Donington Park 2010 British Grand Prix track – your design predictions

British Touring Car Championship, Donington, 2008, 470150

After the news the British Grand Prix would be going to Donington Park in 2010 one of the Donington circuit owners remarked on television:

If I touch anything from Redgate to MacLeans I’ll be lynched.

If the classic Donington Park circuit’s fast, flowing corners were chopped to make it F1-friendly it would be a terrible waste. The news that Hermann Tilke is handling the re-designed may not fill F1 fans with optimism about the new Donington Park. So how would you change the track to make it big enough to accommodate F1?

A glance at a satellite map makes it clear that if the circuit owners can only work with what they have within the current perimeter of the track their options are very limited.

I sketched out a possible extension below using Quikmaps:

See the Donington Park circuit as it was used for the 1993 European Grand Prix here: F1 circuits history part 11: 1990-3

But this hypothetical track has its problems. Will the current pit and paddock be big enough for the usual complement of F1 transporters? Would it be long enough to meet the FIA’s criteria for circuit length?

ITV’s Ted Kravitz mentioned some other potential problems with the current track:

Run-off area and gravel traps are too small for current F1 standards.

The signature bump in the road under the Dunlop Bridge would have to be ground down.

If you want you can try your hand at designing a new Donington Park track using Quikmaps – here are some instructions and post links to your tracks below.

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36 comments on Donington Park 2010 British Grand Prix track – your design predictions

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  1. MWarren said on 10th July 2008, 12:39

    Well, there are already a few details emerging:

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/england/leicestershire/7499078.stm

    New pit complex, track length increased to 3 miles/4.8km, “a spectacular sweeping curve” and a simulated lap time of 1:17.

    Also, Keith, “Donginton Park”? :D

  2. Keith Collantine (@keithcollantine) said on 10th July 2008, 12:43

    Fixed!

    It’s a shame they have to make the track longer at all really, so what if they lap it in close to (or under) a minute?

  3. Kester said on 10th July 2008, 12:48

    Going by your map they’d need some heavy landscaping to be done. Parts of your map run straight through hills that have incline ratios of close to 1:1.

    You’re probably pretty close, however I think the left section of the new infield will be a chicane (right/left from where you have the new track split) then a long sweep around the path, slightly to the left of yours, and meeting yours at the top.

  4. Itnernet said on 10th July 2008, 12:56

    @Kester:

    Why do landscaping? The elevation changes would be welcome.

  5. Keith Collantine (@keithcollantine) said on 10th July 2008, 13:06

    They would, but the FIA have very tight restrictions on circuit design which you can read about here: Don’t blame Hermann Tilke, blame the rules

  6. Kester said on 10th July 2008, 13:06

    There are plenty of elevation changes all around there. However some parts of Keith’s map go over hills that even a 4×4 wouldn’t enjoy.

  7. Keith Collantine (@keithcollantine) said on 10th July 2008, 13:08

    Well if they’re talking about planing off the bump under Dunlop Bridge they’re definitely not going to like that much gradient!

  8. A good point by a regular top poster on the 10-Tenths.com My Tracks forum: Donington Park would not just need an extension, but would need to be widened along almost its entire length. Most of Donington supposedly is 10m wide while 15m is currently the norm. But widening all of the track would seriously change the nature and character of the circuit.

  9. Chalky said on 10th July 2008, 14:02

    I reckon you need to keep the main straight in too.
    This limits the options to Tilke by bringing an inner loop after McLeans that returns back before Coppice.
    By doing this you also get to keep the original layout for other events.

  10. Scott Joslin said on 10th July 2008, 14:05

    Not sure if anyone has seen Autosport, but they are suggesting that the start and finish will be moved to where the dunlop bridge is on the Starkys straight. With them taking on the esses first then the melbourne hairpin before going off into a new loop that rejoins at the old start and finish. As Kester said, that area is where there are some dramatic drops and rises, so will be interesting how it is managed.

  11. Adam said on 10th July 2008, 14:21

    Scott beat me to it :)

    The circuit in Autosport looks pretty dull, quite frankly – done only to extend the length.

  12. Worth noting that the county boundary passes very close to the current Melbourne hairpin, so the track is very unlikely to be extended in that direction (toward the original hairpin (the outline of which is visible on the images above)).

  13. Matthew said on 10th July 2008, 15:55

    I’m sure this question has been raised before but is there anybody BESIDES Hermann Tilke who can design an F1 course?

    Also does anybody know who designed the modern Spa-Francochamps circuit? Surely that gentleman could be rewarded for creating the best update on an outdated grand prix circuit.

  14. Keith Collantine (@keithcollantine) said on 10th July 2008, 15:57

    Matthew – the most recent changes to Spa in 2007 and 2004 were done by Tilke.

  15. OK, here is mine. LINK: http://www.quikmaps.com/show/73399

    I hate doing this without going there. The only feel for the terrain is what I could get from Photos and Google earth.

    What I did was basically keep 90% of the original track in place and add a south circuit in the same flowing manner.
    Also, I did a pitlane that is on a long curve.

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