Albert Park Circuit in Melbourne

The Albert Park Circuit in Melbourne, Australia, is a renowned street circuit that hosts the Australian Grand Prix, a prominent event on the Formula One calendar. Located around Albert Park Lake, the circuit offers a picturesque backdrop against the city skyline. Opened in 1996, the circuit has gained recognition for its fast-flowing layout and challenging corners, making it a favorite among drivers and fans alike. It features a mix of high-speed straights and tight corners, providing thrilling racing action.

Beyond Formula One, the circuit also hosts various motorsport events, including the Australian Motorcycle Grand Prix and support races during the Grand Prix weekend. Additionally, the park surrounding the circuit offers recreational activities and beautiful scenery for visitors to enjoy. The Albert Park Circuit is not only a cornerstone of Melbourne’s sporting calendar but also a significant attraction for motorsport enthusiasts from around the world.

When was the track built?

The deal to host Formula 1 in Melbourne was done in 1993, with the decision taken to create a circuit using a mixture of the existing roads around the city’s Albert Park – mainly Aughtie Drive and Lakeside Drive if you fancy driving it yourself – with a little detour through the Lakeside Stadium’s car park.

When was its first Grand Prix?

Just four months after Adelaide held its last Australian Grand Prix at the end of 1995, the Formula 1 teams were back in Australia for Melbourne’s first Grand Prix at the start of 1996. That race is most often remembered for Martin Brundle’s infamous Jordan crash at Turn 3 after he launched himself off the back of Johnny Herbert’s Sauber.

What’s the circuit like?

As a temporary facility, Albert Park can be quite bumpy – though resurfacing for 2022 will no doubt improve matters – while the circuit at the start of the weekend is often slippery, rubbering in as the sessions progress. It’s also a circuit that requires a well-sorted chassis, with several spots on the track where the drivers require a reactive front end to allow them to chuck it into a corner. Melbourne is also one of the faster tracks on the calendar, with Lewis Hamilton’s 2019 pole lap set at an average of over 235km/h.

Where is the best place to watch?

If you want to get in a grandstand, opt for either the Waite stand overlooking Turn 10, or the Brabham Grandstand on the outside of Turn 2 to watch cars jostling for position through the first chicane. Alternatively, there are some nice general admission spots on the far side of the lake – go for either between Turns 8-9 or 9-10 if you fancy some F1 picnic feels.

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