Melbourne considered bold track tweak to boost overtaking

Australian Grand Prix chiefs have decided against a bold plan to change the current Albert Park layout to help create another overtaking spot, after not being convinced it would benefit the racing.

Melbourne considered bold track tweak to boost overtaking
The action as seen from the air
The action as seen from the air
Stoffel Vandoorne, McLaren MCL32
Felipe Massa, Williams FW40
Sergio Perez, Force India VJM10, leads Stoffel Vandoorne, McLaren MCL32
Nico Hulkenberg, Renault Sport F1 Team RS17
Fernando Alonso, McLaren MCL32
Valtteri Bottas, Mercedes AMG F1 W08
Kimi Raikkonen, Ferrari SF70H
Daniel Ricciardo, Red Bull Racing RB13

Motorsport.com understands that the Australian Grand Prix Corporation investigated making a significant change to the Lakeside Drive part of the Melbourne circuit, replacing the fast Turn 11/12 complex with a 'stop' corner to create another passing opportunity.

The plan would have seen the profile of the back straight changed to make it longer and faster, leading into a hard braking zone and a tight left-hander.

With a new DRS zone in place, the idea was that it would create a new place to pass on the mostly-flowing layout.

However, it appears that the existing layout will remain unchanged in at least the short term.

The AGPC has confirmed that an investigation into making the changes yielded too few benefits to make it worthwhile, a view shared by FOM following discussions between the two parties.

As a result, the unique layout that has played host to Australia's round of the World Championship since 1996 will continue to be used for the foreseeable future.

"Like everything we do at the Australian Grand Prix Corporation, we give consideration from all angles," AGPC CEO Andrew Westacott told Motorsport.com.

"We have an ethos of continuous improvement which included looking at any opportunities for track changes. In looking at these opportunities, we undertook review with relevant parties and nothing beneficial presented itself."

While the layout change won't be going ahead in the short term, there are plans to resurface the 22-year-old Albert Park roads in the works.

No strict deadline has been given for the resurfacing, although the AGPC has indicated that it's likely to be targeted "in the coming years".

As the Albert Park circuit is compiled almost entirely of public roads, even resurfacing works require significant and careful consideration from the AGPC as to limit disruption to day-to-day traffic.

Considerations over closing public roads is likely to have played a large part in the layout alteration investigation as well.

Melbourne and the Albert Park circuit have an ongoing agreement to host the Australian Grand Prix until at least 2023.

The opening round of the 2018 Formula 1 season will take place at the track between March 22-25.

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