Australian Grand Prix revives Formula 1 track change possibility
|By Andrew van Leeuwen||Wednesday, July 24th 2019, 08:42 GMT|
Australian Grand Prix bosses will reconsider altering the Albert Park circuit now that a revised deal has been reached with Formula 1.
The race in Melbourne will remain on the calendar until at least 2025 after a new two-year extension to its current contract was signed earlier this month.
The Australian Grand Prix Corporation will now reconsider making changes to the circuit - with both track resurfacing and layout changes on the agenda - reviving a discussion that began in 2017.
Previously, there was talk that the Australian GP venue could remove its fast left-to-right Turn 11/12 complex and replace it with a slower corner to boost overtaking.
"It's important to get a return on investment in anything you do, and the ability to have that extra two years provides more certainty to do a couple of things," AGPC CEO Andrew Westacott said.
"One [is] to look at the resurfacing. The drivers at the moment haven't said that it's needed. They wax and wane. Sometimes it's the most imperative thing that they want to do, and other times they like the character of a street circuit.
"The other thing that it does, it allows us to have a look at the evolution of the track and look at what tweaks we can make given the physical limitations of a lake and a sports stadium and a pit building and other things.
"We'll have a look at the evolution of the design and layout in particular areas to see whether we can tweak it."
Westacott hinted that the Australian GP will continue to open the F1 season throughout its contract.
"It's essentially part of the deal," he said. "I won't go into individual wording in the contract, because we don't talk about the detail of the contract.
"But you heard Chase Carey come out and say the season essentially starts in Melbourne, it finishes in Abu Dhabi, you've got Monaco, which has a place in the middle.
"Now securing great events like Silverstone, you get the real cornerstones and the big components of a Formula 1 season, whether it's 20, 21, or 22 races.
"And everything fits in around those starting points and finishing points."
The 25th running of the race in Melbourne will take place on March 15 next year.