Sidepodcast - All for F1 and F1 for all

Australia 2011 - Race Information - Preparing for the first round of the new season in Melbourne

Published by Christine

The Australian Grand Prix is almost here, and Melbourne is gearing up to host the first round of the 2011 Formula One season. With an extended off season, it seems like an absolute age since we last saw those cars roaring round the track in anger, but the waiting is over and F1 is back!

Event schedule

We only have a few weeks of testing to go on when it comes to performance, and that hasn't exactly separated the fast from the slow in any conclusive way. What we do know is that Red Bull and Ferrari have both seemed super confident so far this year, whilst McLaren have admitted they may not be right up to speed just yet - but they are working on it as fast as ever they can.

The midfield looks the same as in 2010, although Mercedes and Sauber could be moving forward, whilst Toro Rosso don't seem to be making any headway on their pace. Lotus still appear the best of the new teams, whilst HRT have struggled throughout the winter, and have not yet managed to test their 2011 car. It will make the first appearance out on track in Free Practice on Friday.

In terms of drivers, we've seen hundreds of tweets over the winter with training updates - thousands of kilometres completed, swimming, running, and cycling. With the additional KERS weight back in the cars, it's up to the drivers to be fit as a fiddle again. Glock had a minor setback last month with a quick visit to hospital for appendix removal, but he's been well on the way to recovery for weeks.

Most importantly, for those in the UK, don't forget that the clocks go forward an hour early on Sunday morning, so the race begins at 7am.

Session Timetable
DateDaySessionTime (GMT)Time (Local)
25 MarchFridayFree Practice 101:3012:30
Free Practice 205:3016:30
26 MarchSaturdayFree Practice 303:0014:00
27 MarchSundayGrand Prix06:00 (07:00 GMT+1)17:00

Support racing for this event includes V8 Supercars and the Carrera Cup.

The weather

The long range weather forecasts have been predicting showers for a while now, but it looks as though it will be clear for the race. As we edge ever closer to the start of the weekend, the clouds look like they'll clear and the sun will come out. With new tyres and varying temperatures, it could be a difficult weekend.


Albert Park, Friday


  • Low 14℃
  • Humidity 53%

Light rain showers


Albert Park, Saturday


  • Low 12℃
  • Humidity 83%



Albert Park, Sunday


  • Low 10℃
  • Humidity 78%

Sunny intervals

Circuit Map

Albert Park Circuit Map
Albert Park Circuit MapCredit: FIA

The circuit

Circuit Data
NameAlbert Park
TimezoneGMT +1100
First Race1996
Length5.303 km
Distance307.574 km
Start / Finish Offset0.000 km

With the Bahrain Grand Prix off the calendar for this year, Australia has to step up and launch us into the 2011 season in style. Albert Park is made up of mostly public roads so the circuit starts out in terrible condition. As the cars start circling, the grip levels will improve, but sometimes there is no noticeable change until qualifying gets underway.

As the race is pushed back to evening for European audience benefit, a long Grand Prix could see glare become an issue as the sun sets. Drivers need to be precise around the 5k circuit, and braking is of paramount concern when it comes to setup.

Australian fans can cheer on Mark Webber as he winds his way around the track, although he's never been particularly lucky at his home race. The atmosphere is always electric in Australia, and it's the best place to kick the season off in style.

2010 Results
Free Practice 1Robert KubicaRenault1:26.927Live / Results
Free Practice 2Lewis HamiltonMcLaren1:25.801Live / Results
Free Practice 3Mark WebberRed Bull1:24.719Live / Results
QualifyingSebastian VettelRed Bull1:23.919Live / Results
Grand PrixJenson ButtonMcLaren1:33:36.531Live / Results
Fastest LapMark WebberRed Bull1:28.358

Tyre compounds

Hard and soft compounds
Hard and soft compoundsCredit: Pirelli

Press conference schedule

Official press conferences are organised by the FIA and happen four times during the weekend. The qualifying and post race press conferences will take place after the television unilateral interviews.

Press Conference Schedule
DayTime (Local)AttendeeRepresenting
Thursday15:00Fernando AlonsoFerrari
Narain KarthikeyanHispania
Kamui KobayashiSauber
Pastor MaldonadoWilliams
Mark WebberRed Bull
Friday18:30Nick HeidfeldRenault
Sergio PérezSauber
Sebastian VettelRed Bull
Paul di RestaForce India
Jérôme D'AmbrosioVirgin Racing
SaturdayPost qualifyingThree fastest drivers
SundayPost raceFirst three finishing drivers

Race stewards

The FIA stewarding process was changed last year to include a former F1 driver to give added insight. These are the stewards overseeing this weekend's action.

F1 Stewards
Johnny HerbertFormer F1 Driver and 1991 Le Mans Winner
Paul GutjahrPresident of the FIA Hill Climb Commission
Steve StringwellChairman of the RAC MSA Judicial Panel

All content in the series Australia 2011