Albert Park resurfacing complete
By Mat Coch
Friday 21st January, 2022 - 10:46am
Resurfacing work at Albert Park has been completed ahead of April’s Formula 1 Australian Grand Prix.
Speedcafe.com revealed yesterday that this year’s event is now guaranteed to go ahead with a key marker for the event’s fate having now been passed.
A full-circuit resurface was the final part of a three-phase revamp of the track which first saw the widening of the pit lane by two metres.
Part two of the project was geometric work around the circuit with the elimination of the chicane on Lakeside Drive.
Originally scheduled to take place prior to the 2021 Australian Grand Prix, the event’s cancellation saw the resurfacing pushed back into more favourable weather.
“It’s the culmination of probably four or five years of work,” Andrew Westacott, CEO of the Australian Grand Prix Corporation, told Speedcafe.com.
“It’s a credit to Downer, to IEDM, to the team at the Grand Prix Corporation, the input from the FIA and F1, international consultants, in Hart Consulting from a national perspective, and also [Hermann] Tilke, who assisted with some technicalities of camber and corner redesign.
“And it’s come together at the perfect timing,” Westacott added.
“What it means is that we’re going to have new spec cars race for the first time in three years on a brand new asphalt circuit, and those cars are going to be probably four or five seconds a lap quicker.”
Changes to the circuit are hoped to both aid overtaking and open up strategic options for teams courtesy of the wider pit lane.
Expanded by two metres, organisers hope the FIA will raise the speed limit from 60km/h to 80km/h, in doing so reducing the time loss in taking to the lane and therefore making a two-stop strategy more appealing.
Changes to the circuit have also been done with a view to creating more overtaking opportunities.
Officially, the circuit has been reduced in number by two corners, with the re-labelled Turn 11 expected to be a hotspot for passing opportunities.
The surface now has 10 weeks to cure before track action begins on the Melbourne circuit on April 7, with F1 cars on track from the following day.