Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes, Albert Park, 2019

Hamilton and Vettel against Albert Park’s plan for new surface

2019 Australian Grand Prix

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The Albert Park circuit is likely to be resurfaced for the first time since it began holding the Australian Grand Prix.

However Lewis Hamilton and Sebastian Vettel spoke out against plans to give the Melbourne circuit a new surface for the first time since 1996.

“I like the track the way it is,” said Hamilton. “I think it’s a great circuit because there are not particularly massive run-off areas. If you put a wheel wrong, it generally does bite you which is great and how it should be.

“The bumps are part of the character of what Melbourne is so if you were to iron those out it would lose a lot. It does make it trickier for us but that’s a part of it, you need that. I don’t like these circuits which are super-flat and super-smooth, don’t cause us troubles.”

Vettel added: “I hope they don’t resurface it because it’s part of the character of this track.”

But the circuit’s chief executive Andrew Westacott told The Age he expects the track will be resurfaced for either the 2020 F1 season or the year after. The decision will depend on a recommendation from Michael Masi, who stepped in as race director last weekend following the death of Charlie Whiting.

“We will have to get the report back from Michael Masi, but I think we will be resurfacing in the next year or two,” said Westacott.

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Keith Collantine
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32 comments on “Hamilton and Vettel against Albert Park’s plan for new surface”

  1. +1 Lewis
    +1 Sebastian

    This is exactly how they ruined all the tracks.

    1. Leave it alone. They already fiddled with it before and ruined it. The original kerbs were better as the extra concrete they added after the kerb has taken away the skill needed to get around this great track. Making it smooth is a waste of tax dollars.

      1. the only thing part that needs resurfacing is the Ricciardo ditch :)

        1. georgeboole (@)
          20th March 2019, 12:53

          @ming-mong potholes are everywhere. Not even F1 gets away with it.

          1. @georgeboole – it’s not a pothole. It is used for wheelchair access from the pits to the grid. I presume this will be leveled out come next year.

      2. If they are considering layout changes I only see 3 areas this could be achieved. I would consider Option #3 as the best possible solution. Or a possible combination of #3 & #2.

        1. Soften the turning radius of or turns 11-12 allowing cars to follow and carry more speed and possible make a pass into 13. I hope not as this is a great set of corners that require alot of skill.

        2. Alter the the section turns 14-16. They would loose one sporting oval however it could be done to allow cars to follow more closely and carry more speed through the final corner down the the start finish straight increasing the chance of an overtake into T1.

        3. Increase the track length along lakeside and drive to continue pass the current T13 to a hairpin at Village green drive which would then link back up with T14. This extra 300m of track would allow for extra overtakes into the new T13.

        Attached is a rough idea of what I am talking about:-

          1. how do I attach an image from imgur? I tried the link option…

        1. georgeboole (@)
          21st March 2019, 10:28

          @ming-mong didn’t know that. Guess that should be relocated.

  2. As long as the track didn’t share with MotoGP, I think new surface should be okay. Maybe smoother but didn’t need to create massive run-off areas. The grass and sand can stay too.

  3. … if you were to iron those out it would lose a lot

    My observation on the roads around where I live is when a road is resurfaced the road surface is smooth, and that with time and heavy traffic that road surface gets damaged and becomes uneven. If they didn’t resurface the road then I’d expect the road to become more uneven than it is now, which could lead to more damage to the road and cause wear and tear on vehicles. I think the road must be quite good underneath to have lasted this long without needing a resurface. Again, based upon how my local city council seems to operate, it may be that Melbourne has some sort of roster for roads and it just happens to be the turn of these roads to be resurfaced.

    1. interestingly, they were very thorough when they made the Albert park track, they made it to last, there were hundreds of damaged houses as they used a mobile crane and lifted an enormous concrete block – and dropped it, thousands of times all of the way around… It would be such a shame to resurface it now…

    2. I understand your point however Albert Park has very light traffic and very slow speeds all year round. There are major roads surrounding the Albert Park that take majority of the inbound, outbound and bay area traffic.

    3. Stole the words right out of my mouth.

  4. If it’s given a surface like Eastlink between Wellington Road and Burwood Highway, the drivers will love all the new bumps. I actually pulled over to see if I had a flat tyre when I first drove on that road in a car I wasn’t familiar with.

  5. I vote they re-profile just one corner to make it into an overtaking opportunity.

    Without one overtaking opportunity on the track I think it would be better if Melbourne was a mid season race and not a season opener.

  6. Haha if the Rd is resurfaced to the general standard most of our Rds They have nothing to fear. It will still be bumpy and uneven.
    Relax man.

    1. @johnrkh – someone’s fully confident in their civic authorities, I see :-) :-D

      1. georgeboole (@)
        20th March 2019, 12:56

        They can lend our civil authorities if they want. Can’t guarantee if the GP will be held though but if it does I m convident they will interrupt the race and throw a few shovels of tarmac around

  7. Well, it has to be resurfaced sooner or later anyway regardless of what they think.

  8. As part of the resurfacing it is planned to make minor modifications to aid overtaking. I wonder what and where this could be done.

    1. This does need to happen.

      Overtaking is poor at that track.

    2. robinsonf1 (@)
      20th March 2019, 14:44

      A tighter/slower final turn onto the main straight? I don’t think that will change the character of the circuit that much but should help overtaking.

  9. IMO, I think it’s more urgent to solve the lack of a proper straight. The beauty in that is that seems easy to solve: the Brabham straight.

    As for the resurfacing, I’m with the champs.

    1. Could you explain your proposal?

      1. @zomtec Certainly! Behind the paddock, there is a straight linking T16 to T2, which was part of the original layout of the circuit. There is plenty of space there, so I’d just switch the straights. Of course, the pits would have to be moved as well, but as I said, there’s plenty of space to do that and also move the grandstands.

        It would be something close to Baku, really technically challenging sectors for the drivers, and a long straight to allow the chasing car to overtake (and of course to retake, given the length).

        The lack of that straight, at least for me, ruins the entire flow of the track.

        1. @niefer Exactly. I have said for a while now that Singapore would without a doubt be the best track on the calendar if it just extended one of its straights by 400m. Then you would have an extremely challenging track that also provides proper entertainment.

          1. @mashiat Yeah, Singapore is another one I don’t like much because of that. It’s a great track to qualify, but to race… that is not so nice.

            I’d extend the straight passing through T7, contouring Raffles City Convention Centre, rejoining at current T9.
            I’d go deep down after T13, running straight until BNP Paribas. It would end like La Rascasse, then go up running a parallel straight rejoining T13 again. But in this case I think it would elongate too much the track.

        2. @niefer – Curious what do you think about my proposal above in the OP?

          1. @ming-mong if they were to link the hairpin to the main straight like the way you traced, that’d be a really cool solution!
            Probably cheaper to do as well =)

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