Ricciardo’s take on new-look Albert Park

Daniel Ricciardo has shared his take on the modifications being made to Albert Park ahead of November’s Formula 1 Australian Grand Prix.

Ricciardo was one of a number of drivers sounded out about potential changes to the venue in 2019.

With work now underway reprofiling several corners on the circuit, the Australian has shared his thoughts on what it will mean once F1 descends on Melbourne later this year.

Daniel Ricciardo

Daniel Ricciardo on Albert Park redesign

Sundays and making race days more exciting for everyone, that’s what we all want and I think these changes are in the direction of what we want.

Better races, more battles … the changes are going to push us towards that.

A bunch of us drivers were consulted on the changes and I was happy about that, we were allowed to give our thoughts and input.

Not all drivers will be aligned of course, but one thing we can agree on is we want to make Sundays, race day, better.

I had that in mind when I had my input.

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.

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 at certain parts.

It’s been somewhere that has been hard to overtake typically because of that width, and because it’s so fast, in these cars it’s even trickier to follow through the high-speed corner sequences.

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

Turn 1, the way it has been, it’s such a fast corner and you brake so late there that your apex width is very small.

Turn 3 is similar in that the straight kind of turns and you’re braking into the corner, so there’s not much room to pass by the point that you’re at the apex, it’s a very narrow angle.

Widening those corners allows for a later apex and potentially leaves the door open a little longer to allow the opportunity to overtake.

Removing Turns 9 and 10 is a compromise – Turn 10 was always pretty challenging because you’d be exiting close to the wall – but the last couple of years, the cars are so good now that the traction out of 10 is pretty easy and the wall wasn’t really a threat anymore.

The car didn’t run out there as aggressively as it used to.

So removing that chicane, you’re now going to have a massive tow out of Turn 6 which is going to be good with the additional DRS zone.

Widening the apex at Turn 13 … I see all of these changes as beneficial for Sunday and we can have some fun on the brakes.

It’ll make the racing closer, I’m pretty confident of that.

With these (2021) cars the changes should help a lot, but from 2022, if next year promises everything it does with being able to follow the car in front and the racing to be enhanced, then coming to a circuit like Albert Park with these changes should make a pretty amazing spectacle.

On paper, I think there’s promise of that.

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