The organizers of the Australian Grand Prix have confirmed that the layout of Albert Park, in Melbourne, will be modified for the 2021 edition of the race, scheduled for next November.
The work was scheduled for the 2022 Australian Grand Prix. With the postponement of the 2021 edition to next November due to the health crisis, the race organizers will use the eight-month delay to speed up work to reshape the historic Albert Park route, according to information from the British magazine Autosport. The first change concerns the pit line with the wall which has been moved back two meters in order to widen it. Such a development could allow the FIA to increase minimum speed in the pit lane, potentially opening up more strategic options during the race.
The second phase of the work will directly concern the route which, in certain sectors, will be thoroughly reviewed and corrected to offer more opportunities for overtaking. Opposite the pits, the chicane formed by turns 9 and 10 will be erased and will give way to a sequence of a much faster right turn then a much faster left turn before skirting the lake. Turn 13 of the Albert Park circuit will also be redesigned, its entrance being widened and the curve raised to allow drivers to approach it with several possible paths. The objective is, here too, to offer more overtaking opportunities to the drivers on a circuit which was not recognized for such qualities.
This work is to start on February 22 and last four months. This should therefore allow the 2021 Australian Grand Prix to be contested on a renewed circuit, if the health situation at the end of the year allows the paddock to settle in the heart of Melbourne. But this work will only be a first step since, for the first time since 1996 and the first edition of the Australian Grand Prix at Albert Park, the entire track will see its tarmac renewed for the 2022 edition, which is expected to open the season under the contract between the organizers and F1 until 2025.