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F1 | Information Emerges Of Remodelling Plans for Albert Park

Information has emerged of the improvements to the Albert Park circuit where the Formula 1 Australian Grand Prix is run.

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F1 | Information Emerges Of Remodelling Plans for Albert Park
Fuente imagen: Jerry Andre - MotorLat

After the 2022 event, organisers in Melbourne expected to resurface the 5.3km circuit. 

The postponement of the event to November has now provided a chance to move it forward in time for the race this year. 

It will be the first time that the venue has been revamped since the 1996 World Championship competition was first held at the Melbourne street circuit.

In an attempt to open up greater overtaking possibilities, part of the resurfacing work is also set to involve tweaks to the circuit design.

Work has also been undertaken to extend the pit lane, which may see a rise in the speed limit.

Organisers in Melbourne have partnered with Formula 1 in order to resurface the circuit in time for the next set of rules for the sport. 

The deferment of the race this year ensures that there is insufficient time between the events in 2021 and 2022 to complete a resurfacing and allow time time for the temporary venue to be demolished and reconstructed. 

As a consequence, the work is being examined in order to be completed in time for November, incorporating the proposed modifications otherwise reserved for next year's run. 

Andrew Westacott, the Australian Grand Prix Corporation's chief executive officer, told Speedcafe.com, "We’ve got good dialogue about where the specs and the cars are going to be for 2022,”

He continued, "One of the things that takes a fair bit of time is to actually look at a circuit and take into account its design based on the very important work, projected performance of the cars from the simulation and performance point of view. What we want to do… I guess the overriding principles of looking at and finalising what we can achieve by when is that, like any good circuit, we want to actually be able to reward brave driving. We want to be able to penalise sloppy driving. The circuit does need resurfacing so there are some areas where we can adjust camber and provide alternate and multiple lines into particular turns on the circuit." 

He adds, "An example of that might be Turn 13, where there’s really only one line into that and you can’t actually overtake on the outside, because it’s negative camber. If that was positive camber and it was slightly widened so you had multiple options for the apex and so on, then suddenly with not terribly much effort you’re actually making a number of changes, a number of opportunities to enhance more than one path into particular turns. I think that the turns that present themselves with the opportunities for review tend to be Turn 13, Turn 3, maybe even Turn 6 a little bit with just changing the apex of the turn a bit.”

Pressed on the modifcations, Westacott added that a change in apex would possibly see the corners opened up, rather than tightened, combined with the approach widening. 

He reasoned, "What it does is it actually provides more than one single pathway and one single line, The reality is that we’ve actually got to take into account the circuit design based on some of the physical impediments that are there – swimming pools, ovals, and a lake – and so therefore, by and large, you have to work with the geometry that you’ve got. So there’re subtle evolutions and changes along the lines I just talking about, there’s the potential by widening pit lane for the FIA to increase the speed limit in pit lane from 60km/h now to 80km/h, which therefore provides less of a penalty for a pit stop.”

Research also goes into the asphalt mix, taking into account the balance of grip and deterioration of the tyre.

Asked regarding potential improvements to Albert Park, Valtteri Bottas, Mercedes driver who won the 2019 Australian Grand Prix, said he hoped that any resurfacing would maintain the circuit's character, singling out the bumps that help define it asa setreet circuit.

According to Westacott, while that feedback style is taken on board, when it comes to circuit homologation requirements, it is frequently at odds with the FIA requirements.

The timetable of the world has not yet been set, including the weather in Melbourne, the timing of the event and the need for construction. 

The 2021 Australian Grand Prix of Formula 1 is scheduled to be run on the weekend of November 18-21.

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