Video: F1’s best circuit ruined?

Posted on | Author Keith Collantine

Fernando Alonso, Spa-Francorchamps, Renault, 2005 | LAT Photographic / Steven TeeF1 makes it’s highly anticipated return to the fabulous Spa-Francorchamps circuit next month. But has the great track been dumbed down too far?

At Eau Rouge the profile of the corner remains the same but re-surfacing, construction work and the installation of tarmac run-off have made the bend less of a challenge.

As this video shows, drivers now seem to be able to cut the final part of the corner with no penalty. It is not the only place on the circuit where this is a problem.

This amateur video shot at the FIA GT round at Spa-Francorchamps last month shows how easy it has become for drivers to cut the final part of Eau Rouge, making the corner shorter and easier:

Has this once great challenge now been neutered completely? At the start of the recent British Formula Three race Marko Asmer passed a string of cars on the first lap by missing out this part of Eau Rouge.

At the end of the lap the re-profiled chicane has ‘kerbs’ that are completely flat. The F3 cars were easily able to run onto the tarmac run off and used it as an extension of the track on every lap.

What is particularly unsatisfactory about the chicane configuration is that there is no obvious need for tarmac run-off on the exit of such a slow corner.

Has Spa been spoiled? Or are these changes essential in the name of safety?

Photo: LAT Photographic / Steven Tee

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