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Melbourne High on F1 Centre Stage

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Posted on March 29, 2023 Tags:



Albert Park a Special Venue

Images courtesy Pirelli.com, Oracle Red Bull

MELBOURNE’S ALBERT PARK CIRCUIT this weekend hosts one of the highlight events on the jam-packed 2023 Formula One calendar as one of the planet‘s most watched motorsport spectacles takes control of the vibrant city.

Over the years I’ve been exceptionally fortunate to have attended a half dozen memorable times and it has never failed to impress – Melbourne is, after all, one of the world’s great venues with a sporting culture on a par with the very best.

It’s a true home race for Oscar Piastri, the young McLaren driver born in Melbourne – not far from Albert Park. Other Australian drivers to go before him in Formula 1 include Jack Brabham, Alan Jones, my old mate Tim Schenken, Mark Webber, and Perth’s Daniel Ricciardo.

No doubt Daniel, Oracle Red Bull reserve driver, will be front and centre, around the paddock as popular an attraction and figurehead as he ever was. It’ll warm my ageing heart to see the Western Australian superstar back where he belongs.

From Beaches to Outback: Ricciardo tours Australia on F1 Road Trip

Meanwhile our Daniel has just completed an extraordinary road trip through the Aussie outback in the championship-winning Red Bull Racing RB7 F1 car and beyond, ending up with Supercars ace Shane Van Gisbergen at Bathurst.

You’ll be hearing a great deal more about this amazing journey, which also featured Aussie racing experts Toby Price, Daniel Sanders, and aerobatic pilot Matt Hall.

And you can check out the latest video here on the ACM Home Page. Please take the time to watch it – it’s as good as it get!

“After my first Red Bull Racing Road Trip in San Francisco, I’ve always wanted the opportunity to do this in Australia,” said Daniel.

“To be back home, taking the RB7 across the Aussie outback, and sharing the best Australia has to offer with the world; what better way to celebrate my first F1 event at home since returning to Oracle Red Bull Racing.”

Image courtesy GRAHAM MURRAY, Red Bull Content Pool.

Albert Park could top 340kph

The FIA has confirmed four DRS zones at Albert Park. So this year could feature the fastest top speeds ever seen in Melbourne which in theory – according to Pirelli’s F1 director Mario Isola – could well reach 340kph.

And with the Melbourne weather always a tad dodgy this time of the year, that could make things really interesting!

The Albert Park street circuit was resurfaced in 2022 with some metallic elements included in the aggregate, improving the grip from the tyres. The asphalt is smoother than other tracks on the championship, with peak grip only achieved after several sessions of on-track running.

Not to put a dampener on the stellar event, but the expected weather is hardly clement with the chance of rain forecast to spice up the drama.

Melbourne, Australia

                


Gates Open 9.30 Thursday

Regardless, Melbourne boasts its biggest-ever schedule of on-track action lakeside at Albert Park with four jam-packed days of racing that includes the Porsche Carrera Cup, Supercars, Formula 3®, Formula 2®, and Formula 1®.

https://www.grandprix.com.au/schedule/track


The C2 is the P Zero White Hard, C3 the P Zero Yellow Medium and C4 the P Zero Red Soft for the Australian Grand Prix.

The energy demands on the tyres at the Australian Grand Prix are about average for the season, with contained levels of abrasion.

The new layout inaugurated last year favours overtaking, especially in the second sector.

A car setup biased towards traction can be particularly helpful on the exit of corners to increase the chance of a successful overtaking move on the circuit’s short straights.

The Australian Grand Prix has traditionally opened the championship since it moved from Adelaide to Melbourne in 1996.

This was the case until 2019, with the only exceptions being 2006 and 2010, when the first Grand Prix of the year took place in Bahrain.

The 2020 and 2021 races were cancelled due to the Covid pandemic, before Melbourne returned to the championship last year as round three, after the two opening races in the Middle East.


“More options for the race thanks to the compound choices in Melbourne”

“We’ve made the same tyre choice as we did back in 2019 for the Australian Grand Prix.

“Following a two-year absence from the calendar due to the Covid pandemic, we went for a gap in the nominated compounds last year: selecting the C2, C3 and then the softest C5 compound.

“That race was a one-stopper won by Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc, with all the teams using the hard and the medium tyre, while the soft was just used for qualifying.

“This weekend, the teams will have the C2, C3, and C4 at their disposal, which means that they have more options for the race in terms of strategy: on paper at least.

“We’re expecting a high degree of track evolution throughout the weekend, as is normally the case in Melbourne, while the energy demands on the tyres are about average for the season.

“It’s a flowing track with corners that are faster following last year’s modifications, which benefit overtaking as well as the overall spectacle.”

Mario Isola – Motorsport Director


Formula 2

AUSSIE JACK DOOHAN currently sits 6th after Bahrain and Jeddah and is set to show what he has to his home crowd, as both Formula 2 and Formula 3 are racing in Australia for the first time. Campos Racing’s Ralph Boschung comes to Melbourne as championship leader – but the Swiss driver is closely followed by Théo Pourchaire (ART Grand Prix) and Jeddah Sprint Race winner Ayumu Iwasa (DAMS), with just three points covering the top three. Pirelli has nominated the P Zero Yellow medium and P Zero Red soft for Formula 2 in Australia.

Formula 3

ANOTHER AUSSIE, TOMMY SMITH needs vast improvement to catch up to Brazilian Gabriel Bortoleto who top the standings on 26 points after the opening round in Sakhir, heading his team mate Oliver Goethe by just three points. Trident consequently leads the teams’ championship ahead of Prema Racing. The F3 compound nominated for Melbourne is the P Zero White.


Formula E

Jaguar Scores Treble

Image courtesy FormulaE.com

SÃO PAULO, Brazil. Sat. 25 Mar. 2023 – KIWI MITCH EVANS has claimed the first win of the season for Jaguar TCS Racing in the first-ever ABB FIA Formula E World Championship race in Brazil.

Brit Sam Bird joined teammate Evans on the podium with third place in the 2023 Julius Baer São Paulo E-Prix, while Envision Racing’s Nick Cassidy clinched second place putting a prowl of three Jaguar powertrains on the podium.

Evans led home a one-two-three for Jaguar powertrain, with the trio finishing just half a second apart to close out an enthralling inaugural E-Prix in front of more than 23,000 passionate motorsport fans.

Cassidy is sitting a handy 3rd on current standings, with Bird 6th and Evans 9th. German Pascal Wehrlein has his TAG Heuer Porsche leading the championship well ahead of the field heading into the Berlin E-Prix April 22.

It was a flat-out push to the finish at the rapid 11-turn São Paulo Street Circuit, with Evans managing to navigate his way through constant position changes through the pack to take the chequered flag first from third on the grid. He took the initiative and the race lead from his compatriot Cassidy, as the race headed into laps added-on following multiple safety car incidents.


MotoGP

Francesco Aces Portimão

REIGNING CHAMP FRANCESCO BAGNAIA (above) took first honours of 2023 for his Ducati Lenovo Team in the landmark MotoGP™ first-ever Tissot Sprint at the Grande Prémio TISSOT de Portugal.

It was an epic last lap battle for the Italian around the Portimão Circuit with Prima Pramac Racing’s Jorge Martin finishing second, and Marc Marquez securing third place points for his Repco Honda Team in the first ever Tissot Sprint.  

https://www.motogp.com/en/gp-results


ARC Launceston

Winners are Grinners

Image courtesy DMAC Photography

Lewis Bates and Anthony McLoughlin – ARC’s reigning champions – have won the recent Bosch Motorsport Australia Rally Championship’s season opener, the Buckby ŠKODA Rally Launceston.

Nathan Quinn and Ray Winwood-Smith bounced back from a difficult start to their campaign to steer their Hyundai i20 G4 to the Heat 2 win.

Starting the round with a victory in Heat 1, Lewis and McLoughlin faced some challenges on Sunday but still managed to finish Heat 2 in third place and top spot in the EROAD Power Stage, earning the overall round victory in their Toyota GR Yaris AP4.

Finishing Sunday’s heat in second place behind Quinn and Winwood-Smith were Luke Anear and Malcolm Read in the AGI Rallysport prepared Skoda Fabia R5.

Capping off his weekend with a third place on the EROAD Power Stage, Anear also managed to secure second on the outright round podium behind Lewis and McLoughlin.


IF YOU’RE INTO an inexpensive family-friendly weekend of motorsport, then pencil in April 15 and 16.

Join the excitement at Wanneroo’s CarCo.com.au Raceway for Round 2 of the State Championships featuring Sports Sedans, Sports Cars and WA Muscle Cars 100k plate.

Whether you’re a seasoned racer or a motorsport enthusiast, this two-day event promises to be a thrilling experience. Don’t miss out on seeing some of the best drivers and cars in Western Australia, on a great race track.

And it’s just $10 a car-load!

Saturday, 15 April

– Excel Cup

– Formula Vee

– Sports Sedans / Sport Cars / WA Muscle Cars

– FSR

– Free Formula

Sunday, 16 April

– HQ Holden

– Formula Ford

– Production Cars / Improved Production / Street Cars

– Saloon Cars

– Historic Touring Cars

– Time Challenge


EDITED by AC

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