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So What Makes A Good F1 Racing Circuit?

by F1Fan on November 9, 2009

This question seems to be on the mind of AT&T Williams, Technical Director, Sam Michael.

Talking about the changes made by the FIA in 2009 to try to improve the racing in F1, Michael made the following comments:

“I think that clearly the changes” (in 2009) “made the cars easier to follow, however, there’s a lot of work that still needs to be done. One of the things that wasn’t addressed in the 2009 rule changes was track circuit design. If you look at like Barcelona where no one overtakes and take exactly the same cars to tracks like Monza, Hockenheim etc, there’s plenty of overtaking. The difference is circuit layout. Organisers need to look closer at creating slower speed corners which feed onto straights and at removing chicanes.

If you look at somewhere like Abu Dhabi, there are some good aspects to the circuit, but there are fundamental mistakes. There wasn’t good enough racing there and the organisers need to rectify that before next year. You can’t keep blaming car design. The FIA are looking into this now and will hopefully solve the problem.

I couldn’t agree more with Sam Michael’s comments, this very point was bought home to me as I watched the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix. Apart from the visually spectacular surroundings the race itself on the new Yaz Marina circuit was pretty boring, unlike the prior race in Brazil at the Interlagos circuit which was full of incident, overtaking and drama.

Yas-Marina-Hotel 458The Abu Dhabi Grand Prix was Just no comparison,while Yaz Marina can claim the longest straight in Formula 1 it just doesn’t seem have what it takes to make a truly spectacular race, and isn’t racing what F1 is meant to be all about and not hotels spanning the track that change color or circuits in the shape of some chinese character.

It seems to me that Herman Tilke the designer of most modern formula one tracks today needs to take a step back, walk some of the classic tracks again, get input from the great F1 Drivers both active and recently retired to try to regain a sense of what is required in the design a truly great RACING circuit.

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