Formula 1 starts up again for the eighth consecutive year with the Australian GP. The Albert Park Circuit in Melbourne will host the first race of the 2018 World Championship season from March 22 to 25. Positioned inside its namesake park, the track wraps itself around Albert Park Lake.
Since the circuit is usually open to resident traffic, it is very slippery at the beginning of the weekend. As the sessions are run and rubber gets laid down on the asphalt, the braking performance gets progressively better. In 2017, the single-seaters improved their lap times by two seconds from the first practice sessions on Friday to the Q3 on Saturday.
The rise in deceleration translates into greater stress on the braking systems. There is more wear on the pads and discs, which reach very high temperatures, even though the asphalt does not get as hot as the tracks in the Northern Hemisphere.