The start of the 2020 Formula One season is upon us once again and the Australian Grand Prix at Melbourne’s Albert Park circuit promises its usual thorough examination of car and driver.
Being a temporary circuit built on the park’s access roads, it isn’t the typical F1 track, but the slippery tarmac, humps, bumps and unforgiving walls provide a real test first time out. This is F1’s 24th year in Melbourne and 36st in Oz, which just about qualifies the Australian Grand Prix as an ‘historic’ racing event. It certainly has a great backstory.
The Australian Grand Prix is oldest surviving motor racing competition held annually in Australia, having been held 80 times since it was first run at Phillip Island in 1928.
Since 1985, the race has been a round of the FIA Formula One World Championship and is currently held at the Melbourne Grand Prix Circuit at Albert Park in Melbourne.
Prior to its inclusion in the World Championship, it was held at a multitude of venues in every state of Australia.
After it became a part of the Formula 1 World Championship in 1985, it was held at the Adelaide Street Circuit in (South Australia) from that year to 1995, before moving to Melbourne in 1996 and the latter circuit is currently under contract to host Formula 1 until 2023.
Australian driver Lex Davison and German driver Michael Schumacher are the most successful drivers in the 86-year history of the event taking four wins each; while McLaren has been the most successful constructor with twelve victories, its success stretching back into the pre-Formula One history of the race as is scored its first win in 1970.
Frenchman Alain Prost is the only driver to win the Australian Grand Prix in both non-championship and World Championship formats, having won the race in 1982, 1986, and again in 1988.
Australian Grand Prix – Stats
Circuit Name: Melbourne Grand Prix Circuit
Race Laps: 58
Circuit Length: 5.303 km (3.295 mi)
Race Length: 307.574 km (191.071 mi)
Number of corners: 16 (10 R / 6 L)
Circuit Direction: Clockwise
Distance from pole to T1 apex: 248.5m
Pole position 2018: Lewis Hamilton – Mercedes 1:21.164
Pole position side: Left
Pit lane length under speed limit control: 280.7m
Drive-through time at 60 km/h: 16.8s
Lap time at full throttle: 69%
Lap distance at full throttle: 77%
Gear changes per lap: 46
Braking events (>2g): 6
Heavy braking events (4g): 4
Fuel consumption: High
Maximum lateral G-force: 4.4 (T11)
Maximum speed: 321.1 km/h
Track evolution (P1 – Qualifying): High
DRS zones: T2-3 / T12-13 / T16-1
Key overtaking opportunities: T1 / T3 / T13
Race lap record: 1:24.125 (Michael Schumacher 2004 – Ferrari)
Absolute lap record: 1:20.486 (Lewis Hamilton, 2019 – Mercedes)