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Australian GP track changes "dangerous" in places - Albon

Australian GP track changes "dangerous" in places - Albon

F1 News

Australian GP track changes "dangerous" in places - Albon

Australian GP track changes "dangerous" in places - Albon

Williams driver Alex Albon believes changes to the Albert Park circuit have put walls ‘dangerously’ close to the track in places.

The Australian Grand Prix venue has undergone a significant modification since F1 last raced in Melbourne in 2019 with corners widened and the track resurfaced, as well as the removal of the turn nine-10 chicane to create a high-speed middle sector..

Speaking to Sky Sports F1, Albon said: “[Turn two is] a quicker corner. If anything it actually makes turn two a proper corner now because we are arriving so much quicker coming out of one. I think we are a good 20-30kph quicker than in previous years.

“Turn two, as we’ve got this wall much closer, it requires some cojones. The trick around one and two is how much can you use in turn one and still make turn two. I think you will see the top teams using more track in turn one.

Addressing the new walls in places around the circuit, Albon added: “I’m not sure how I feel about [the pit exit walls].

"You can see these walls have been brought much closer this year and we have this even tighter wall. It’s actually quite dangerous, it can suck you in.

“Because our cars have so much downforce, we exit very early and we are right on the edge, crossing over. I think in qualifying it gets really marginal. You are really wincing and you’re hoping your front left doesn’t get taken off.

“[The final corner] is actually the worst one of the lot. I saw Checo [Sergio Perez] on one lap was millimetres away, and I feel like... don’t be surprised in qualifying – hopefully it’s not me – but there might be some corners ripped off.”

Albon – Overtaking will be done on the straights

The new layout includes four DRS zones, and Albon believes that this means much of the overtaking will be done on the straights, as opposed to deep in the braking zones.

“Turn six is quicker and in free practice it was easier to follow through there," Albon added.

"What I would say, though, is there are going to be overtakes done down the straight, not on the brakes.

“[Turn nine-10] is tricky. We can follow better, but the braking distance is really hard here, so if you are overtaking here you’ve done it way before. You can feel the weight, though. Direction change compared to before is much lazier. “

Albon predicts turn 11, which has been tightened up, is one that could lend to moves under braking and added: “They’ve done a good job here. I do feel like before it was too quick, you couldn’t brake late enough.

“It is a slower corner in itself, braking points come from a bit further away. There is a nasty inside kerb. I feel like you can do some late moves but at the same time, you are very vulnerable.

"If you go in too deep you are going to get taken on the way out.”

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