The AGPC has revealed images of the Albert Park circuit undergoing extensive upgrades, including the removal of turns 9-10.
Earlier this year, the Australian Grand Prix Commission announced a raft of changes to the Albert Park racetrack, to be completed by November for the Australian Grand Prix. Turns 1, 3, 6, 9, 10, 13, 14, and 15 are all to be changed to make a greatly modified track.
Among the upgrades, as shown, is the removal of the tight chicane of turns 9 and 10. It is rumoured that a DRS zone may be created through the flat out switchback to aid overtaking into turns 11-12, one of the only unaltered corners.
Another big change is turn 13, the corner will be tightened, widened, and slightly banked to allow for different lines and more overtaking, and to give drivers a chance to line up a pass at turn 15. Listed below is the official list of circuit changes for ease of access.
|1||Widened by 2.5 meters|
|3||Widened by 3.5 meters, camber changes|
|6||Widening by 3.5 meters, camber changes, reprofiling|
|9-10||Chicane removed to create flat out sweep|
|13 into 14||Widened by 3 meters, camber changes, reprofiling|
|15||Widened by 3.5 meters, camber changes|
In addition to this, the pit lane has been widened by 2 meters to try and negate issues with cars coming out of the garage into the pit wall we have seen previously.
The total cost of these upgrades, plus a full track resurfacing, is in the millions. The lap times are projected to plummet from 1.21.0s to 1.15.0s or lower. The average speed of the track is expected to rise by 15km/h to make for a vastly different driving challenge. The cars will have to now be set up with straight-line speed in mind which will make corners like turn 4 and 5, and the iconic 11/12 chicane, a real challenge to drive.
It has been recently announced that if all goes smoothly, the Supercars championship will open the action at the Australian Grand Prix, with TCR and Porsche Cup in attendance too. It is currently scheduled for November 19th-21st.