What is officially called the Melbourne Grand Prix Circuit is more commonly known as Albert Park, after its location. The circuit lies in the heart of Melbourne and has hosted the event since 1996.
It's a somewhat unique place. Officially a street circuit, it is indeed run on roads which are open to the public most of the year. Barriers closely surround the track around most of the 5.303 kilometre length.
But the corners are more like the sort we'd expect at a proper road course, and though one or two turns are less forgiving, run-off areas are plentiful.
Positioned anywhere else in the calendar, Albert Park would probably be a disappointing venue.
Happily for us, it's always the first round, and it seems to be the perfect place to kick off a new season.
Turns 1 and 2
After a quite lengthy run from the start-finish line, the drivers brake for Turn 1 (Brabham). This is considered one of the best overtaking spots on the circuit.
However, it's also often used to set up a move for a few corners later.
Turn 2 (Jones) is a left-hander which immediately follows. It's as much a curved acceleration zone as it is a corner, but it should see a lot of drivers getting out of shape here as they struggle with the increased torque and tricky power delivery of the new engines.
Turns 3 and 4
Next up is a shorter straight, which has always seemed as good a passing spot as the pit straight. It's very common for cars to exit the first two corners close together, and that sets up plenty of opportunities.
It might prove even better for overtaking this year with more wobbly rears out of Turn 2.
At the end of the straight, drivers brake for Turn 3 (Whiteford). This is one of the circuit's slowest corners—a tight right-hander where most of the moves made down the straight succeed or fail.
Defending into (and out of) this corner is quite easy and it's unusual for a door to be left open on the inside, though drivers can and do pass around the outside.
Following a tiny straight, Turn 4 is a straightforward medium-speed left-hander. If you look closely at the track here, you can see its function when F1 isn't in town—it's a car park.
Turns 5, 6, 7 and 8
Turn 5 is a quick right-hander taken at full-throttle, and it leads onto a wavy straight of sorts. Trees overhang the circuit here and the track surface is mottled with shadows, making braking for the tricky right-hander of Turn 6 that little bit harder.
Overtaking here isn't really possible, but getting a good exit is important.
Turns 7 and 8 (Lauda) follow immediately, giving this part of the track a nice flow. They're a left-right sequence which appears to be little more than an acceleration zone, but care should be taken nonetheless.
Turns 9 and 10
If a driver didn't get a good exit back at Turn 6, he'll be defending down the small straight which leads into the right-left chicane of Turns 9 and 10.
The first part (Turn 9) is a tight right-hander, and it's easy to carry too much speed into here and take a trip across the grass on the exit.
The second part (Turn 10) is an opening left-hander. The barriers close in around the circuit here as the drivers speed along a curved straight beside Albert Lake, which lies over the wall on the drivers' right.
Turns 11 and 12
Turns 11 and 12 are two of Albert Park's best corners. They form a high-speed left-right chicane, taken very quickly and with little room for error.
There's very much only one line in and one line out, so you're unlikely to see too many overtaking attempts here.
Assuming everything went well, the cars are sent on their way down another straight, which has a little right-hand kink halfway down.
Turns 13, 14, 15 and 16
Overtaking is a possibility into the next corner, the 90-degree right of Turn 13 (Ascari). Cars will typically pull out from behind a rival just after the kink on the straight and have a go down the inside.
After a short straight comes the fast right-hand of Turn 14 (Stewart) and seconds later, braking for Turn 15 (Prost), a very tight left.
In practice you'll see a lot of cars overshooting or just getting it plain wrong here. By the time the race comes around, everyone usually has it worked out—but errors may still occur.
The final corner, Turn 16, is a medium-speed right. This is one of the most important corners on the circuit, and the pressure to get the power down early often results in some sliding back ends.
With some drivers and teams still struggling with power delivery, this may be more common this year.
The finish line is roughly halfway down the straight.
The pit entry is on the inside of Turn 16, and the exit is before Turn 1.