A Grand Prix in Preview: The Australian Grand Prix
THE ROLEX AUSTRALIAN GRAND PRIX
Date: 15 March 2015
Name of circuit: Albert Park
First Grand Prix: 1996
Type: Temporary, street circuit. Moderately quick with slower complexes.
Circuit Length: 5.303 km
Lap Record: 1:24.125 – M Schumacher (2004) / Ferrari F2004
Tyre allocation: Medium (white rimmed tyre wall) and Soft (yellow rimmed tyre wall)
DRS Zones: Two, with one activation point.
Pole: Lewis Hamilton – 1:44.231 (Mercedes)
Fastest Lap: Nico Rosberg – 1:32.478 (Mercedes)
Winner: Nico Rosberg (Mercedes)
Unlike most street circuits, Albert Park is not just surrounded by cement walls, Armco barriers and catch fencing. On almost all parts of the track is grass and even gravel trap, which can often let many forget that this track is indeed only temporary. Since 1996, 5.303 km of Melbourne’s roads are reserved for Formula One for around a fortnight or so. It becomes a place where city cars and buses are excused from their duties and are replaced by carbon fiber single seaters that break the speed limit by a casual three and a half times. The track itself has little to no undulation and surrounds a lake in the middle. The fastest part is of course the straight where cars halve their speed to 145 KPH going into turn 1. From there, they journey through a layout canopied by the overlying trees, swooshing up the fallen leaves as they go. Turn 11 is where the cars really come to life, and spectators in the Waite grandstand can really admire the agility of a Formula One car. It is a quick S-bend, where cars enter at 290KPH, slowing to 230KPH and exit at 240KPH. The drivers are subjected to forces of gravity four and a half times their own body weight. The final complex of the track gives a great view of the cars as they slowly navigate their way back onto the main straight, or make a quick dive for the pits.
What to expect
Viewers can expect to see a mixed bag of results. As it is the first race of the season, reliability may still be an issue for some teams, whilst others are still adapting to the characteristics of their new cars. Mercedes should see their way to the top step of the podium, with Red Bull, Williams, and Ferrari battling it out behind them. With the season opener, it is always wise to expect the unexpected.
Revs for thought
Posted on March 10, 2015, in Grand Prix, Grand Prix in Preview and tagged Albert Park, Australia, Australian Grand Prix, F1, Ferrari, Formula 1, Formula One, Grand Prix, Lewis Hamilton, Melbourne, Mercedes, Nico Rosberg, Rolex Australian Grand Prix, Vettel, Williams. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.