The Australian Grand Prix Corporation has confirmed modifications to the Albert Park venue have been completed ahead of F1's much-anticipated return after a three-year absence.
F1 has not raced in Melbourne since 2019 after the 2020 event suffered a late postponement before it was eventually cancelled as the coronavirus pandemic took its grip that year. Further restrictions prevented F1 from visiting last season.
Determined to stage this year's event and in a bid to provide more of a spectacle, the AGPC has resurfaced the track for the first time since the sport debuted in Melbourne in 1996, while numerous corners have been widened and reprofiled to improve the racing.
Speaking to Speedcafe, AGPC CEO Andrew Westacott said: “The intent of the changes are to make the racing more exciting.
"There was a criticism that Formula 1 would come to town and they would love everything about Melbourne from an infrastructure point of view, the industry, the hotels, the accommodation, the restaurants, the vibe they get from the town and the fact that the circuit is only four and a half km away from the CBD [central business district].
“But they always came and said that you’ve got to do a little bit to get a bit more overtaking.
“The track had never been resurfaced in the 25 years since it was put down in 1995 before the first race in 1996.
"Rather than just putting down the same asphalt surface, we decided we would make some changes within the limitations of what we have got with having a lake, having sports fields, having infrastructure like a sports and aquatics centre and having some football stadiums.
“So what we did was make subtle changes to camber, to the asphalt mix, the widening of some corners. We took out a chicane and also widened the pit lane.
“So the combination of the sum of the parts is designed to introduce more tyre strategy, hopefully getting more tyre deg with the more aggressive asphalt mix and also, hopefully, make for more overtaking.
“The proof is going to be with the new-spec cars in 2022 on the eighth of April when they’re out there in FP1.”