The Melbourne Grand Prix Circuit is a street circuit around Albert Park Lake, only a few kilometres south of central Melbourne. It is used annually as a racetrack for the Australian Grand Prix and associated support races.
During the 9 months of the year when the track is not required for Grand Prix preparation or the race weekend, most of the track can be driven by ordinary street-registered vehicles either clockwise or anti-clockwise. Only the sections between turns 3, 4 and 5, then 5 and 6, differ significantly from the race track configuration. Turn 4 is replaced by a car park access road running directly from turns 3 to 5. Between turns 5 and 6, the road is blocked. It is possible to drive from turn 5 on to Albert Road and back on to the track at turn 7 though two sets of lights control the flow of this option. The only set of lights on the actual track are half-way between turns 12 and 13 where drivers using Queens Road are catered for. The chicanes at turns 11 and 12 is considerably more open than that used in the grand prix, using the escape roads. Turn 9 is also a car park and traffic is directed down another escape road.
The speed limit is generally 50 kilometres per hour (31 mph) which is slower than an F1 car under pit lane speed restrictions. Some short sections have a speed limit of 40 kilometres per hour (25 mph). The back of the track, turns 7 to 13 inclusive, is known as Lakeside Drive. Double lines separate the two-way traffic along most of Lakeside Drive with short road islands approximately every 50 metres. This means overtaking is illegal here. Approximately 50% of the track edge is lined with short parkland-style chain-linked fencing leaving normal drivers less room for error than F1 drivers have during race weekend. There is however substantial shoulder room between the outside of each lane and the fencing.
Major Events: Formula One
Australian Grand Prix
Australian Drivers' Championship
Australian Tourist Trophy
Length: 5.303 km (3.295 mi)
Lap Record: 1:24.125 (Michael Schumacher, Ferrari, 2004)
Length: 5.027 km (3.124 mi)
Lap Record: 1:50.0 (Stirling Moss, Cooper–Climax, 1958, Formula Libre)