The Australian Grand Prix has been the traditional season opener since its first Grand Prix in 1996. Replacing the much loved Adelaide street circuit, Albert Park had a lot to live up to.
But the Melbourne track has earned a lot of fans and cemented itself as the natural setting for Formula 1’s opening round. The few times that the season opens elsewhere it has never felt quite right.
Held in the distinctive setting of Melbourne’s Albert Park, the circuit has street circuit like characteristics. Sharp corners and a narrow track hasn’t given the circuit a reputation for wheel-to-wheel racing. A 2022 reprofiling aims to remedy this, smoothing out some of the corners and adding camber in the hope of encouraging overtaking.
With or without overtaking, the unforgiving walls leave little room for error and add a constant sense of jeopardy and unpredictability. There is a chance that anything can happen in Melbourne and the race has a knack for unusual results.
The location couldn’t be better – sandwiched just minutes away from central Melbourne to the north and St Kilda to the south. The city is vibrant and cosmopolitan and party mode is in full swing, with heaps of events taking place on race weekend.
The electric atmosphere in the city and at the track is matched only by the great support events. Not only do the V8 Supercars host a round here but Albert Park has some of the best support events you’ll see at any Grand Prix.
Australian Grand Prix F1 Spectator Tips
- You can try your luck with Twitter or your favourite F1 app but the most reliable way to follow the race is to tune in to track commentary on 99.7FM.
- There are always fantastic support events for the Aussie GP, so try to catch as much of the action as you can. Previous years have featured historic race cars driven by ex F1 drivers, celebrity races, and speed comparison demonstrations between F1 cars and V8s.
- Don’t rush back to the sardine can on rails that is the post-race tram. The gates usually stay open until about 8pm so you have ample time to soak up the atmosphere and deconstruct the events of the race with other F1 fans.
Though often sunny and hot in true Aussie style, Melbourne’s autumnal weather at the time of the Grand Prix can sometimes be overcast and wet. Bring bucket loads of factor 50, and a rain coat just in case.
I’m Danny, an incurable Formula 1 fan for over 30 years and founder of The F1 Spectator. My aim is to inform and inspire, arming you with helpful tips and advice for your next F1 trip.