McLaren Honda F1 Australian Grand Prix preview

McLaren Honda F1 Australian Grand Prix preview

15.03.2016: HEAR FROM THE MANAGEMENT Eric Boullier McLaren-Honda Racing Director


Eric Boullier
McLaren-Honda Racing Director

“It’s been a very long winter, and I know that I can speak on behalf of the whole McLaren-Honda team when I say that we can’t wait to go racing again! There’s been an incredible amount of hard work done over the winter, and we’re all itching to get back on the grid to see where we are for this, our second year of the McLaren-Honda partnership.

“We are certainly a step ahead of where we were this time last year in terms of preparation – we have much more mileage under our belts and we’ve performed most of the necessary system checks that we were still working on during race weekends in 2015. That said, we didn’t manage to complete our final configuration and set-up work for the first race, so we go to Melbourne with a number of unknowns.

It won’t be an easy start to the weekend in that sense, since we’ll need to concentrate on setting the car up for each session and readying the final specification of our package as soon as we get to Albert Park. Since the final pre-season test, there’s been a huge effort back in Woking to bring new parts to Australia and it’ll be good to finally get to the track on Friday and see how we fare.

“Until the other teams fully show their hand in the same conditions, we won’t have any idea where we stack up in comparison, but our priority is to focus on extracting the most out of our own performance, while still maintaining reliability. It’s a difficult balance to strike, but as usual we’ll work hard, in the hope of faring better in Australia than we did last year.

We are always greeted by a warm welcome, and it’ll be fantastic to hear the cheers from the knowledgeable Aussie fans in Albert Park. We’re all counting down to the green light on Friday so we can get out on track and start the season proper.”

Yusuke Hasegawa
Honda R&D Co Ltd Head of F1 Project & Executive Chief Engineer

"As a season-opener, the street circuit of Albert Park is a strenuous track for the drivers, car and the power unit, so it will no doubt be a difficult race. The circuit is flat, narrow, slippery and fast, which makes the whole weekend unpredictable.

“That said, we are eager to see what the package is capable of out on track. During the short winter months, we worked hard to address the issues encountered in 2015, and during the two weeks of testing in Barcelona, we were able to confirm the fundamental power unit set-up for 2016. The logical next step is to test and show our progress on track, which will begin to shape the course of our development for this year.

“Last year, the team was given a warm welcome by the enthusiastic fans, as well as fantastic support from our Honda Australia peers. We hope we can show our appreciation through our efforts on the track during the grand prix weekend."


2015 winner     Lewis Hamilton, 58 laps, 1:31:54.067s
2015 pole position     Lewis Hamilton, 1m26.327s
2015 fastest lap     Lewis Hamilton 1m30.945s (lap 50)
Name     Albert Park

First race     Lewis Hamilton, 1m26.327s

Circuit length      5.303km/3.295 miles (12th longest track of the year)

Distance to Turn One     350m/0.217 miles

Longest straight      860m/0.534 miles

Top speed     305km/h/190mph, on the approach to Turn One

Pitlane length     280m/0.174 miles, estimated time loss 21s

Full throttle     61 per cent

DRS zones     Two, on the approaches to Turns One and Three

Key corner     The Esses at Turns 11 and 12. The minimum apex speed is 225km/h (140mph) and negative camber at the exit makes it easy to run wide.

Fastest corner      275km/h (171mph), Turn Eight

Slowest corner     84km/h (52mpg), Turn 15

Major changes for 2016     No changes to layout, but a few alterations to kerbing, run-off and Astroturf

Fuel consumption     1.7kg per lap, the third highest of the season due to the amount of acceleration bursts from low speed

ERS demands     Medium

Brake wear     High, there are seven big stops from more than 230km/h (143mph)

Gear changes     56 per lap /3248 per race


History lesson: A permanent fixture on the F1 calendar since 1996, Albert Park did in fact host grands prix many decades earlier. It was home to the non-championship Australian GP in the ’50s, a race twice won by Stirling Moss.

What makes the track unique: The bumpy pit straight. These bumps create severe pitch oscillation, which makes the car challenging to set up. The aerodynamicists want to run it hard; the engineers want to run it soft and a compromise has to be reached for best overall performance.

Grip levels: Low. This is a street circuit, used just once a year, and it’s very slippery until some rubber gets laid down during practice. Drivers need to be wary of the negative camber, particularly at corner exit.

Run-off: Substantial, but mistakes are punished because there’s a mix of grass and gravel awaiting errant cars. Remember Martin Brundle flying through the air in his Jordan in ’96?

Watch out for…: Sunset. The 16:00hrs start (local time) means the sun gets low and into the drivers’ line of vision towards the end of the race.


Start time     16:00hrs local / 05:00hrs GMT

Race distance     58 laps (full world championship points will be awarded after 75 per cent distance/43.5 laps)

Safety Car likelihood     48 per cent, relatively high

When to press record     The start! The drivers haven’t raced for 15 weeks and some might be too anxious to get things underway. Remember 2003, when eight cars were eliminated in a pile-up at Turn One?

Don’t put the kettle on     When the race reaches laps in the early teens and late 30s. These were the two pitstop windows during last year’s race

Weather conditions now       27 degrees and sunny

Race forecast     19 degrees, patchy cloud. Being a coastal location, Melbourne’s weather can change quickly.

Tyre choices     Supersoft/Soft/Medium

- McLaren also photo


15.03.2016 / MaP

More News

McLaren Honda F1 drivers thoughts on Australian GP
2016 Australian Grand Prix - ALbert Park CircuitTHE DRIVERS ON: THE CIRCUIT#14 Fernando Alonso“It’s been a very long winter – the longest I can remember without Formula 1 – so I’m really looking forward to getting back in the car. This track is always exciting to drive, partly because of its street ci more >>
Melbourne: Showers possible during F1 Qualifying, dry conditions expected for race
Formula 1 Season 2016 with Weather Information from UBIMETIn 2016 UBIMET joins the Formula 1 season for the third time as the meteorological services provider to the FIA, delivering high-precision meteorolo more >>
Pirelli F1 Australian Grand Prix preview
AUSTRALIAN GRAND PRIX Formula1 Round one of 21Melbourne, 17-20 March 2016 A new season, with brand new tyre rules that are among the most revolutionary in recent history. The teams get more choice, which should lead to mor more >>
Mercedes AMG Petronas F1 Australian GP preview
The 2016 Formula One World Championship kicks off this weekend with the Australian Grand Prix from the Melbourne Grand Prix Circuit    Lewis: “There’s still more to come from me” more >>
Sauber F1 Team Australian GP preview
2016 Formula 1 Rolex Australian Grand Prix1st Round of the FIA Formula 1 World Championship, 17th to 20th March 2016The Sauber C35-Ferrari had an encouraging debut in Barcelona at the beginning of March. After the test days, more >>
Scuderia Toro Rosso F1 Australian GP preview
F1- Australian Grand-Prix at Albert Park Circuit 2016It’s finally here! The first race weekend of the 2016 season is almost upon us and we are looking forward to the car more >>
Sahara Force India F1 Australian GP preview
2016 Formula 1 Rolex Australian Grand Prix, Sahara Force India looks ahead to the start of the 2016 season in Melbourne’s Albert Park. Q&A with Vijay Mallya, Team Principal more >>
McLaren Honda F1 Team Australian GP preview
2016 Australian Grand Prix – preview  Round 1/21  from   18-20 March 2016  Circuit stats2015 winner: Lewis Hamilton 58 laps, 1:31:54.067s  2015 pole position: Lewis Hami more >>
Renault Sport F1 driver quotes ahead of Australian GP
F1 - Australian Grand-Prix 2016Jolyon Palmer: Looking forward‘I feel I’m in an OK position right now.’What is you more >>
Melbourne Techfile
Australian Grand Prix 2016Track notesThe fastest car in 2014 qualifying was 317kph, but it increased in 2015 to 329kph. In 2016 speeds have increased yet again, so watch the top speed figures for something impressive. more >>
Renault Sport F1 Australian GP preview
F1  2016 Australian Grand Prix 2016Cyril Abiteboul forewordWe have all the ingredients to have a bright future. Both Enstone and Viry have been building race-winning cars for over 20 years in Enstone’s case more >>
Williams Martini Racing F1 Australian GP preview
Australian Grand Prix  at Albert Park CircuitFormula 1 Round 1 of 2118-20 MARCH 2016 The traditional season-opener at the Albert Park Circuit in Melbourne is a fitting place to start the 2016 season. The part str more >>
Haas F1 Team driver quotes ahead of Australian Grand Prix
F1 Australian Grand-Prix 2016Albert Park CircuitRomain Grosjean, driver nr 8:Haas F1 Team tested at Barcelona for eight days over a 12-d more >>
Haas F1 Team Ready for Formula One Season Opener in Melbourne
Are they for real? That is the question many have asked about Haas F1 Team. The question first came in January 2014 when team founder and chairman Gene Haas responded to the FIA’s expression of interest. When the FIA granted Haas a Formu more >>
Australian Grand Prix Timetable 2016
Formula1  Australian Grand Prix 2016Melbourne, Albert Park CircuitTHURSDAY10:15   Gates open to public 10:20   Track Activity National Track Inspection10:30 - 10:50   Track Activ more >>
F1 Australian Grand Prix preview
This year the F1 teams had just eight days of running in which to prepare their cars for the season-opener in Australia, but who made the best use of the limited track time and who came up short? What shape are World Champions Mercedes in? And how about more >>
Selected tyre sets for Australian Grand Prix
Australian Grand Prix, March 18-20, 2016SELECTED SETS PER DRIVERPirelli announces the number of tyre sets and compound choices made by each driver for the Australian Grand Prix.        & more >>
Renault Sport F1 Australian race review
AUSTRALIAN GRAND PRIX RACE 2015  Infiniti Red Bull Racing’s Daniel Ricciardo opened his points’ scoring account in today’s Australian Grand Prix. The Australian finished the first race of the year in sixth position. Team more >>
MERCEDES AMG PETRONAS kicks off the 2015 season in style with a 1-2 finish
Australian Grand Prix •    Lewis Hamilton took his 34th career victory at Albert Park - his second in Australia and 13th for the Silver Arrows •    Nico Rosberg took second more >>
Pirelli F1 Australian GP race review
- Lewis Hamiltons wins race of attribition with a one-stop strategy- Most drivers top one, some choose a two-stopper- Wear and degradation extremely contained throughout 58-lap race: long stints on both medium and soft compoun more >>
Williams Martini Racing F1 Australian race
Australian Grand Prix Race•    Felipe Massa finished fourth in today’s Australian Grand Prix•    Starting in third and opting for a one-stop strategy, Felipe lost more >>
Sauber F1 Team Australian GP race review
Rolex Australian Grand Prix – Race – Sunday, 15.03.2015Weather: sunny and dry, 17-19°C air, 29-38°C trackFantastic start by the Sauber F1 Team into the new season: In the Australian Grand more >>
Infiniti Red Bull Racing F1 Australian race review
AUSTRALIAN GP – RACE Sunday 15 March 2015DANIEL RICCIARDO, Finish Position: 6th, Start Position: 7th“It wasn’t the most exciting race. After the start I was able to stay with Nasr, more >>
Scuderia Toro Rosso F1 Australian race review
2015 AUSTRALIAN GRAND PRIX – SUNDAY 15/03/2015 Carlos Sainz (STR10-04, Car 55)Race: Pos. 9th “I’m very pleased to have scored my first ever Formula 1 points in my debut race here in Melbourne! more >>
McLaren Honda F1 Racing Australian race review
2015 AUSTRALIAN GRAND PRIX  Albert Park Circuit, Sunday March 15“Finishing is a small victory”JENSON BUTTONMP4-30-01Started           &n more >>
Sahara Force India F1 Australian race review
2015 Formula One Rolex Australian Grand Prix, Race Albert Park CircuitSahara Force India scored seven points in today’s season-opening Australian Grand Prix with Nico Hulkenberg racing to seventh place and Sergio Perez picking up the final po more >>
Lotus F1 Team Australian GP race review
 2015 Australian GP, Sunday The cruel hand of fate dealt a bitter blow for Lotus F1 Team at the season-opening Australian Grand Prix with both cars out of the race by the end of the first lap. Pastor Maldonado was pit more >>
F1 Australian race result 2015
AUSTRALIAN Grand Prix 2015 - Albert Park Circuit1     Lewis Hamilton     GBR     Mercedes     1:31:54.067 & more >>
Statement from Williams: Update on Valtteri Bottas
During yesterday’s qualifying session for the Australian Grand Prix, Valtteri Bottas developed a back injury which the team felt necessary to be examined by the FIA Medical Delegate at the circuit. Following this, he was transfer more >>
Pirelli F1 Australian GP qualifying review
2015 Australian Grand Prix – Albert Park Circuit - Qualifying- Lewis Hamilton claims pole on P Zero soft tyres- Williams driver Valtteri Bottas the only non-Mercedes driver to get through Q1 with P Zero medium tyre more >>
Mercedes AMG Petronas F1 Australian qualifying
MERCEDES AMG PETRONAS claimed a front-row lockout for the season-opening Australian Grand Prix, with Lewis Hamilton on pole and Nico Rosberg second at Albert Park •    Pole position for Lewis marks t more >>
Williams Martini F1 Racing Australian qualifying
Australian Grand Prix QualifyingQualifying Notes •    Felipe Massa qualified third and Valtteri Bottas sixth for tomorrow’s Australian Grand Prix.•    more >>
Infiniti Red Bull Racing F1 Australian qualifying review
AUSTRALIAN GP – QUALIFYING  DANIEL RICCIARDO, Position: 7th, (3rd Practice – P15, 1:32.185)“We made progress through the session which is promising, it was so good to feel the car for once and push it pro more >>
Lotus F1 Team Australian qualifying review
 2015 Australian GP, Albert Park Circuit - Saturday Romain Grosjean and Pastor Maldonado will start tomorrow’s Australian Grand Prix from top ten grid positions after today’s qualifying for the first race of the season at A more >>
Sahara Force India F1 Australian Qualifying
2015 Formula One Rolex Australian Grand Prix, Qualifying Sahara Force India will line up in P14 and P15 for tomorrow’s Australian Grand Prix with Nico Hulkenberg ending today’s qualifying session in P14, just one thous more >>
McLaren Honda F1 Australian GP qualifying review
Australian Grand-Prix 2015 - Albert Park Circuit, Saturday March 14Tomorrow will be a tough day, but we’ll do our absolute bestJENSON BUTTONMP4-30-01FP317th     more >>
Scuderia Toro Rosso F1 Australian qualifying review
2015 AUSTRALIAN GRAND PRIX – SATURDAY 14/03/2015  Carlos Sainz (STR10-04, Car 55)Third Practice Session - Best lap: 1:29.869, pos. 9th, 19 lapsQualifying - Best lap: (Q1) 1:29.597, (Q2) 1:28.601, (Q3) 1 more >>
Sauber F1 Team Australian qualifying review
Rolex Australian Grand Prix – Qualifying – Saturday, 14.03.2015Weather: sunny/overcast and dry, 20-30°C air, 27-47°C trackThe first qualifying of the new season went well for the Sauber F1 Team in M more >>
F1 Australian GP qualifying result 2015
Australian Grand Prix 2015 - Albert Park Circuit1     Lewis Hamilton     Mercedes     1:28.586     1:26.894     1:26.327     16 more >>


2001-2023 full copyright