Adrian Sutil says F1 is losing its thrill because the tracks are “too safe”

Sutil laps the Yas Island circuit in Abu Dhabi

Out of a chicane, into a hairpin... Sutil laps the Yas Island circuit in Abu Dhabi

Adrian Sutil has given a frank assessment of the newest track on the F1 calendar, telling the Times of India the circuit was safe but “boring”:

Abu Dhabi was one of the most perfect circuits I have driven on, and the most boring as well.It was just straight and really, really boring. But I probably cannot say anything bad about it for it’s safe, like what all modern circuits should be.
Adrian Sutil

He added that most drivers wanted more dangerous and challenging circuits:

The majority of the drivers feel this way. Of course there are a few who like the way it is, safe. There will always be different opinions about it but most of them would say there can be some changes in the circuits.

Everyone loves driving because there is thrill in it. If it was not dangerous, maybe so many drivers would not be doing it. Maybe there are certain risks in it but if you don’t take those risks, it would get boring. Circuits are getting too safe and driving is not so nice anymore.

Personally speaking, I’m just not getting that thrill. There is a wall in the corner and you have got to take it easy or you would ram into it. Formula One is dangerously fast and is all about speed. That’s why it’s interesting and we should keep it like that.
Adrian Sutil

Sutil urged the team working on the circuit for the 2011 Indian Grand Prix to listen to the drivers and put in more fast corners.

But F1 car designers, such as Sam Michael and Paddy Lowe, have been arguing for something different: more overtaking opportunities on circuits, which tends to mean long straights bookended by slow hairpins.

The Indian F1 track designed by Hermann Tilke and revealed last November looks consistent with most recent new F1 designs, with lots of slow corners.

I think F1 needs variety – slow, twisty tracks like Monaco and Hungary, high-speeds courses like Monza and Spa, and ‘overtaking optimised’ tracks like Bahrain.

A calendar of identikit tracks each with a prescribed combination of long straights, slow bends and the occasional token fast corner, would not be very exciting.

But I also wonder if some of Sutil’s rivals think F1 is quite dangerous enough with him around, particularly Kimi R??ikk??nen, Jarno Trulli and Nick Heidfeld who all tangled with him last year.

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Image (C) Force India F1 Team

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94 comments on Adrian Sutil says F1 is losing its thrill because the tracks are “too safe”

  1. Mahir C said on 11th January 2010, 2:04

    I agree with Sutil, he basically says the drivers should pay for their mistakes and recklessness. He doesnt say remove all the safety measures, these tarmac runoffs should go. I absolutely loved it when boy band of Torro Rosso blew it in Suzuka qualifying, I think everyone else here did as well. Thats how it should be.
    It would be politically incorrect to say, but a big part of motor racing’s charm was the element of danger.
    If Kubica can survive Canada 07 crash, I would say F1 is very safe.

    Comparison of Massa’s accident are pointless. He was hit on the head by spring, it could have happened in Bahrain or Abu Dhabi as well. If someone wants to improve safety, make the cars stronger, not make the tracks dull.

  2. wasiF1 said on 11th January 2010, 2:12

    I agree with Sutil,we need more tracks like Spa & Monza which provides thrill & also awesome racing.

  3. F1Yankee said on 11th January 2010, 4:07

    strerling moss said the same thing last month.

    Motorsport without danger is like cooking without salt
    http://en.espnf1.com/f1/motorsport/story/4802.html

  4. I completely agree with Sutil,I don’t think he is saying he wants F1 to be less safe he only means, We need tracks with more fast corners like spa and suzuka and this doesn’t mean we are putting drivers safety aside.How many drivers have seriously been injured at spa or Suzuka in last 15 years? This will just make F1 more thrilling and demanding for drivers. I mean come on men we need more races like that and not boring like Abu dhabi.I hope the team working on the circuit for the 2011 Indian Grand Prix takes Sutil’s comment more seriously.

  5. I agree that the most important thing is variety in the circuits on the F1 calendar.

    I think what would be better would be if mistakes were punished more without any increase in danger to the driver and everyone, but I don’t know what would be the best way to achieve this though.

    I seem to remember that Jacques Villeneuve was often vocal about how F1 had become too safe as well.

  6. Gwenouille said on 11th January 2010, 11:42

    Needless to say that A. Sutil drives for Force India, and the Force India was quite strong at SPA… I hope they get the message…

  7. Hairs said on 11th January 2010, 12:03

    In fairness to Sutil, he is doing his level best to introduce an element of danger and uncertainty to F1 with a lot of his driving. Think how much more excited the other drivers were as he attempted to 180 his car on the apex of a blind corner in Singapore, right into a line of 4 cars that had been in his mirrors for 10 laps.

    He’s one man, on a mission, to make F1 more dangerous -for other drivers.

  8. Accidental Mick said on 11th January 2010, 12:20

    We have had controversy over a driver seeming to get an advantage by using the run off areas. We have certainly seen crashes caused by drivers leaving the run off area to rejoin the main track.

    Both to avoid theses points and to “punish” the driver for his mistake, introduce a rule that forbids a driver who has entered the run off from re-joining until all other drivers have passed.

    Has the side benefit that we might get some obvertaking as drivers try to regain their lost position.

  9. As Sutil’s said… on coming forth days in F1 would it lose its pride? since F1 is an outstanding for its technology and DARE TO DRIVE in unsafe tracks… If it goes…

  10. Racin Rob said on 11th January 2010, 17:39

    In my opinion the issue is less safety and more punishment for a mistake.

    I agree the current runoffs are huge, the issue is that the runoff starts immediately after the track ends, meaning, if the driver screws up, he’s got nice fresh grippy tarmac to drive onto.

    Now if there was to be lets say a 25′ wide band of slippery surface (thinking either painted asphalt or polished concrete) you will eliminate the issue of gaining time by using the run-off because there is no benefit to it. You still have a safe paved runoff area beyond that allows a car to stop without digging in and flipping over.

    Overtaking is a different issue entirely.

    That’s my thoughts anyway.

  11. teeb123456789 said on 12th January 2010, 19:33

    I agree that circuits should be more challenging with less run off etc…

    The only drawback is that you will have more longer safety car periods, slowing the action down and possibly making the spectacle a crash frenzy for the casual fans, who seem to care more about the crashes from an earlier article Keith wrote.

    Is that a price worth paying?……Probably (as long as the crashes are good)

  12. Concidering Sutil is Force India’s driver and VJ Mallay is very rich and influential, hopefully Tilke will take notes. But I will not be holding my breadth…

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