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
Listen to this article

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.

shares
comments
The Ferrari that Schumacher took to new heights
Previous article

The Ferrari that Schumacher took to new heights

Next article

Mercedes considering high-rake concept for 2018 F1 car

Mercedes considering high-rake concept for 2018 F1 car
Load comments
The inevitable consequence of the Liberty F1 popularity boom Prime

The inevitable consequence of the Liberty F1 popularity boom

Sell out crowds at Formula 1 races are the norm rather than the exception these days, as grand prix racing is enjoying a massive boom under Liberty Media. But the Spanish Grand Prix highlighted numerous issues some circuits may face as demand for F1 soars

Formula 1
May 26, 2022
The danger for Red Bull in its Barcelona F1 team orders choice Prime

The danger for Red Bull in its Barcelona F1 team orders choice

OPINION: Red Bull walked into a team orders saga on its way to taking a Spanish Grand Prix 1-2 last weekend, where it took the lead of the 2022 Formula 1 world championships for the first time. But its decisions have added an element of risk to later races.

Formula 1
May 25, 2022
Why Mercedes' Spanish GP gains aren't as grand as they seemed Prime

Why Mercedes' Spanish GP gains aren't as grand as they seemed

Mercedes' strong showing in last weekend's Spanish Grand Prix prompted team boss Toto Wolff to say it had halved its deficit to the leaders and its Formula 1 title chances were back on after a rocky start to the 2022 campaign. But a closer inspection of the team's performance suggests its gains aren't as grand as they first appeared

Formula 1
May 24, 2022
What's next for the Green Red Bull controversy? Prime

What's next for the Green Red Bull controversy?

From the 'pink Mercedes' to the 'Green Red Bull', the Silverstone-based team has received suspicious glares from up and down the Formula 1 paddock over its car design exploits. But after being cleared by the FIA over its Spanish Grand Prix updates amid a backdrop of cries of foul play, what's next in this saga?

Formula 1
May 24, 2022
Spanish Grand Prix Driver Ratings 2022 Prime

Spanish Grand Prix Driver Ratings 2022

In an unusually hectic Formula 1 Spanish Grand Prix, Charles Leclerc was denied a dominant performance by his Ferrari engine letting go which allowed Max Verstappen to pick up the pieces. But numerous flashpoints kept the race twisting and turning throughout, with one perfect score from an emerging contender

Formula 1
May 23, 2022
How Verstappen overcame his and Red Bull’s errors to win in Spain Prime

How Verstappen overcame his and Red Bull’s errors to win in Spain

Charles Leclerc’s Ferrari engine disaster offered an open goal for Max Verstappen and Red Bull to strike, but the reigning Formula 1 world champion still had to solve multiple errors and profit from a begrudged assist from team-mate Sergio Perez, which created an unexpectedly eventful Spanish Grand Prix

Formula 1
May 23, 2022
Why Red Bull can win a Spanish GP that looked perfect for Ferrari Prime

Why Red Bull can win a Spanish GP that looked perfect for Ferrari

Formula 1's return to Spain on Friday ended with Ferrari leading the way from Mercedes, while Red Bull could only manage third fastest overall courtesy of Max Verstappen. But its chances of victory are far from remote with a deeper dig into the times despite Ferrari's strong start...

Formula 1
May 20, 2022
The key aspects of Porsche and Audi's planned F1 entries Prime

The key aspects of Porsche and Audi's planned F1 entries

The VW Group’s German superpowers of sportscar racing have all but confirmed they are coming to F1 when the next set of engine rules come into force in 2026. Here's why both manufacturers are all set to take the plunge, and crucially how it might work

Formula 1
May 19, 2022