The history of the Australian Grand Prix


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The history of the Australian Grand Prix

The Australian Grand Prix dates back to 1928 and was one of the most iconic features of Australian motor sport. In 1985, the race was added to the Formula 1 calendar, putting this Australian classic on an international stagei.

The Australian Grand Prix was originally held at Phillip Island race course. Since being added to the Formula 1 calendar it has been held at the Adelaide Street Circuit and currently the race is hosted by Albert Park in Melbourne each year.

The most successful drivers over the 83 year history of the Australian Grand Prix are Australian Lex Davison and German Michael Schumacher, who have each won the race four timesii,iii . The most successful construction team is McLaren with an impressive eleven winsiv.

The Australian Grand Prix was only added to the Formula 1 championship in 1985 and is currently held at Albert Park, Melbourne.

Timeline of the Australian Grand Prix

Formula 1 comes to Australia

In 1985 the Australian Grand Prix became Australia's first official Formula 1 world championship race and moved to the Adelaide Street Circuit.

Since 1996 the first round of Formula 1 season has been held at Albert Park in Melbourne. The transition from Adelaide to Albert Park meant Australia made Formula 1 history by becoming the only country to host back to back Formula 1 races - the final 1995 round in Adelaide and the 1996 opening round in Melbournei.

Albert Park had previously been used for a non-Formula 1 Australian Grand Prix race in 1953viii. The current city-centre circuit is a medium-fast circuit with a length of 5.3 kilometres and a smooth road surfaceix. Its long curves, narrow roads and minimal straights don't allow much room for overtakingix, adding an extra challenge for the drivers and drawing comparisons to the famous Monaco tracki.

The McLaren team created controversy in the 1998 Albert Park race when David Coulthard let his teammate Mika Hakkinen win based on a mutual agreement. This practice of driving contrary to normal racing (team orders) was later banned in Formula 1i.

Despite it being our home turf, no Australian driver has ever won the Australian Formula 1 Grand Prix. In fact, the best result was a fourth place position to Mark Webber for Red Bull in 2012.

The Australian Grand Prix draws crowds of over 100,000 on race day.

The future of the race

The Victorian State Government doesn't guarantee that the race will remain in Melbourne after 2015 but the government is considering a three year contract to keep Formula 1 in Melbourne until 2018x. Despite the uncertain future, the Australian Grand Prix receives strong support across the world and drew a crowd of over 100,000 on race day 2013xi.



iESPN Sports Media Limited 2014, A history of the Australian Grand Prix, viewed 14 February 2014,
http://en.espnf1.com/f1/motorsport/page/2597.html

iiAustralian Grand Prix Corporation 2014, Question & Answer with Michael Schumacher, viewed 14 February 2014,
http://www.grandprix.com.au/news/question-answer-michael-schumacher

iiiAustralian Dictionary of Biography 2014, Davison, Alexander Nicholas (Lex) (1923-1965), viewed 14 February 2014,
http://adb.anu.edu.au/biography/davison-alexander-nicholas-lex-9922

ivMcLaren 2013, Australian Grand Prix - preview, viewed 14 February 2014,
http://www.mclaren.com/formula1/2013/Australian-Grand-Prix/2013-formula-1-rolex-australian-grand-prix-preview/

vWalsh S 2013, 'Aussie's landmark win at our first Grand Prix', Adelaide Now, 16 March, viewed 14 February 2014,
http://www.adelaidenow.com.au/sport/motor-sport/aussies-landmark-win-at-our-first-grand-prix/story-fne7fnti-1226598921107

viLomas G 2013, 'Flashback: The First Race Meeting at Mount Panorama', Speedcafe, 30 March, viewed 14 February 2014,
http://www.speedcafe.com/2013/03/30/flashback-the-first-race-meeting-at-mount-panorama/

viiF1 Tour 2014, Albert Park Grand Prix Circuit, viewed 14 February 2014,
http://www.f1tour.com/grand-prix/879-australia/circuit/

viiiGlobal Motor Sport 2014, An introduction to the Australian Grand Prix, viewed 14 February 2014,
http://www.globalmotorsport.net/f1/races/australia/

ixGlobal Motor Sport 2014, A guide to the Albert Park Grand Prix Circuit, viewed 14 February 2014,
http://www.globalmotorsport.net/f1/races/australia/circuit/

xRolfe P 2013, 'Reduced three-year contract offered to keep F1 Grand Prix in Melbourne', Adelaide Now, 22 November, viewed 14 February 2014,
http://www.adelaidenow.com.au/sport/motor-sport/reduced-threeyear-contract-offered-to-keep-f1-grand-prix-in-melbourne/story-fnii0ilc-1226766394253

xiAustadiums 2013, Motorsport: Australian F1 GP (d4), viewed 14 February 2014,
http://www.austadiums.com/sport/event.php?eventid=13488