Australian Grand Prix: A Special Effort

The first team group set off for Australia last Friday and the last members will arrive mid-week. Such a long trip, 16,000 kilometres and a whole day travelling, takes a bit of planning, especially as it’s the first of the season. In fact, the team is actually “operational” at the track as from Wednesday. When F1 raced in Adelaide, also a street circuit, but a much shorter and slower one, the Australian Grand Prix usually marked the end of the season. Now, Melbourne is the curtain raiser to the year and in the modern era, the race has been held here since 1996. But the Albert Park circuit was used back in the Fifties. The atmosphere, the lawned areas, the smell of the eucalyptus trees and the charm of the city, meant that it was an immediate hit with the general public and those working in the sport. One could almost forget that, back in the 19th Century, before the artificial lake was created, the area was used as…a landfill site for waste.

On the technical front, the track has some unusual features, especially when it comes to its surface, given that it’s a semi-permanent circuit. It features a plentiful mix of braking, quick sections and some tighter parts, which mean that good traction is a must. Even on the other side of the world, Scuderia Ferrari feels at home, given that the Italian community is second only in size to the Anglo-Saxon one in this town and in fact, immigration has picked up again in recent years. It’s not unusual for us to find ourselves accosted in our own language, but Melbourne is also a cosmopolitan and multi-cultural city, with plenty to enjoy for those who have the time…

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