Australian Grand Prix: Melbourne Grand Prix Circuit

Melbourne Grand Prix Circuit
Melbourne Grand Prix Circuit (NilsV /

The Melbourne Grand Prix Circuit is one of the most iconic tracks on the F1 map. It’s the traditional curtain raisers to the F1 season, so plays an integral role in making sure the season gets off to a bang.

Located in Melbourne, Australia, the track is one of few remaining that are still street circuits, which means that when the grand prix isn’t taking place, members of the public are able to freely drive around, visiting their favourite parts of the track. As a result, it’s turned into a huge tourist attraction, even in the off season. 

As it’s based in Melbourne, with the race taking place usually at the back end of March, the weather is usually set fine as it coincides with the Australian autumn. Whilst there have been many grumbles about a proposed tack over to switch the grand prix to Sydney (seemingly on a yearly basis), the track has recently signed a deal to host the event until 2023, putting to bed any of those claims. 


Swap Start/End

Circuit Info

Location Length Corners Capacity Year Opened
Melbourne 5.303km 16 80,000 1953

Circuit Layout

F1 Melbourne Grand Prix Circuit Track Map

The track runs throughout Albert Park, which has a small lake running through the middle of the park. It makes for some fantastic viewing points throughout the race and even thought the park is closed to visitors during grand prix weekend, the crowds still flock through the doors. The park averages almost 300,000 people throughout the week, with over 100,000 in attendance on race day.

What’s impressive about the set up is that the course is only a few miles to the south the Central Business district in Melbourne. It’s almost serene in its surroundings, meaning that you feel as though you’re in the country side within the park, but with the contrasting back drop of the Melbourne skyline. 

The track itself measures 5.303km and is regarded as one of the fastest tracks in the game at the minute. The relatively smooth road surface and lack of huge problems for the cars in terms of tyre wear mean that drivers are really able to push the cars to the limit, often causing for some exciting races. 

But, the downside to the track is that there aren’t an awful lot of overtaking spots on throughout the course, meaning that strategy plays a huge role in successful races at Melbourne. The proximity to the water and generally close-knit layout of the course means that visitors can sometimes be hampered with their view, unless getting in to one of the prestigious grandstands dotted around the course, offering unrivalled views. 

Recent Winners

YearDriverCarFastest Lap
2017 Sebastian Vettel Ferrari 1.26.638
2016 Nico Rosberg Mercedes 1.30.557
2015 Lewis Hamilton Mercedes 1.30.945
2014 Nico Rosberg Mercedes 1.32.47
2013 Kimi Raikonen Lotus-Renault 1.30.03

Other Racing at Melbourne Grand Prix Circuit

2008 MotoGP Race at Melbourne
2008 MotoGP Race at Melbourne (Skogas /

Whilst Formula 1 plays a huge role in the existence of Melbourne Park, there are plenty of other racing opportunities throughout the year. The fact that the park is essentially a public place means that these races can sometimes feel limited however. 

That being said, the likes of the Super Championship, Melbourne 400, Australian Drivers’ Championship, Australian Tourist Trophy and the Ferrari Challenge Asia-Pacific are all huge events taking place at the track.

Whilst the layout of the track will remain largely untouched for most of the races compared to that of the F1 circuit, there are a few corners which need to be adjusted, mainly for the supercar races. The inclusion of grandstands is also limited for the smaller events, but some argue that this actually improves vantage points as you’re able to see more of the track. 


Albert Lake
Albert Lake (NilsV /

Racing at Albert Park dates back as far as 1953. The track as we know it today is slightly shorter than it was back then, offering up a 5.03 km racing circuit. The track is famed for being the only Australian race circuit to host the Australian Grand Prix in both World Championship and non-World championship format. The older track used to run anti-clockwise to what it does now and totally changes the dynamics of the raceway as we see it today. 

Albert Park

The Formula 1 moved to Melbourne in 1996 and from there it’s been here where the majority of races have been held. But, the decision to move the race to Melbourne was met with mixed responses, mainly due to the noise pollution and the fact that the Park was essentially going to be used as a playground for just a single week of the year.  

But, the city argued otherwise and essentially got their wish to host the Formula One there. It was thought that the fact that Melbourne had missed out on the Olympics in 2000 with Sydney being awarded the host city status, made them even more determined to make sure that they were able to secure the meeting from Adelaide. 

Since 2004 Albert Park and Melbourne have hosted the Australian Grand Prix. But, visitor numbers have been dwindling over the years and whilst still healthy, there is much debate about whether Albert Park and more specifically, Melbourne, will continue past their current deal set to expire in 2023.  

The key difference between the hosting of Melbourne and the switch from Adelaide was the time of year. Adelaide used to almost always host the final Grand Prix of the year, but now Melbourne is famed for hosting for the first Grand Prix of the year. 

Famous Racers at the Track

As a result of this, Albert Park has been the host and debut drive for a lot of the worlds best motor racers. These include Jacques Villeneuve, Fernando Alonso, Kimi Raikonen, Lewis Hamilton and Australian driver, Mark Webber, to name just a few. 

Webber’s debut race was probably one of the most dramatic at the circuit, coming in 2002. Moments after the race had started, Rubens Barrichello and Ralf Schumacher collided at the first corner. The collision would then go to wipe out 11 of the 22 cars that started the race. Whilst Ralf’s brother, Michael went on to win and dominate the race, it was Webber who grabbed the headlines, as the local boy managed to secure 5thposition in his debut race.