He’s been missing for three years, but the Australian Grand Prix is ready to present itself in the best possible way. The third appointment of the Formula One World Championship 2022, in fact, in addition to bringing the highest category of motorsport back to one of its favorite scenarios, with an always vast and passionate audience, it will allow us to admire the “new” Albert Park.
The track, which saw its debut in the Formula One World Championship in 1996 (with the success of Damon Hill over Williams), has been retouched in several places, to make the action even more spectacular and encourage attacks and overtaking. We have not raced on the Melbourne circuit since the now distant 2019, given that in 2020 the weekend was canceled a few hours before the start of the first free practice session due to the explosion of the Covid-19 pandemic. For the same reason, there was no racing in the past year either, for a return in 2022 that was highly anticipated by everyone.
So let’s get to know specifically the news of the Australian track. The changes already start in turn 1, a place that often became the scene of contacts at the start, also due to its considerable narrowing of the roadway. The curve to the right, which anticipates a longer one to the left, was extended by 2.5 meters, to allow the cars to proceed side by side with fewer problems than in the past.
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Similar speech for curve 3. After a long straight, in fact, the drivers were forced to brake considerably to enter this very slow bend to the right. Again the roadway was widened by 4 meters but not only that, and it has also been re-profiled to increase positive camber and, consequently, make overtaking easier.
Also new in chicane 6-7. After an extension, in fact, there was this umpteenth deceleration which will essentially be canceled. Curve 6, in fact, was expanded by over 7.5 meters guaranteeing a speed increase of about 60-70 Km / h. From 120-140kmh, therefore, it will also reach 200kmh, for a stretch that completely changes face.
The sector that goes from T1 to T2 will see profound changes also for the chicane 9-10 (the “Clarke”). The stretch that forced the pilots to a sudden stop for a complicated and rapid right-left, has officially vanished in favor of a very high speed cornering as the cars will be under constant acceleration from turn 7 and will arrive at chicane 11-12 with one speed well over 300kmh.
But, that’s not all. The novelties of Albert Park will continue also in curve 13 (the “Ascari”). Previously it was a complicated right-angled curve to the right (from 300kmh it went to about 180) now, however, the braking point is deeper to give life to an important deceleration and a chord point that is not easy to take. Finally, the final stretch will see the penultimate corner (number 15 called “Prost”) widened in turn, to make the defense of the position uncertain even before the finish line.