Melbourne Track Guide | Sector 2 | F1 2021

Most well known as the F1 season opener, Melbourne's venue is a temporary racetrack that follows the roads around the scenic Albert Park. The circuit can be quite bumpy as it is not a purpose-built race facility. The track requires a good chassis to cope with corners like the rapid Turn 11-12 chicane. The grass and barriers are never too far away so it can be easy to find yourself in a bit of trouble. After being missing from the 2021 calendar due to the pandemic, it returns in 2022, however, not as the season opener.

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Sector 2 of Albert Park has changed in 2022, particularly Turns 9 and 10. In this guide, we will focus on the pre-2021 layout which is in the game. This layout is slower and requires braking instead of the new flat-out sweepers.

Turn 6: Entry

Cutting across the kink in the track for the shortest route towards Turn 6, get back over to the left side. Again, there is no entry kerb here so be careful not to clip the grass.

Stay in 7th gear rather than shifting up to 8th to save a short unnecessary gear change. Wait until the steering is straight before braking after the gap in the wall but before 50m board, then turn in as you get to the board.

Turn 6: Apex

After braking straight initially, turn in late and trailbrake into Turn 6 with speed. Cut almost all of the apex kerb for the highest minimum speed and the best run out.

Use 4th gear at the kerb and get back on the power after leaving the kerb - since you will be very unstable on the grass and raised concrete.

Turn 7

Continue the momentum you are carrying towards the exit - which becomes Turn 7. Aim to reach full throttle before your car gets to the kerb to ensure the rear is settled before running it.

Use as little steering as you can to maintain a smooth flow and avoid scrubbing the front tyres (which could overheat them).

Run out all the way onto the exit kerb for the highest minimum speed through the corner. Both the grass and the track limits lines are your boundary so don't overstep them. Shift up to 5th gear whilst the car is stable on the kerb.

Turn 8

There is not much to say about Turn 8, other than keep the steering input delicate and small, staying as close as you can to the inside line without clipping the grass. Stay flat and shift from 6th to 7th gear mid-corner.

Turn 9: Entry

The 2021 Turn 9 involves braking, this is not the case in the 2022 layout, which is flat out.

On the approach to Turn 9 in 2021, stay in 7th gear and get back over to the left for another kerbless entry - stay off the grass! Use the gap in the barrier to guide your braking, holding the wheel straight as you brake firmly.

Come mostly off the brakes before turning into the apex to help the front tyres focus on one thing at a time.

Turn 9: Apex

At the apex of Turn 9, it is important to get the right tyre in the ideal spot on the kerb. Too much to the right and the big sausage kerb will unsettle the rear of the car. Too much to the left and you are leaving time on the table. The aim should be to get the tyre to brush the side of the sausage but not ride on top of it.

As you ride the first kerb, avoid using any pedals as this could make the car twitchy. Instead, wait until the car comes off the kerb to put the power down. Use the kerb itself to help to rotate the car.

Downshift from 7th to 3rd gear for the kerb and then short-shift on exit as you run wide towards the exit kerb.

Turn 10: Apex

Turn 10 follows immediately as the exit to T9. To maximise the speed out onto the straight to follow, make use of all of the kerb. Again, the limit is the grass and the white lines so both boundaries should be respected.

As you exit T9, build the throttle cautiously as you are turning and aim to reach about 75% before holding it constant to take the T10 kerb. Whilst going flat is possible, the kerb may send you into the shadow realm -> the wall.

To reduce the chances of this you can open up the steering early in the acceleration phase to allow the downforce to build and then turn in more once the downforce is higher and the car is off the kerb. Additionally, short-shift to 4th gear before the kerb and then maintain 4th until you are off the kerb.

Turn 10: Exit

Exiting Turn 10 is all about pushing the limits of the wall without getting it horribly wrong. Understeering and oversteering into the wall on this one are easy mistakes so make sure to treat it with respect.

Get to full throttle soon after coming off the apex kerb, shift to 6th gear and continue to use full throttle around the kink until you get to T11. Take the shortest route on the inside as you head around the curve.

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