Daniel Ricciardo backs Albert Park changes to bring more excitement to F1

Philip Duncan, PA F1 Correspondent

Daniel Ricciardo believes changes made to the track used for the Australian Grand Prix will lead to more exciting races.

Melbourne’s Albert Park, home of the Australian Formula One round since 1996, is undergoing its first overhaul in a quarter-of-a-century.

A number of turns are being widened, while the chicane at Turns nine and 10 will be removed to create a straight.

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In all, seven of the 16 corners are being modified ahead of this year’s race, which has been pushed back until November as a result of the coronavirus pandemic.

Australian GP chiefs expect lap times to be five seconds quicker and say the alterations will make for an improved spectacle.

The Australian GP has become the sport’s traditional curtain-raiser, and while popular among fans, the unique nature of the street circuit does not usually create a thrill-a-minute event.

McLaren driver Ricciardo, who was consulted about the changes, said: “Making race days more exciting for everyone is what we all want. We want better races, more battles, and the changes are going to push us towards that.

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“I see all of the changes as beneficial. It’ll make the racing closer. I’m pretty confident of that. ”

The Australian GP has been postponed until November 21. Last year’s race was cancelled after a McLaren mechanic contracted coronavirus in Melbourne.