New Albert Park layout will be five seconds faster

The new-look Albert Park layout will see Formula 1 qualifying laptimes drop by as much as five seconds, according to the Australian Grand Prix Corporation.

The Melbourne parklands circuit is currently undergoing a major overhaul with a number of geometric changes, expected to help promote overtaking, to be in place in time for this year's AGP in November.

The most visible change is the Turn 9/10 complex, with the heavy stop into a tight right-hander replaced by a fast-flowing run onto Lakeside Drive.

A number of other areas will also be widened or re-profiled to create more racing lines and cambers that are conducive with wheel-to-wheel racing.

The AGPC has now formally unveiled the full suite of changes and outlined its expectations of the new layout.

Turn 1 will be widened by 2.5 metres to the driver's right, with Turn 3 widened four metres in the same direction and given a camber adjustment.

Turn 6 will be widened by 7.5 metres to the driver's right to effectively become a right-hand sweeper rather than a stop corner. The minimum speed at the corner will skyrocket from 149 km/h to 219 km/h and form part of the fast, flowing run that will continue right through to Turn 13.

The changes at Turns 9/10 will likely see a fourth DRS zone added to Lakeside Drive, while Turn 13 will become slower and tighter thanks to a slight extension of the entry and sharper angle at the apex. The camber will also be adjusted and the corner widened by three metres.

Turn 15 will also be widened to the driver's right and have its camber readjusted.

There will be some changes to the corner numbering system too, with 14 corners in total. That means what is currently known as Turns 11/12 will become Turns 9/10 and so on.

According to AGPC data the changes will see qualifying laptimes plummet by around five seconds, down to a predicted time of 1m15.8s. 

That means the average qualifying speed will be up 15 km/h (to 251 km/h) and there will be a new top speed of 330 km/h heading into what is currently Turn 11. That point of the circuit will provide the greatest load through the cars as well at 5.4G. 

The pitlane has already been widened by two metres, with plans to up the speed limit to 80 km/h, while a full resurfacing will take place between the 2021 and 2022 races.

Australian GP map

Australian GP map

Photo by: FIA

Daniel Ricciardo, one of the current F1 drivers consulted on the layout change, is confident the circuit will provide better racing in the future.

"Widening some of the apexes, creating more of a straight in some places to allow for an opportunity for more slipstreaming... that was the priority and I'm very confident that it's going to be good," said Ricciardo.

"Every street circuit is a challenge, but Albert Park is pretty fast which only adds to that. There's a lot of fourth and fifth-gear corners and it's pretty narrow art certain parts. It's been somewhere that's been hard to overtake because of that width and because it's so fast. 

"By changing come of the apexes and creating more room, allowing more chance to make a diving overtake or even change your line to get out the dirty air, I think it will really help.

"With these [2021] cars the changes should help a lot. From 2022, if next year promises everything it does with being able to follow the car in front, then coming to a circuit like Albert Park with these changes should make a pretty amazing spectacle. On paper there's promise of that."

Turn 1 modification

Turn 1 modification
1/15

Photo by: Dave Goudie

Turn 1 modification

Turn 1 modification
2/15

Photo by: Dave Goudie

Turn 9 and 10 modification

Turn 9 and 10 modification
3/15

Photo by: Dave Goudie

Turn 9 and 10 modification

Turn 9 and 10 modification
4/15

Photo by: Dave Goudie

Turn 3 modification

Turn 3 modification
5/15

Photo by: Dave Goudie

Turn 3 modification

Turn 3 modification
6/15

Photo by: Dave Goudie

Turn 6 modification

Turn 6 modification
7/15

Photo by: Dave Goudie

Turn 6 modification

Turn 6 modification
8/15

Photo by: Dave Goudie

Turn 9 and 10 modification

Turn 9 and 10 modification
9/15

Photo by: Dave Goudie

Turn 13 modification

Turn 13 modification
10/15

Photo by: Dave Goudie

Turn 13 modification

Turn 13 modification
11/15

Photo by: Dave Goudie

Turn 1 modification

Turn 1 modification
12/15

Photo by: Dave Goudie

Turn 9 and 10 modification

Turn 9 and 10 modification
13/15

Photo by: Dave Goudie

Turn 13 modification

Turn 13 modification
14/15

Photo by: Dave Goudie

Turn 9 and 10 modification

Turn 9 and 10 modification
15/15

Photo by: Dave Goudie

shares
comments

Related video

Hamilton: Bahrain win a "chance to prove people wrong"

Previous article

Hamilton: Bahrain win a "chance to prove people wrong"

Next article

Low-rake F1 runners warned of rules impact last year

Low-rake F1 runners warned of rules impact last year
Load comments

About this article

Series Formula 1
Author Andrew van Leeuwen
How long can Verstappen and Hamilton keep it clean? Prime

How long can Verstappen and Hamilton keep it clean?

Lewis Hamilton and Max Verstappen have been evenly matched so far in the 2021 Formula 1 title race. Neither has been afraid to get aggressive against each other on track, teeing up an enthralling contest as the year unwinds. But how long will their battle remain clean? Jonathan Noble ponders that exact point

Formula 1
May 13, 2021
How Brabham’s one-hit wonder was boxed into a corner Prime

How Brabham’s one-hit wonder was boxed into a corner

The Brabham BT46B raced once, won once, then vanished – or did it? STUART CODLING reveals the story of the car which was never actually banned…

Formula 1
May 11, 2021
The changes Barcelona needs to provide a modern-day F1 spectacle Prime

The changes Barcelona needs to provide a modern-day F1 spectacle

Formula 1’s visits to Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya over recent years have been met with familiar criticisms despite tweaks here and there to the track to improve racing. With the 2021 Spanish Grand Prix largely going the same way, proper solutions need to be followed to achieve F1’s wider targets

Formula 1
May 10, 2021
Spanish Grand Prix Driver Ratings Prime

Spanish Grand Prix Driver Ratings

Often described as Formula 1's laboratory, the Circuit de Catalunya-Barcelona gave the clearest demonstration yet of the pecking order in 2021. And it's the key discrepancies from that order which illuminate who is excelling, and who needs to hit the reset button.

Formula 1
May 10, 2021
How Red Bull's deja vu set Hamilton on the winning path in Spain Prime

How Red Bull's deja vu set Hamilton on the winning path in Spain

An aggressive first corner move from Max Verstappen appeared to have set the Red Bull driver on course for victory in the Spanish Grand Prix. But canny strategy from Mercedes - combined with the absence of Red Bull's number two from the lead group - allowed Lewis Hamilton to pull off a demoralising reversal

Formula 1
May 10, 2021
The Barcelona practice times that prove Red Bull has hidden pace Prime

The Barcelona practice times that prove Red Bull has hidden pace

Lewis Hamilton led the way in Friday practice for the 2021 Spanish Grand Prix, but there was one major encouraging sign for Red Bull. However, making good on that gain will require Max Verstappen to avoid repeating a mistake that left him well down the FP2 order...

Formula 1
May 7, 2021
Why McLaren doesn’t doubt Ricciardo can escape his ‘dark’ place Prime

Why McLaren doesn’t doubt Ricciardo can escape his ‘dark’ place

Three points finishes from as many starts represents a decent opening innings on paper, but Daniel Ricciardo has endured a tough start to his McLaren career - only magnified his teammate's excellent form. Yet both he and the team have good reason to expect a turnaround soon.

Formula 1
May 6, 2021
What needs to “change” for Red Bull is ending Verstappen’s errors Prime

What needs to “change” for Red Bull is ending Verstappen’s errors

OPINION: Going up against the dominant force of Mercedes and Lewis Hamilton was always going to demand the best from Red Bull and Max Verstappen. But after making a couple more errors during the Portuguese Grand Prix, the Dutch driver showed there's a small gap he still needs to close in the 2021 Formula 1 title fight.

Formula 1
May 5, 2021