When the F1 World Championship first came to Australia in 1985 it was based in Adelaide with an end-of-season slot. However, ex-racer Bob Jane, and premier of Victoria State Jeff Kennett were determined to improve the profile of Melbourne's motorsport. In 1993 a contract as signed to move the race to Melbourne's Albert Park once the Adelaide contract expired. In 1996 Albert Park opened the F1 season much to the delight of drivers and fans.
|First Championship Race:||1996|
|Lap Distance:||5.303 km|
|Number of Laps:||58|
|Total Distance:||307.574 km|
Albert Park circuit is a temporary installation, set in a beautiful park around a huge lake just to the south of Melbourne city centre. It has now become the favourite as season opener, not least because of its warm weather and picturesque surroundings.
The track makes use of existing roads surrounding the lake but is a notably smooth surface for a street circuit. The circuit is relatively fast, with 16 turns combining a good number of high and low-speed corners, as well as a couple of chicanes and over-taking areas in the brake zones.
The terrain around the circuit is flat and open, so many spectators prefer the guaranteed views from a grandstand seat. Either way, Melbourne can be hot in the early months of the year and so adequate sun protection is recommended.