Establishing its base in Adelaide when Formula 1 first came to Australia back in 1985, the event only made it to Melbourne in 1996 in the beautiful Albert Park Grand Prix Circuit, specially constructed for the event, and remaining there since. The circuit, located within magnificent parkland south of Melbourne, benefits from a postcard-like landscape as it is contoured by artificial lakes and crosses through green cricket fields. Furthermore, the 5,3 kilometres track, composed of 16 turns in total and reputed for its smoothness and elevated speed, has often been resembled to the Canadian Grand Prix track in Montreal. Combining closed-off public roads and a car-park within the park, it alternates between high, medium and low-speed corners, hence proves itself as a real challenge for drivers and teams.
- Track length 5,303 km
- Amount of laps 58
- Race distance 307,574 km
- Corners 16
- Top Speed 303 km/h (190 mph)
- Average Speed 225 km/h (133 mph)
- Record time 1:24.125 – Michael Schumacher (2004)
Why the Australian GP?
The Australian GP is currently, for a few years, the inaugural race in the Formula 1 championship. Furthermore the event garners all the excitement and enthusiasm for the much acclaimed and highly awaited start of the season! The Australian Grand Prix has witnessed many memorable races in its history and more memorable races have yet to cease rolling on its tracks. Michael Schumacher has won the event four times, and Jenson Button is only one victory away! Australians continue to welcome every year the Formula 1 in the best possible atmosphere, setting high the off-track standard for the rest of the season.
- Population: 3,4 millions
- Language: English
- Currency: Australian Dollar
Fly into Melbourne’s international airport located 22 kilometres north-west of the city.
To get to the city take a taxi or a bus, both are inexpensive.
To get around the city and to the circuit take advantage of Melbourne’s efficient tram station, and for short distances just walk!
A city as wide as Melbourne has many choices for accommodation. The Sebel Albert Park Hotel overlooking the Albert Park Lake is very convenient. To be within proximity of the race, stay in the St.Kilda’s neighbourhood close by to the location of the circuit where you will find many affordable small boutique-hotels such as Fountain Terrace Hotel, Hotel Tolarno or St.Kilda Beach House.
- Activities and sightseeing
Get a taste of the old and new Melbourne by visiting the city’s Docklands. For Australia’s best collection of Aboriginal folk art, head out to Federation Square at the Ian Potter Centre at the National Gallery of Victoria. The Old Melbourne Gaol, one of Australia’s oldest jails built out of volcanic rock is also a must-see! Finally, with world famous breathtaking beaches don’t forget to set out on a beachside walk in the area of the circuit in St.Kilda!
For a Melbournian shopping experience head out to Findlers Lane. The area specialises in Australian artisanery and designer wear with shops such as Craft Victoria specialising in local house ware and jewellery while the boutique Christine sells locally produced fashion and jewellery goods.
Sensational restaurants have bloomed out of Melbourne’s wide cultural diversity. Indulge in Middle Eastern food at Mecca Bah in the New Quay neighbourhood or for an Australian take on “Pub Grub” at Mitre Tavern. Melbourne, like many cities having undergone massive Chinese immigration, also boasts an impressive Chinatown where the choice is wide to treat yourself with very good Chinese and Fusion cuisine!
The city of Melbourne caters for all nightlife preferences. Go bar hoping through Melbourne’s windy laneways such as the funky Baroq House or Sister Bella where outrageous decoration mixes with fantastic drinks! For proper clubbing where one gets the unique opportunity to chose his “scene” head to Curtin House a layering of three different clubbing zones! Starting with the first strata of young professionals at Cookie, moving on to Toff in the Town with a laid back Opium bar den sensation on the second section and finally ending with the Rooftop cinema where you can watch a movie and admire the magnificent skyline while sipping a great cocktail!