2016 Track Preview: Australian Grand Prix, Albert Park

australia_albert_park

With many fans looking forward to the start of the 2016 season, many will be itching for the Australian GP to take place sooner rather than later. With new tyre rules this season, tyre wear will be important this season.

The Albert Park Circuit utilizes everyday sections of road that circle Albert Park Lake, a small man-made lake just south of the central business district of Melbourne. The temporary street course is 5.3 kilometers long. With a total of 16 corners with 10 right turns and 6 left turns; the direction is clockwise and the engines are running about 65 percent of the lap at full throttle.

The highest speed on the circuit is at the end of the start/finish straight with speeds over 300 km/h. The track offers few genuine overtaking opportunities, except if the driver ahead makes a mistake.

The track is fairly demanding and tricky for the drivers as it is quite fast and also contains many challenging corners. The secret of a good lap time depends not on peak power, but on good torque to help launch the car out of the slow corners that connect the succession of straights. Compared to other races that are held on public roads, the track has quite a smooth surface but there is no grip at all to start with. There are also a lot of road markings which reduce grip even further. Grip improves throughout the weekend as more rubber is laid down.

Albert Park Circuit is only used for the Australian Grand Prix, there are no other motorsport meetings there during the year. Each year, the much of the trackside fencing, grandstands, pedestriance overpasses, and other motorsport infrastructure are erected from approximately four weeks prior to the race weekend and removed within two weeks after the event. Melbourne has hosted the Australian Grand Prix since 1996 and the contract runs until 2023.

Here are the facts and figures going into this race weekend in Albert Park…

Facts and Figures

•Albert Park has hosted the Grand Prix in Australia since 1996

•Laps: 58.

•Track length: 5.303 km.

•Tyre allocation: Medium (white), Soft (yellow) and Supersoft (red).

•DRS Zones: Two with one detection point (Pit Straight and between Turns Two and Three).

•Driver steward: TBA.

•Lap record: Michael Schumacher – 1:24.125 (Ferrari; 2004).

•2015 pole: Lewis Hamilton – 1:26.327 (Mercedes).

•Michael Schumacher is the most successful driver at the track with four wins

•Jenson Button is the most successful driver currently at the track with three wins.

•McLaren is the most successful constructor to win the Grand Prix with twelve wins.

Last Five Winners from the Australian Grand Prix:-
•2011-Sebastian Vettel
•2012-Jenson Button
•2013-Kimi Raikkonen
•2014- Nico Rosberg
•2015- Lewis Hamilton

My predictions for the top 5 finishers of the Malaysian Grand Prix:-

In no particular order, here’s my predictions on who the top five finishers of the Malaysian Grand Prix will be:-

  1. Lewis Hamilton
  2. Nico Rosberg
  3. Valtteri Bottas
  4. Sebastian Vettel
  5. Felipe Massa

With regards to my prediction, I believe that the drivers I have selected have the best possible chance to finish in Australia. However, we could have a surprise if we get rain headed to the Albert Park circuit and if that is the case; then I believe either Nico Hulkenberg orSergio Perez could be in the top five.

All eyes will be upon Mercedes at the front who have shown in pre-season testing that they have a fast, consistent and reliable car once again and are the favourites heading into this weekend in Melbourne. It is now up to Williams, Ferrari, Sauber, Red Bull, Force India and Toro Rosso to improve and catch up to them and let’s hope that McLaren have made small improvements during the winter and can finish the race.

Sky Sports F1 are showing uninterrupted coverage of every Practice session, Qualifying and race for the Grand Prix (and every race of the season) and Chanel Four also are showing coverage, details for both are below:-

•Sky Sports F1:- Friday (Practice 1 and 2) 1.00am and 5.15am [Replays throughout Friday], Saturday (Practice 3 and Qualifying) 2.45am and 5am [Replays throughout Saturday], Sunday (Race) 3.30am

  • Channel Four :- Saturday (Qualifying highlights) 12.30pm, Sunday (Race Highlights) 1.30pm
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