What Is The Fastest Ever Lap Recorded At The Australian Grand Prix?

Australian Grand Prix
Australian Grand Prix

It might not really occur to us in that fashion but truth certainly is that the Australian Grand Prix, one of the most sought after and hugely visited F1 events on the calendar has a complicated history. No fewer than 23 different destinations had been tried for the event since its first inception, which actually dates back to 1928.

Some of the more popular destinations since Philip Island (the first-ever Australian GP venue in ’28) happen to be Adelaide, where it was once held for repeated runs, before the event shifted altogether to the Melbourne Park circuit in Victoria.

The Australian Grand Prix is, without much doubt, one of the most challenging and closely fought contests that does not permit too many overtakes and where cars run with great downforce.

It is undoubtedly an event where drivers of the past such as Lex Davison and the great Michael Schumacher are fondly remembered in connection to the racing fiesta. Both drivers hold the record of scoring four Grand Prix wins apiece at the event.

What’s in someways surprising if not entirely stunning for the lack of better expression is that somehow legends belonging to the current grid, be it Lewis Hamilton or Fernando Alonso have never recorded four wins at the Australian Grand Prix. And that’s despite presiding over careers that began well over half a decade back in time.

But then that is Formula 1; you win some, and some you don’t.

However, among the most intriguing questions about the Melbourne Park-bound racing event, a contest spread over 190.2 miles is this:

Who holds the record for the fastest-lap ever recorded at the event?

In one word, it’s Sergio Pérez. The same happened a year back in the day in 2023, where with just five laps to go, Checo, as he is lovingly called, blazed the admirable feat setting a belter at 1:20:235 on lap 53.

However, that is not the only interesting thing behind Sergio Pérez’s record-breaking feat at the Australian Grand Prix. In the process of registering that flying lap during the race in its final moments, Perez actually broke the great Michael Schumacher’s record. The German had been the holder of the fastest lap recorded at the Australian Grand Prix in 2004 driving his F2004.

Moreover, Perez, despite his incredible feat, was not able to land on the podium whereas his popular teammate, Max Verstappen happened to have won the race in Australia last year. Even the tireless legend Fernando Alonso was on the podium.

This year, however, given the dauntless pace of the Red Bull RB 20, powered by Honda, it could be that Perez’s lap record runs into some trouble thanks to the in-form Max Verstappen.

While surely the likes of Ferrari have amassed a podium in each of the two events held so far at Bahrain and Saudi Arabia, it is not certain whether the SF 24 will be able to out-race the menacingly quick Red Bull.

But that’s unless a miracle happens with much due respect to Charles Leclerc and the recovering Carlos Sainz.

Surely, something incredible, faultless and rampant will be needed to deny Verstappen what will likely be a hat-trick of race wins come the 2024 Australian Grand Prix.

Sergio Perez holds the lap record at Australian Grand Prix
Sergio Perez poses for a portrait during Red Bull Racing 2024 Season Launch RB20 in London, UK on January 30, 2024 // Will Cornelius / Content Pool // SI202402140535 // Usage for editorial use only //
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