Trackside – 2021 Australian Grand Prix

Get the most out of your trackside experience at Albert Park for the 2021 Australian Grand Prix on November 18-21.

The Australian Grand Prix was originally scheduled as the first race of the new season, but has now been moved to new dates in November . 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.

Been to the Australian Grand Prix? Leave a comment below with your trackside tips!

46 thoughts on “Trackside – 2021 Australian Grand Prix”

  1. how can we reach the AUS GP circuit at 9 A.M, as it is mentioned that the gates open at 10.30 A.M. for the drivers autographs.

    1. You make a good point! I updated the text – you won’t have much time with gates opening at 10.30am to get autographs in the morning around the entrance to Paddock Club. The alternative is to try and catch them as they enter the circuit at this gate in their cars (that is, you get there earlier and stay outside the circuit near the entrance to Gate 1). Otherwise, you can try and catch them as they leave the circuit at the end of each day. We will update this guide for the 2015 race in the coming months. Enjoy the race!

    2. Much more disturbing is that after spending almost $450 on seats I find that there is No Section F in the Prost stand. A monumental stuff up!!! When I finally got a seat the seats were either covered in bird mess or too dirty to sit on. The boys have been coming to the GP for over 20 years but this year it is a shambles

      1. No you’ve got me concerned as I’ve bought tickets for section ‘D’ in the Ricciardo stand even though the map doesn’t show a section ‘D’
        Where did they seat you?

  2. No hydration stations for the public on the outside – ( on drivers left side) of the track between gates 2 and 8. So many patrons were asking today.

  3. Hi. is it possible to walk on the track with every ticket? and what time is it possible? and is it absolutely necessary to have a paddock club ticket to do a pit lane walk? in your opinion whats the best/ affordable circuit to do a pit lane walk?

    thank you very much

    1. You can do track walk and podium after the race with any ticket, but I recommend getting closer to the main straight near the end of the race. On Thursday several pitlane walks are held, but you need to have bought your tickets before November 30 and have GP Advantage to take part. I recommend buying the Starter package from F1 Experiences and you get an exclusive pitlane walk on Thursday, plus some other benefits.

  4. Is the Melbourne walk available for grandstand ticket holders, where is it located and what’s that beat time to go there on the friday

    1. Yes, grandstand ticket holders can visit the Melbourne Walk. It’s near the Paddock Club behind the pits. I would say best time on Friday is later in the day, to catch the drivers leaving the circuit between 19:00-20:00

      1. Is earlier In the day an option to when drivers are arriving- what time is that? Also do general admission tickets give you access?

        1. Earlier in the day could also be an option if you head there as soon as the gates open at 9am, but I think some drivers will arrive earlier than this. You cannot get to this area with General Admission tickets, unfortunately.

  5. Is there an internet address for 99.7? I’m at the track, but can’t hear the announcers over the cars. I do have headphones. Thanks.

      1. Internet radio apps just stream radio stations. You can’t manually tune into 99.7 and there does not appear to be a place you can stream it from

  6. I am planning to attend the 2019 Sunday race with general admission tickets. Where is the best place to view with a giant screen to view the action for the whole of the race and track?

  7. I am going to the 2019 Melbourne GP on Friday Saturday and Sunday. I really want to get an autograph from a driver. Is the autograph stage only on Thursdays? And when the best chance to get an autograph during the days I’m there?

  8. Are there speakers at the track so you can hear the real time commentary?
    Or can you suggest another option of how to hear the commentary.

  9. Since 1996 I have been permitted to bring non alcoholic drinks in cans to the circuit, this year I was stopped at gate 3. Outside it only states glass, it does not mention cans, the head gate person said outside is wrong info?

  10. Are people allowed to walk on the race track after the race has finished. Eg to view presentations and such.

  11. Is it possible to visit the track before Thursday? I’ll arrive one week before race day and want to get an overview about the are before the race weekend starts.

  12. Do they have a restriction on types of Cameras you can bring? Is it fixed lens only or can we bring something a little more powerful?

    1. Hi Thomas, there will be F1 Experiences packages for the 2021 Australian Grand Prix but they are not yet on sale. I would guess they will go on sale in April or May. You can already join the mailing list to find out more (or also pay a deposit towards your package). More information here

  13. How much roughly are the cheapest tickets? (And what do you get). Looking to travel over from Perth and wanting to work on a budget. Thanks

    1. Sorry, it’s not possible to camp officially anywhere near Albert Park – unless you can find a local homeowner that agrees to let you camp in their backyard!

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