Melbourne mulling layout changes after securing new deal

ยฉ XPB 

Melbourne is considering a few changes to its Albert Park layout after securing the future of the Australian Grand Prix.

The event's promoters recently struck a deal with Formula 1 that guarantees Melbourne's presence on the calendar until 2025, a term that now allows for fresh investment in the venue, with a resurfacing of the track and perhaps a few tweaks to the layout to improve the show.

"It's important to get a return on investment in anything you do, and the ability to have that extra two years provides more certainty to do a couple of things," explained Aussie GP CEO Andrew Westacott.

"One [is] to look at the resurfacing. The drivers at the moment haven't said that it's needed. They wax and wane; sometimes it's the most imperative thing that they want to do, and other times they like the character of a street circuit.

"The other thing that it does, it allows us to have a look at the evolution of the track and look at what tweaks we can make given the physical limitations of a lake and a sports stadium and a pit building and other things.

The Albert Park circuit notoriously offers few opportunities for overtaking, a drawback that could be in part corrected by changing the fast Turn 11/12 sequence and replacing it with a slower corner providing a better chance of overtaking.

"We'll have a look at the evolution of the design and layout in particular areas to see whether we can tweak it," added Westacott.

Except for 2006 and 2010, when F1 kickstarted its season in Bahrain, the Australian Grand Prix has been the opening round of the F1 world championship for the past 23 years.

Westacott suggested the race will continue to enjoy its special status going forward.

"It's essentially part of the deal," he said.

"I won't go into individual wording in the contract, because we don't talk about the detail of the contract.

"But you heard Chase Carey come out and say the season essentially starts in Melbourne, it finishes in Abu Dhabi, you've got Monaco which has a place in the middle.

"And everything fits in around those starting points and finishing points."

Gallery: The beautiful wives and girlfriends of F1 drivers

Keep up to date with all the F1 news via Facebook and Twitter