Australian GP: FIA preview
23 March, 2010
Mar.23 (YF1) Round two of the 2010 FIA Formula 1 world championship takes place in Melbourne at the Albert Park street circuit. Teams arrive knowing this temporary track presents particular challenges, such as a little-used and therefore changeable surface, and close barriers. In previous years these factors have frequently combined with the fickle local climate to make the Australian Grand Prix eventful: in 2002 only eight cars finished and fifth-placed Mark Webber became the first, and to date only, Australian to score points at his home grand prix.
Located near Melbourne’s beachside St Kilda district, Albert Park is one of the most accessible of all current grand prix venues, with many fans and F1 personnel choosing to walk to the circuit. As in 2009, this weekend’s racing schedule has been adjusted to help accommodate the needs of international broadcasters. Please note the later-than-usual start times for the race, qualifying and practice sessions. The FIA media schedule has been revised accordingly, as detailed below.
Circuit layout and information
Changes to the circuit since 2009
• A new combination kerb has been installed on the apex of turn 9.
• The kerbs and artificial grass have been extended downstream on the exit of turns 2 and 12.
Fast Facts: Australian Grand Prix
• 1980 World Champion Alan Jones was the last grand-prix winning Australian (before Mark Webber) to take part in an Australian Grand Prix, in 1986. In his 117th and last F1 race, Jones qualified his Team Haas Lola-Ford 15th, but retired on lap 16 with engine failure.
• Melbourne is only the second city to host the Australian Grand Prix. Adelaide staged the grand prix from 1985-1995, with Melbourne taking over from the 1996 season-opener.
• Michael Schumacher will this year challenge for his fifth Australian GP win. Gerhard Berger, David Coulthard, Damon Hill, Alain Prost and Ayrton Senna all won the race twice, while there are 11 one-time Australian GP winners.
• Ayrton Senna took six pole positions at the Australian GP between 1985 and 1993. Closest to the late three-time champion’s record are Mika Hakkinen, Nigel Mansell and Michael Schumacher, all of whom have three Australian poles.
• The 1991 Australian GP, held in torrential rain at the Adelaide circuit, holds the record for the shortest-ever grand prix. The Nov 3 race was stopped after 16 laps and less than 65km and the result was declared, for half-points, on positions at lap 14. Ayrton Senna won, while second-placed Nigel Mansell was unable to take the podium, as he crashed after the chequered flag and required hospital treatment.
Length of lap: 5.303km
Lap record: 1:24.125 (Michael Schumacher, Ferrari, 2004)
Start line/finish line offset: 0.000km
Total number of race laps: 58
Total race distance: 307.574km
Pitlane speed limits: 60km/h during practice sessions and 100km/h during qualifying and race
Race Weekend Timetable