The Melbourne Grand Prix circuit is a street circuit aound Albert Park lake just south of the business district of Melbourne. The course is considered fast but fairly easy for the drivers. The flat geography and lack of true staight sections make it quite difficult to overtake however on this circuit.
Turn 1 is an incredibly challenging, medium speed corner that catches several drivers out. It comes at the end of the first DRS zone but despite this it is not a prime overtaking spot. You brake just after the 100 metre board and shift down into third gear, then you accelerate as soon as you hit the exit kerb, keeping flat out round turn 2. It is important to gain a good exit, as the second DRS zone begins down the following straight. Turn 3 is the best overtaking place as you brake roughly 100 metres before the apex for the second gear corner. It is reasonably easy to outbrake a competitor and you can use either the inside or outside; turn 4 is a left-hander than comes immediately after so the outside of turn 3 gives the inside for four. Turn five is a flat-out right hander with high g-force, and turns six, seven and eight make up a difficult complex at the back of the circuit. Six has a very challenging braking-zone due to trees' shadows obscuring the view of parts of the track. It is even more difficult in the wet as you are unable to see and puddles that will be sitting on the circuit, making it easy to spin off. Turn seven is similar to turn two; a flat-out left-hander after a tricky right, then turn eight is a long, flat-out right-hander which drivers now take with DRS. Turns 9 and 10 make up a slow chicane, some would say a pointless chicane, that leads onto a short straight. You brake about eighty metres from turn nine and you need good traction to carry as much speed as you can out of ten. Turns 11 and 12 make up a challenging, high-speed, left-right chicane where drivers ride the kerbs, however too much kerb can upset the car's balance. Turn 13 can be used for overtaking but offline it can be quite dirty and slippery. Slipstreaming a car out of 12 can get them alongside another car, then braking late can get you down the inside of the third-gear right-hander. Turn 14 is an exciting right-hander that is taken in fifth-gear and requires a lift off the throttle. Turn 15 is the slowest point on the circuit and is a second-gear left-hander, and it is important to get a good exit from the near-flat-out turn 16 so you gain speed all the way down the pit straight.
The Pole Lap of Lewis Hamilton in the McLaren Mercedes MP4-23 at the first Grand Prix of the 2008 Season in Melbourne, Australia.
Sebastian Vettel has taken sole control of the Formula One World Championship after his victory at the Bahrain Grand Prix.
The Formula One circus rolls on to Bahrain this week for the third round of the championship.
Lewis Hamilton joined Sebastian Vettel at the summit of the Formula One championship with his victory at the Chinese Grand Prix.
Lewis Hamilton and his Mercedes team will arrive in Shanghai for the second round of the season trailing Ferrari following
Ferrari driver Sebastian Vettel saw off the challenge from Lewis Hamilton to win the season-opening Australian Grand Prix.
Formula One is back this weekend as Melbourne's Albert Park plays host to the season-opening Australian Grand Prix.
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