Get the most out of your trackside experience at Albert Park for the 2021 Australian Grand Prix on March 18-21, the first race of the new Formula 1 season.
Information below will be updated when the schedule is available for the 2021 Australian Grand Prix.
Albert Park Access & Orientation
Eight gates provide access to the track for fans throughout the weekend. All gates are free to enter for all ticket holders with the exception of Gate 1, where you need a grandstand ticket to enter. Confusingly, gates are numbered 1 to 5 and 8 to 10 (there are no gates 6 and 7) – see map below. Most gates are located close to public transport and the majority of trams heading to the circuit on race weekend are free.
You are not allowed to bring alcohol into the circuit. Glass bottles and containers are also prohibited and your bag will be searched. Non-alcoholic drinks in plastic bottles can only be brought into the circuit if they are unopened. General Admission ticket holders are also allowed to bring folding chairs and stools into the circuit. Don’t be in a hurry to leave the circuit at the end of each day, particularly on Saturday and Sunday, as there can be big queues to leave via popular gates, as well as heavily congested public transport. Read Getting There & Around for more information on how to get to the circuit.
Formula 1 Action in Melbourne
There is no on-track Formula 1 action on Thursday. The F1 cars hit the track for the first practice session (FP1) at midday on Friday. Since 2009, the Melbourne event has run on a ‘twilight schedule’ to allow more fans around the world (particularly in Europe) the opportunity to watch the action at a more suitable time.
Australian Grand Prix Support Categories
- The main non-F1 draw on track in Australia are the Australian Supercars, a hugely popular local touring car series. The ‘tin top’ racing is super competitive and many local fans are just as interested in the V8 Supercars as Formula 1. This year, there will be four races over the course of the weekend, plus practice and qualifying sessions.
- S5000, the newest and fastest open-wheel category in Australia, will be in action with four races over the weekend. Ex-F1 star Rubens Barichello has been confirmed to compete.
- The TCR Asia Pacific series for touring cars will stage the opening rounds of the new championship in Melbourne this year
- Also in action will be the one-make Porsche Carrera Cup Australia in which 24+ identical 911 GT3 Cup cars will stage four short races over the weekend
Other highlights of the on-track schedule at the 2020 Australian Grand Prix include demonstrations of historic cars and Ferraris. As always, the F1 drivers gather for a season-opening photograph and parade around the track on Sunday afternoon before the race.
The schedule from the 2020 Australian Grand Prix is reproduced below for information purposes.
- 09:15-20:00 Gates open
- 10:30-10:50: S5000 Practice #1
- 11:25-11:45: TCR Asia Pacific Cup Practice #1
- 11:55-12:25: Supercars Practice #1
- 12:35-12:55: Porsche Carrera Cup Practice #1
- 13:05-13:25: Historics Demo
- 13:35-14:05: Supercars Practice #2
- 14:15-14:35: TCR Asia Pacific Cup Practice #2
- 15:10-15:30: S5000 Qualifying
- 15:40-16:00: Porsche Carrera Cup Qualifying
- 16:10-16:40: Supercars Qualifying #1 & #2
- 16:50-17:10: TCR Asia Pacific Cup Qualifying
- 17:20-18:05: Porsche Carrera Cup Race #1
- 08:45-20:00: Gates open
- 09:10-09:30: Historics Demo
- 09:40-10:00: TCR Asia Pacific Race #1
- 10:10-10:40: Supercars Qualifying 3 & 4
- 10:50-11:15: S5000 Race #1
- 12:00-13:30: Formula 1 Free Practice 1 (FP1)
- 13:50-14:40: Supercars Race #1
- 14:55-15:20: Porsche Carrera Cup Race #2
- 16:00-17:30: Formula 1 Free Practice 2 (FP2)
- 09:15-21:00: Gates open
- 09:40-10:00: Speed Comparison Demo
- 10:10-10:30: S5000 qualifying #2
- 10:40-11:00: Ferrari road car parade
- 11:05-11:15: Speed Comparison Demo
- 11:25-11:45: TCR Asia Pacific Cup Race #2
- 12:00-12:45: Supercars Race #2
- 13:00-13:25: Porsche Carrera Cup Race #3
- 14:00-15:00: Formula 1 Free Practice 3 (FP3)
- 15:20-16:05: Supercars Race #3
- 17:00-18:00: Formula 1 Qualifying
- 09:15-20:00: Gates open
- 09:45-10:00: Historics Demo
- 10:40-11:00: TCR Asia Pacific Cup Race #3
- 11:10-11:25: Speed Comparison Demo
- 11:40-12:00: S5000 Feature Race
- 12:15-12:40: Porsche Carrera Cup Race #4
- 13:00-13:45: Supercars Race #4
- 13:55-14:10: F1 2-Seater Demo
- 14:25-14:30: F1 drivers’ photograph (starting grid)
- 14:30-15:00: F1 drivers’ track parade
- 16:10-18:10: 2020 Formula 1 Rolex Australian Grand Prix (58 laps or 120 minutes)
Trackside at Albert Park
There are always plenty of activities in Australia to keep you busy when the F1 cars are not on the track. Aside from the support racing categories already mentioned, here is a selection of other trackside action to expect at Albert Park:
- Aerial displays – at various times throughout the weekend, the action is in the air as the Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) roulettes do their thing in the skies above the circuit. The RAAF F/A18 jet also makes several very loud passes over the circuit during the weekend.
- Action Zone – in a special infield area, Nitro Circus Live puts on a series of events across the weekend showcasing extreme sports including freestyle motocross, skateboarding, BMX and more.
- Legends Lane / F1 Central – these zones feature a range of food and drink options, merchandising and displays of current and historic cars.
- Autograph Stage – huge crowds gather here on the opening Thursday of the event when the F1 drivers appear to sign autographs. On the following days, fans can get autographs of the V8 drivers, celebrity race drivers and motorsport legends.
Click here for a full rundown on the entertainment schedule at the 2020 Australian Grand Prix.
Getting Drivers’ Autographs
If you are keen on meeting the drivers in person, the Autograph stage on Thursday when the F1 drivers appear is not actually the best place as the crowds are huge. A better place to go is the so-called “Melbourne Walk”, near the entrance to the Pits and Paddock Club, where the drivers enter and exit the circuit and park their cars if driving. The best day is Friday as there are less fans. Be aware that you will need a grandstand ticket to access this area; it is off-limits for general admission ticket holders. Another option is to stake out the entrance to the Crowne Plaza Hotel, the preferred hotel for the F1 teams.
Albert Park Facilities
Despite being a temporary F1 circuit, the quality of the facilities at Albert Park is very good. There are ample food and drink areas dotted around the circuit, and large numbers of toilets (mostly temporary, but some year-round) so queues are short at most times over the weekend, though race day is busy everywhere. As seems to be common at most F1 venues around the world, food and drink are expensive by international standards and the quality of the food on offer is generally low. Options include hamburgers, fish and chips and pizzas; most meals cost around $10-15 AUD. Alcohol is freely available around the circuit. A can of beer will set you back around $8 while soft drinks are $6. Free drinking water is available at various locations around the track, so keep your empty plastic bottles at the ready.