Albert Park layout could be tweaked before 2021

Date published: February 14 2020

Resurfacing work will take place at Albert Park – home of the Australian Grand Prix – perhaps before the 2021 event, and their could be layout changes too.

The roads used for the Australian GP are open to the public for the remainder of the year, so there has been no changes to the circuit layout since it joined the Formula 1 calendar in 1996.

Albert Park has a deal in place to host the event until at least 2025, so the circuit will soon be resurfaced, perhaps before the 2021 event, while the AGPC is also in talks with Formula 1 about possible changes to the layout to improve the quality of racing.

A decision on when the work would begin should arrive at around the time of this year’s season-opening Australian Grand Prix.

Speaking to Motorsport.com, AGPC CEO Andrew Westacott said: “In the next year or two we will be resurfacing.

“We are having dialogue with Formula 1 about how we evolve the track to make sure the changes that have occurred in the cars since 1996 are reflected in changes or adjustments to the track. Whether that be widening in some areas, whether that be camber in some areas, or other aspects.

“That’s all work in progress. We’ll probably know, realistically, at event time more about timelines and when the works are likely to happen – whether it will be in the next 12 months or the next 24 months.”

Exactly what changes could be made remains unclear, but Westacott said banked corners, like the ones which have been incorporated into the redesigned Zandvoort circuit, are very much off the table.

“When you get an opportunity for change, you’ve got to look at how you can improve something,” he said.

“There’s no doubt the cars have evolved and changed from 1996 to 2020, and they’re certainly going to change again in 2021.

“Now what we can do is, if we’re going to make a change, is look at everything.

“The sorts of things we’re looking at are asphalt mix and its impact on tyre degradation, we’re looking at turns and whether they can be adjusted.

“But we don’t want to diminish the character of the circuit, and we need to take into account that there’s a lake, and there’s playing fields, and there’s massive revenues at, for example, Turns 1 and 2 and Turns 15 and 16. So you can’t just go doing greenfield-style changes where you’ve got existing geography and topography and so on.

“It’s not as if we’ll be doing Zandvoort-style banking or anything like that, I can promise that.

“What we are doing is looking at all the different inputs, from speed limits in pitlane, to widths, to asphalt abrasiveness, and we’re in active dialogue with Formula 1 about those.”

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