Thursday, March 13, 2014

Albert Park International Circuit, Melbourne

Welcome to the 2014 Formula One season. It promises to be one long and very interesting season with the Red Bull cars struggling for reliability (though a little birdie makes me think that they might be sandbagging a bit too). Anyway, it is time for Round 1, and my home race at Albert Park in Australia

Nation: Australia
Locality: Melbourne
Track: Albert Park International Circuit
Purpose: F1 race host (1996-Present)
Lap Record: 1:24.125 (2004)

Overhead shot.

Angled view. Albert Park is located around a large body of water. During the year the track is public roads and people can drive most of the circuit (provided they stick to the speed limit, of course).

Start-finish straight. As public roads, there are a lot of road markings on the track. Facilities are almost entirely temporary and are assembled each year before the race. 

Turn 1 and 2. Braking is crucial here. Drivers come in under DRS and fling their cars through the first turn which if done right lines them up for Turn 2. Following this is a second DRS straight making it possibly the most important spot on the track.

Turn 3-4-5. This is one of the few sections one cannot drive during the year as it runs through a carpark.

Typical of the Albert Park circuit are the right-left corner combinations.

After running along the banks of the lake, drivers face this high-speed left-right sequence. Another part of the track that cannot be driven in a roadcar as the road is much more open than these corners.

Another crucial section is this one at turns 14 and 15. Turn 14 is a flat-out right hander, with cars rapidly having to pull right and find their braking point into the deceptively tight turn 15. Easy to lock up or run wide here.

The final turn - this features a long right-hander. Clean acceleration is crucial here as the car is then launched down the start-finish straight.

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