Held in the distinctive setting of Melbourne’s Albert Park, the Australian Grand Prix has been host to the opening round of the season nearly every year since it first held the Grand Prix in 1996.
It can be quite a divisive event among F1 fans, some of whom consider it one of the season’s best, relishing it for it’s memorable races and sometimes unusual results. For others Albert Park will always be in the shadow of the much loved Adelaide street circuit which hosted the Australian Grand Prix prior to it’s move to Melbourne.
As an F1 spectator, the experience of going to the Australian Grand Prix can also be controversial. A visit to Melbourne is always something to look forward to, the city is vibrant and cosmopolitan and with the circuit sandwiched just minutes away from central Melbourne to the north and St Kilda to the south, the location couldn’t be better.
There are heaps of events taking place over the weekend of the race and the city’s party mode is in full swing. The Grand Prix organizers match this every year with some of the best support events you’ll see at a Grand Prix.
The downside, some might say are the views of the track which are often hampered my safety fencing as well as a generally narrow cone of vision restricting views to one or two corners. This is an unfortunate side effect of this kind of street-circuit-like venue.
Australian Grand Prix F1 Spectator Tips
- You can try your luck with twitter or your favorite F1 app but the most reliable way to follow the race is to tune into 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.
TOP TIP: Join the party at Pete’s Bar
Aussies love to party and on race weekend in Melbourne, Pete’s Bar is party central. Countless bleary eyed fans attest to the unbeatable ambiance at Pete’s where the reveling doesn’t even take a break for many of the support events. The bar’s monitors keep you up to speed with all the on-track action, so no worries there. The beer’s always flowing and the atmosphere is electric – and that’s before the lap-dancing on grand pianos even gets started.
Pete’s Bar is located near the paddock on the inside of the track. Look for the giant tent.
Quick Facts and must-have Information
|Currency||Australian Dollar (AUD)|
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.
Australian Grand Prix Track Schedule 2019
|Friday 15th March|
|12:00 - 13:30||FORMULA ONE||PRACTICE ONE|
|16:00 - 17:30||FORMULA ONE||PRACTICE TWO|
|Saturday 16th March|
|14:00 - 15:00||FORMULA ONE||PRACTICE THREE|
|17:00 - 18.00||FORMULA ONE||QUALIFYING|
|Sunday 17th March|
featured image: © Infiniti | FLICKR