Calls for Melbourne circuit changes to help Australian GP passing

Melbourne's Albert Park Formula 1 layout should be reviewed in a bid to create more Australian Grand Prix overtaking opportunities, according to Red Bull team principal Christian Horner

Calls for Melbourne circuit changes to help Australian GP passing

Sunday's race produced only five overtaking moves after the first lap, and F1 chief Ross Brawn admitted it had been a disappointment in that respect.

Red Bull's Daniel Ricciardo and Max Verstappen spent most of their afternoons bottled up behind other cars, leaving Horner wondering whether a circuit rethink was necessary.

"It should be looked at to see if there's a simple solution like creating a bigger braking zone, maybe tighten Turn 1 up, something like that, so that there's a proper braking zone because the braking areas are too short," said Horner. "Especially with the speed the cars are capable of now."

Last year the Australian Grand Prix Corporation investigated replacing the fast Turn 11/12 with a tight left-hander at the end of a lengthened back straight.

While the plan was ultimately shelved, FIA F1 race director Charlie Whiting hinted it might be revisited.

"We have discussed some changes to the track layout with the AGPC," he said.

"There is a project that could be realised, but I'm not sure where they are with that. It was an idea that I gave them a couple of years ago.

"It would be relatively easy, but you mustn't forget that this is a park with public road, so it's not quite as easy as racetrack."

AGPC boss Andrew Westacott said no formal conversations had taken place over the Australian GP weekend, but that his organisation was open to discussing changes with F1 and the FIA.

"The investigation didn't produce anything conclusive that was going to lead to a marked change in overtaking on the circuit," he told Autosport.

"There might have been some potential upsides, but there may have been some negatives associated with impact on driveability.

"If there are some thoughts that others have got, people astute in racing like Ross Brawn and Charlie Whiting, then, like everything, we'll collaboratively talk about it with them and see whether it's worthwhile pursuing or reviewing further."

One likely alteration is a full resurfacing, something the AGPC is understood to have earmarked as a short-to-mid-term project and that is "still on the cards" according to Westacott.

"We had some discussions talking about asphalt and the lay down of it," he said.

"We're in a position to do it if and when required.

"The other thing to consider is, unlike a circuit where you can eat into sections of that land, the fact is we've got a lake on one side of the road, and we've got buildings and parkland including sporting ovals that have been here for 60 years on the other side.

"So I think any change is going to be subtle.

"We're not even contemplating change at the moment. But we're happy to discuss it with those world experts to see how we can improve the show if required."

shares
comments
Lewis Hamilton already driving with F1's new engine limit in mind

Previous article

Lewis Hamilton already driving with F1's new engine limit in mind

Next article

Toro Rosso's Hartley: Honda F1 engine pretty flexible for racecraft

Toro Rosso's Hartley: Honda F1 engine pretty flexible for racecraft
Load comments

About this article

Series Formula 1
Author Andrew van Leeuwen
The diva that stole a march on F1’s wide-bodied opposition Plus

The diva that stole a march on F1’s wide-bodied opposition

In 2017 new F1 technical regulations were supposed to add drama - and peg Mercedes back. STUART CODLING looks at the car which, while troubled, set the stage for the wide-bodied Formula 1 era

The themes to watch in F1’s Imola return Plus

The themes to watch in F1’s Imola return

Three weeks is a long time in Formula 1, but in the reshaped start to the 2021 season the teams head to Imola to pick things up after the frenetic Bahrain opener. Here's what to look out for and the developments to follow at the Emilia Romagna Grand Prix

The 'new' F1 drivers who need to improve at Imola Plus

The 'new' F1 drivers who need to improve at Imola

After a pandemic-hit winter of seat-swapping, F1 kicked off its season with several new faces in town, other drivers adapting to new environments, and one making a much-anticipated comeback. BEN ANDERSON looks at who made the most of their opportunity and who needs to try harder…

Formula 1
Apr 12, 2021
The delay that quashed Aston Martin’s last F1 venture Plus

The delay that quashed Aston Martin’s last F1 venture

Aston Martin’s only previous foray into Formula 1 in the late 1950s was a short-lived and unsuccessful affair. But it could have been so different, says NIGEL ROEBUCK

Formula 1
Apr 10, 2021
Verstappen exclusive: Why lack of car-racing titles won't hurt Red Bull's ace Plus

Verstappen exclusive: Why lack of car-racing titles won't hurt Red Bull's ace

Max Verstappen’s star quality in Formula 1 is clear. Now equipped with a Red Bull car that is, right now, the world title favourite and the experience to support his talent, could 2021 be the Dutchman’s year to topple the dominant force of Lewis Hamilton and Mercedes?

Formula 1
Apr 9, 2021
Are we at peak F1 right now? Plus

Are we at peak F1 right now?

For many, many years Formula 1 has strived to do and to be better on all fronts. With close competition, a growing fanbase, a stable political landscape and rules in place to encourage sustainability, 2021 is on course to provide an unexpected peak

Formula 1
Apr 8, 2021
How crucial marginal calls will decide the Red Bull vs Mercedes battle in F1 2021 Plus

How crucial marginal calls will decide the Red Bull vs Mercedes battle in F1 2021

The longer Red Bull can maintain a performance edge over Mercedes, the better the odds will be in the team’s favour against the defending world champions. But as the Bahrain Grand Prix showed, many more factors will be critical in the outcome of the 2021 Formula 1 World Championship

Formula 1
Apr 7, 2021
How Williams’ new structure adheres to a growing F1 trend Plus

How Williams’ new structure adheres to a growing F1 trend

Williams held out against the tide for many years but, as MARK GALLAGHER explains, the age of the owner-manager is long gone

Formula 1
Apr 6, 2021