Find out more about the Australian Grand Prix at Albert Park, including race information and a destination guide for a visit to Melbourne
The Albert Park circuit has traditionally been F1’s curtain-raiser since the 1996 season, when Damon Hill kicked off his championship-winning campaign with victory over rookie team-mate Jacques Villeneuve. The track uses public roads around Albert Park, between downtown Melbourne and St Kilda. Circling the Albert Park lake, the track is a good mix of corners with predominantly mid and low-speed turns, but also includes a high-speed change of direction at from Turn 11 to Turn 12. Turns 1 and 3 offer the best overtaking opportunities, while close walls heighten the chance of mistakes and safety car appearances. The circuit has seen some spectacular accidents, most notably at Turn 3, including Martin Brundle getting airborne at the start of the 1996 race and Fernando Alonso in his McLaren during the first race of the 2016 season.
Melbourne is Australia’s second-largest city in terms of population behind Sydney and as such offers plenty to do on top of the racing. St Kilda Beach is just a few stops on the tram from Albert Park, while in the other direction the Central Business District (CBD) offers plenty of dining options and a chance to explore Melbourne’s coffee culture.
The city is one of Australia’s sporting hubs, so fans can check out the iconic Melbourne Cricket Ground on the banks of the Yarra River - situated right next to Melbourne Park, host of the Australian Open. The Etihad Stadium on the other side of the CBD also offers sporting entertainment.
Sightseers can take in a number of central locations using Melbourne’s tram system and trains from Southern Cross and the iconic Flinders Street Station. Heritage trams run on the free City Circle line- allowing for a tour of central spots - while the centre of the city also includes a free tram zone.
South of the river, South Yarra offers nightlife and shopping, while Carlton to the north is home to Little Italy and the Royal Exhibition Building in the Carlton Gardens, which also boast the Melbourne Museum.
For those with the time to get out of the city, the Great Ocean Road awaits to the south west, a beautiful drive including landmarks such as the Twelve Apostles. If you don’t have time for the whole drive, the run from Anglesea to Apollo Bay is the longest along the coastline itself.
HOW TO GET THERE
Melbourne is served by Melbourne Tullamarine Airport, 23km outside of the city. The easiest form of public transport from the airport to the city is the Skybus which reaches Southern Cross Station in approximately 20 minutes, from where you can get a tram to Albert Park or a number of other city destinations.
The circuit itself is served by a number of tram stops for different gates, both on the north and south side of the track. Special tram services operate during the grand prix weekend. Taxis can also drop fans at specific gates around the park.