Melbourne’s landscape has been transformed recently in the build-up to this weekend’s much anticipated start of the 2012 Formula One season.
Albert Park is a picturesque setting where lap-times are usually calculated on the basis of what two feet – rather than what four wheels – can achieve. That’ll change this weekend when the Formula One circus comes to town with the erection of fences and crash barriers already now predominantly in place.
The numbers reveal the extent of how Melbourne is being transformed for motorsport’s biggest show. There are over 120 lorry loads of equipment coming in every day over the last two weeks and 2,000 construction workers employed to build up the site. There are over 300 temporary structures in place to deal with everything from media to pit crew to tyre storage and catering. Each team has sent four tonnes of equipment; combined with eight pit crew, two drivers, medical staff, chefs, masseuse, physio, sports psychologist and fitness specialists. Pirelli (Formula One’s only tyre supplier) have sent a shipment of 2,000 tyres to Melbourne for this weekend alone.
Those involved say that there are in fact three races in the build-up to the first Grand Prix of the 2012 season: starting with the race to have everything built in time; then the race itself and finally the race to take everything down because in three weeks’ time Albert Park must return to being just a park.