Changes to the Melbourne street track will shorten the F1 lap by about five seconds after eliminating Turns  9 and 10 while the average speed will increase to about 250 km/h.

Albert Park has hosted Formula 1 since 1996 and the track has not yet undergone any configuration changes or received new asphalt, but that will change from this year’s race which has been moved to the 19th-21st November due to the pandemic.

The changes include a wider pitlane that will be two meters wider than before, which should enable an increase in the maximum speed in the pitlane from 60 to 80 km/h.

As for the changes in the track configuration, the slow Turn 9/10 chicane will be changed to the fast variant that already exists on the track (picture below), and Turn 13 should get a new camber.

The first corner will be 2.5 meters wider to the right, seen from the driver’s perspective, and the slow Turn 3 will be as much as four meters wider to the right and will have a different camber to give drivers more opportunities to overtake.

The Turn 6 will be widened by as much as 7.5 meters to the right, which will lead to a dramatic increase in minimum speed from 150 km/h to about 220 km/h, followed by a period of full throttle until the previous Turn 13.

2019 Australian GP Verstappen Red Bull Turn 9 and 10 Photo Red Bull
Drivers will use fast version of Turn 9/10 in 2021 which will create new full throttle section (Photo: Red Bull)

Since the elimination of the previous Turns 9 and 10 will present a new uninterrupted period of full throttle, it is possible to introduce a fourth DRS zone at that place, and the Turn 13 will become slower, three meters wider and will get a new camber which will give drivers more opportunities to overtake.

The previous Turn 15, the penultimate turn on the track, will also be widened to the right and will get a new camber.

Due to the elimination of corners number 9 and 10, the previous Turn 11 and 12, which make an extremely fast chicane that passes at about 250 km/h, will become new Turns 9 and 10, and all corners behind it will carry two numbers less, so the track will have a total of 14 instead of the previous 16 corners (map below).

The leadership of the Australian GP announced that the changes will speed up the lap by almost five seconds – the current record is held by Hamilton in the qualifying for the 2019 Australian GP (1:20.486), and simulations show that this year the fastest drivers would drive around 1:15.8.

The previous track record was driven at an average speed of 237,194 km/h, and the changes should raise the average for about 15 km/h or more than 250 km/h.

The track should get a completely new asphalt before the 2022 Australian GP.


Australian GP Albert Park F1 2018 circuit map 3 DRS zones

Old (left) and new (right) version of Turn 9/10 (Photo: Australian Grand Prix)


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