Australian Grand Prix officials have widened the pit lane at Melbourne's Albert Park, while a resurfacing of the circuit is also under consideration ahead of this season's new November race slot.
Since the maiden race in 1996, the pit lane has remained unaltered, which in recent times has led to a speed limit restriction of 60kph.
But Australian Grand Prix Corporation CEO Andrew Westacott has revealed the pit lane has been increased in width by two metres, achieved by the removal of a grass verge, allowing the pit wall to now sit along the edge of the track on the main straight.
The alterations could result in the FIA increasing the pit lane speed limit to 80kph, which could have ramifications for the teams with regard to race strategy if a pit stop can be conducted in a much quicker time than was previously the case.
“Since the track was put down and the pit lane was configured back in – I suppose the drawings were done ’94, ’95 for the first race in 1996 – cars have got a lot longer,” Westacott told Speedcafe.com.
“So we’ve widened it by taking a little bit out of the verge on the drivers’ right [while on track]. We’ve widened the pit lane by two metres.”
This year's race is scheduled to take place on November 21, eight months after it was originally due to open the calendar on March 21, only to be delayed due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
Resurfacing work was set to be carried out after the March race, but Westacott has suggested there is now time for it to be done ahead of the new date.
“What the deferral and moving the event back to November does is really allows us to have a good look at taking advantage of this window of time and getting the work done,” Westacott said.
“We always wanted to try and do it post this year’s event. Well, it now might be pre this year’s event given that it’s a November event rather than a March event.”