It’s Formula 1 time. The 2018 F1 season gets underway in Melbourne this Sunday. When I was in Australia in 2011 I went to walk the Melbourne Grand Prix Circuit in Albert Park. The annual construction was underway.
The first race I saw on television was the infamous 1994 San Marino Grand Prix. That’s right, it’s the one when Ayrton Senna died. But I have been following Formula 1 closely since 1996. that season started in Melbourne, which was a new venue that year.
Over the years I’ve been able to walk on the tarmac of several grand prix circuits: the Circuit de Spa-Francorchamps in Belgium, the Circuit de Monaco at Monte-Carlo, the Marina Bay Street Circuit in Singapore, the Yas Marina Circuit in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates and the Circuit Urbà de València (Circuito Urbano de Valencia) in Spain used for the European Grand Prix. I also drove on parts of the 13.626 km long Circuit des 24 Heures du Mans (Circuit de la Sarthe) used for the 24 Hours of Le Mans in France.
In Melbourne I stayed in St Kilda with Chris and Luke, two boys I met on Twitter when the medium still was a fun place to meet new people. Their appartement wasn’t too far from Albert Park, the location of the grand prix. Obviously I had to see, smell and feel the track.
What you see is asphalt, curbstones, lines and pit related buildings. As such it’s not that impressive, but for an avid F1 viewer it’s holy ground. I felt the asphalt under my shoes were racing cars would blast by.
Chris and Luke teased me by complaining how loud F1 is. And it is loud. But still, I love it. So I went for a walk in scorching heat and took many photos. Here are some of them.
It makes me nostalgic for Melbourne, it makes me nostalgic for Australia.