Ferrari drivers want pit lane exit improvements

2011 Korean Grand Prix

Daniel Ricciardo, HRT, Korea, 2011

Korea's pit lane is a cause for concern

Fernando Alonso and Felipe Massa called for changes to the pit lane exit at the Korea International Circuit.

Drivers leaving the pits rejoin the circuit on the outside of the first corner, where they are in the firing line at the end of a the pit straight.

In the second practice session Nico Rosberg ran wide at the corner and hit Jaime Alguersuari, who was leaving the pits.

Massa said: “The exit of the pit lane is difficult, as one could see from the collision between Rosberg and Alguersuari: I think efforts should be made to improve it for the future.”

Alonso also has reservations but added praise for the reconfigured pit lane entrance:

“The entry to the pit lane is much improved compared to last year, but there is still room to do better with the exit.”

The barrier has been moved back at the corner before the pit lane entrance, making it easier for drivers to see if another car is turning into the pits.

Plans are being discussed for a system of warning lights to let drivers know when a car is leaving the pits.

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37 comments on Ferrari drivers want pit lane exit improvements

  1. I admit I didn’t watch practice so someone please correct me if I have the wrong end of the stick, but didn’t Ros just commit a common error by going wide and ran into Alg? I’ve read from Cooper that Ros or Merc may get some form of punishment but the real problem seems to be the pit exit so that would be quite unfair if they were punished.

    The pit exit is a nice idea in theory and it does look good to see the two “lanes” curve around and for the drive coming out of the pits to just slot in but in practice I’m not surprised that in wet conditions it didn’t go to plan.

    • Ben Everard (@beneverard) said on 14th October 2011, 11:09

      Rosberg didn’t get a penalty for the incident, but a fine of €10,000 for not seeing the stewards quickly enough after being summoned to them.

    • Rosberg locked up into the corner and hence had little control over the direction of the car. It’s rather ridiculous to have the pit lane coming out like that and a set of lights wont stop collisions if people are locking breaks!

      Ultimately they need to revise it-perhaps doing what Abu Dhabi throught to do BEFORE putting 24 cars on the track…
      I’d say a high chance of some collisions in the race and some blocking in qualifying…

    • damonsmedley (@damonsmedley) said on 15th October 2011, 18:49

      It was a very unfortunate incident, really. It was as if Rosberg was distracted by the car exiting the pits and missed his braking point/locked up. Very clumsy!

  2. SamS (@sams) said on 14th October 2011, 11:31

    Massa, Complaining, what a suprise.

  3. smifaye (@smifaye) said on 14th October 2011, 11:59

    The pits here are useless. It’s just a useless design, both entering and exiting the pits. A fundamental flaw in the circuits design. In F1 2010 the pit exits go around the run off area at turn 1, where did they get this from as this is surely a better pit exit than the one they have at the moment.

    • ed24f1 (@ed24f1) said on 14th October 2011, 12:05

      They were originally planning to have the pits like that, but it was thought that that could be dangerous as well, due to the cars drifting wide after the kink.

      • BasCB (@bascb) said on 14th October 2011, 13:12

        @ed24f1 I think it would be better as the car joining the track will at least have a better view of who is coming as well as time to get up to speed.

        The now proposed thing with a blue flag light being shown from the pits and a warning flag/light on the straight is not really helpfull. It will only serve to determine penalties, I fear.
        On the other hand its a small improvemtent, at least.

        • GT_Racer said on 14th October 2011, 15:20

          The reason they changed the pit exit from going all the round round the run-off to what we have now is that the original design was worse.

          Had they gone with the original layout then cars would have been exiting the pits at a higher speed & rejoining the circuit straght onto the racing line on the exit of the 2nd turn.

  4. Atticus (@atticus-2) said on 14th October 2011, 12:13

    The pit lane should be on the left side of the straight (facing toward Turn 1), or more generally the pit lane entry and exit should be next to the non-ideal line of the straight. Hungaroring, Suzuka, Melbourne, Sepang, Interlagos, Nurburgring, Silverstone etc. most of the tracks are built like these, and there weren’t any problems. Abu Dhabi is a notable exception at the exit, but they sorted it out in a big way.

    As either of these solution is not at all executable overnight, I don’t know what to do. The tunnel seems to be a cheaper solution, with the pit lane exit rejoining the track just after Turn 2, on the left hand side – probably needs to lengthen the straights a little bit to make it possible. As for the entry, it should be moved forward a little bit, directly pouring the cars onto the pit lane.

    • Keith Collantine (@keithcollantine) said on 14th October 2011, 12:16

      @atticus-2 They could use the other pits and paddock after turn three… doubt they’d want to though!

      • Atticus (@atticus-2) said on 14th October 2011, 12:31

        Yeah, the entry there is smooth, but I think the exit has the same problem: if one overshoots the hairpin which is Turn 4, he can easily take out the car exiting the pits.

        I forgot to mention a counter-argument in my previous post: Montreal. Pit lane is more or less on the right side of the straight as per above, but it has problems with the entry and had problems with the exit. I think though, that it was only down to some poor decision making, it could easily be altered. The entry should be after the chicane (with a tyre wall on the left hand side of it for safety reasons), and all the old pit lane exit needed was a continued white line (like the Nurburgring) up until Turn 1, to avoid the Scumacher-Frentzen-like situations.

        That way the entry would be safer, the drivers wouldn’t win time by not making the chicane as they do now, and the same applies to the exit, where they do not take Turn 1 at all now.

        But however feasible this solution is for Montreal for me, it’s completely out of context here, so sorry for that.

        • pSynrg (@psynrg) said on 14th October 2011, 18:56

          I don’t think it’s out of context at all. Montreal pit exit was the first thing that sprang to mind when reading the above article. There is similar potential there.

          • Adam1 (@adam1) said on 15th October 2011, 14:51

            The big difference with Montreal is that there isn’t a huge straight and hence big braking zone which needs a run off…

  5. paolo (@paolo) said on 14th October 2011, 13:11

    Got to agree, the pit-lane exit here is a joke. Ok, so Roberg ran wide which caused the collision. But having an exit which comes out into an extremely heavy braking corner will invite more accidents like this

  6. David B (@david-b) said on 14th October 2011, 13:24

    Everytime I wonder why Mr. Tilke can work out this kind of problems!!! And he starts from a blank sheet, more or less, so why not creating a lay-out with safe pit exit and entry??? And they still let him design tracks for formula 1, this is really incredibly stupid!

  7. Huron (@huron) said on 14th October 2011, 14:18

    Is Tilke capable of designing a simple pit entry and exit? Does he try to make up for dull tracks by having “exciting” pit lanes?

    It is corruption beyond belief that he is the one that automatically gets to design all new F1 tracks. An investigation, possibly criminal investigation, is needed.

    • Dave_F1 said on 14th October 2011, 15:39

      Why should there be a criminal investigation & why is it corruption?

      Tilke is one of 4 FIA certified track designers & isn’t the only one designing FIA grade circuits. Tilke had nothing to do with Singapore for instance (It was designed by an American company called KBR, Inc.), He submitted a proposal which wasn’t accepted.

      Something else to consider is that Tilke owns his own engineering company which is able to do everything needed to design & build an F1 track. Since he can do everything in house from his own company both time & money are saved & with the same crew often working on each track they know what to expect so less problems arise.

      On that note its worth pointing out that Korea is the one recent track which Tilke designed which was then constructed by a seperate company & look at the problems we saw there with delays & other issues which don’t happen when Tilke’s company does all that.

    • mattg21 (@mattg21) said on 14th October 2011, 22:11

      It is a shame that Tilke designs many of the F1 circuits to date. Maybe this will change in the future, meaning we can see less of these ‘exiting’ pit lanes.

      The Korea pit exit is far too dangerous..hopefully the stewards keep on top of it. And not KICK body work parts off the track, we’d never see this at Silverstone etc.

  8. Dave_F1 said on 14th October 2011, 15:26

    For those blaming Tilke, As I understand it the original proposal for the pit exit was for it to be quite long & feed into the straght after turn 2 with a barrier seperating it from the Turns 1/2 Run-Off.

    However when the schedule got quite tight for track completion last year the circuit owners changed it to what we have now to save time.

    Think it was supposed to be altered for this year but for whatever reason wasn’t.

  9. Mahir C said on 14th October 2011, 15:44

    I dont know how they are going to sort this pit lane exit until the race. Seems to me the pit lane is at the wrong side of the track, right next to the racing line into the following corner.

    I think only Abu Dhabi is like that they solved it with a crossover.

  10. TED BELL said on 14th October 2011, 16:53

    How about a green light at the end of the pit exit?? It stays red until an adequate space between those on the road and those wanting to enter the road just like we have in our Freeway system. Make the cars wait until it is safe to drive out into traffic. I mean F1 is riddled with some pretty stupid rules why not add another one??

  11. falken (@falken) said on 14th October 2011, 18:54

    Any video of the incident ?

  12. RumFRESH (@rumfresh) said on 14th October 2011, 20:12

    The way I see it ROS was just taking the normal line and taken by surprise when he saw ALG on the outside, he didn’t deserve a penalty. Even ALG blamed it on the silly exit.

  13. Oliver said on 14th October 2011, 20:26

    To place a pit exit outside of a high speed braking zone, where the driver is forever turning into you, is like placing a school behind the targets at a gun range.
    It is so unbelievable. It gets even worse if there is an overtaking attempt on the straight coinciding with another car exiting the pit lane.
    Suddenly you will have 3 cars chasing the same spot.
    You can’t blame any driver for missing his braking point and running wide, because that is not always in his control.

    I honestly cant imagine what the circiut designer was thinking. It is just the Singapore pit exit and first corner situation in reverse.
    A new track with all the space in the world and this was the best they could think of.

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