 career pole positions, recorded the first of nine career fastest laps, and with second place in the race took the first of 23 career podium finishes.

While not strictly a rookie, McLaren's Stoffel Vandoorne is this weekend embarking on his first full season in F1. He made his race debut at last year's Bahrain Grand Prix where he stood in for the injured Fernando Alonso. Vandoorne, the 24th Belgian to race in F1, scored a point in that debut, finishing tenth at the Sakhir Circuit.

Sunday's race will be the 225th for Red Bull Racing in Formula One. The team made its debut here in Melbourne in 2005. Should one of its drivers finish in the top three this weekend, it will be the team's 100th podium finish.

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