A lap of Albert Park with Wurz
Honda test driver Alex Wurz describes a lap of the Albert Park circuit, home of the Australian GP.
"I love the Aussies. They are very friendly and open-minded, and they just love it when the grand prix comes to town. The racetrack is in a park, so it's a mix of public roads and permanent racetrack," said Wurz.
It's only used once a year, which creates an extra challenge for the teams because the grip level is always changing. The track is usually four or five seconds quicker in the race than it is in free practice, which means you're always reacting to it with the set-up. It's quite difficult to stay on top of it.
"As for the circuit, you approach the first corner in seventh gear, at about 300kph. It's a very bumpy braking area, so you have to make sure you're not over doing it. Turns 3, 4 and 5 make up a flowing part of the circuit: Turn 3 is taken in second gear and the next left and right are challenging and quite fast.
"Turn 6 should be almost flat - if you have a good car - before you're hard on the brakes for a chicane. A long right-hander follows before you come to another second gear chicane. It's quite a difficult braking area because we arrive at 300kph, but you're quickly on the throttle again and powering past the lake, through a long, bumpy left-hander.
"Then there's the high-speed chicane at Turns 11 and 12. It's a really nice part of the circuit, particularly as the level of grip increases. We drive through it at a minimum speed of 220kph and the rear gets a bit light, so it's a good challenge for the car and it certainly keeps you awake in the cockpit!
"Then you come to the last sector. The last two corners look a bit Mickey Mouse, but there's a lot of lap time to be gained there. As you arrive at the penultimate corner, you have to stay really calm and get your braking point just right. Then it's a matter of carrying as much speed as you can out of the last corner and over the start-finish line."