McLaren Honda F1 Australian Grand-Prix preview

McLaren Honda F1 Australian Grand-Prix preview

20.03.2017: THE LIGHTS GO OUT TO START A NEW ERA OF FORMULA 1 NEED TO KNOW Race title Formula 1 Rolex Australian Grand Prix Circuit name Albert Park First race 1996

THE LIGHTS GO OUT TO START A NEW ERA OF FORMULA 1

 


NEED TO KNOW


Race title Formula 1 Rolex Australian Grand Prix
Circuit name Albert Park
First race 1996



Previous winners


2016 Nico Rosberg, 57 laps, 1:48:15.565s
2015 Lewis Hamilton
2014 Nico Rosberg
2013 Kimi Raikkonen
2012 Jenson Button



History lesson The Australian Grand Prix has been a permanent fixture on the Formula One calendar since 1985. The race has had two homes during that time: Adelaide (1985-’95) and Melbourne (1996-present), where the race is staged at Albert Park.

 


TRAVEL

City Melbourne
Time zone GMT +10
Population 3.4 million


How far? Melbourne is 10,507 miles from the McLaren Technology Centre



Getting there No airlines fly direct to Australia. That complicates the journey, and particularly the shipment of last-minute parts. “You have to think about transit and which airlines are better with baggage,” says Clare Martin, Head Race & Test Co-Ordinator. “We don’t want anything to get lost, so we send two people specifically to travel with last minute items.”



Surprising fact Like coffee? The flat white was invented Down Under in the ’80s, although no-one is sure exactly where. Baristas in both Sydney and Melbourne have laid claim to it



Local speciality Dampers. The locals aren’t referring to a suspension component; chances are they’re talking about their soda bread


Weather Melbourne has enjoyed its warmest March for 77 years, with temperatures more than four degrees above the daytime average of 24 degrees. The forecast is for a dry race weekend





 
TRACK


Track Length 5.303km/3.295 miles (12th longest track of the year – longest: Spa-Francorchamps, shortest: Monaco)


2016 pole position Lewis Hamilton 1m23.837s


2016 fastest lap Daniel Ricciardo 1m28.997s (lap 49)


Lap record 1:24.125s (Michael Schumacher, 2004)


Tyre choice Purple Ultrasoft, red Supersoft and yellow Soft


Distance to Turn One 350m/0.217 miles (longest of season: Barcelona, 730m/0.454 miles)



Longest straight 860m/0.534 miles (longest of the season: China, 1.17km/0.727 miles)


Top speed 300 km/h/186 mph, on the approach to Turn One (fastest of season: Monza, 350km/h/217mph)



Fastest corner 250km/h (155 mph), Turns 11/12


Slowest corner 90km/h (56 mph), Turn 15


Brake wear High. There are seven braking zones, where the cars will be slowing from more than 230km/h (143mph). The extra weight this year – minimum, including driver, is 722kg – will add to wear rates over a race distance



Cooling Medium. There aren’t many straights along which to cool the car’s complex hybrid systems


ERS demands Medium


Gear changes 55 per lap/3,190 per race (most/least of the year)

 



RACE

Laps 58 laps
Start time 16:00hrs local / 05:00hrs GMT



Grid advantage The left-hand-side holds an advantage because it’s situated on the cleaner, racing line. There’s another advantage to be had from starting on the grippier, Option tyre, which provides a four-metre advantage over the Prime tyre away from the line



DRS There are two DRS zones, on the approaches to Turns One and Three. But neither is very long, making them relatively ineffective



Don’t put the kettle on… during the pitstops. Pirelli’s tyres are more durable this year, meaning one-stop strategies should be the norm in Melbourne. The timing of those stops will be governed by traffic. Full world championship points will be awarded after 75 per cent distance/43.5 laps



Pitlane length/Pitstops 280m/0.714 miles (longest of the season: Interlagos, 380m/0.236 miles). Estimated time loss for a pitstop is 21s, which is relatively short and opens up strategy options should more than one pitstop be necessary



Safety Car 48 per cent, which is a relatively high probability. The highest number of Safety Car periods in this race is four, in 2006



Watch out for… the weather. Melbourne’s coastal location means the weather can change very quickly, from sun to rain and from warm to cold. Qualifying in 2014 was rain-affected





- Sylvia Hofer - photos McLaren

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20.03.2017 / MaP

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