A Tilke F1 track designer explains why FIA rules mean no more Suzukas

Interview

Christian Epp, Circuit of the Americas, 2013Recreating great F1 corners like Eau Rouge and popular tracks like Suzuka is practically impossible due to the FIA’s rules on circuit design, according to the man who designed the newest track on the calendar.

Christian Epp, a director at Tilke Gmbh who created the finished design for the Circuit of the Americas, explained how regulations have stifled creativity in circuit design.

Speaking to F1 Fanatic at COTA last week Epp said FIA track regulations made it impossible to recreate corners like Eau Rouge.

“Definitely from the compression that you would have, from the driving dynamics basically that you would generate on a car you could… they would not be approved by FIA,” he said. “So the FIA has certain regulations in place today that we would not be able to develop.”

In the case of COTA, race organiser Tavo Hellmund originally approached Tilke with a list of classic corners from other circuits to draw inspiration from. Epp recalls the conversation being: “OK Christian, we want elements like Eau Rouge, we want the corkscrew, we want like Suzuka, we want Maggotts/Beckets section…”

But fitting in many such corners was not achievable. “Some of them – for example Eau Rouge – if you take Eau Rouge in Formula One you need to drive it with 300 kilometres an hour,” explained Epp. “So to set up a turn of 300 kilometres an hour you need a straight of almost a kilometre to reach that speed.”

“So it’s not that easy. Once you want to incorporate one of these features you’re very limited. You can do maybe three or four of these features but for sure not ten. It would be, really, it would be 30 or 40 miles long track if you would try to incorporate them.”

Run-off and safety

COTA 2012Former F1 driver Anthony Davidson recently criticised modern track design, telling The Guardian “on some modern circuits it’s pathetic when you see drivers going off the track and nothing happens” due to the vast expanses of run-off.

Ahead of last week’s race in Japan Jenson Button said he especially enjoyed the Suzuka track because the limited run-off made it “unforgiving”.

Epp admitted a degree of frustration that modern tracks were compared unfavourably with older circuits which were built to less exacting standards but said: “on the other hand… people want the safety”.

“So when [Ayrton] Senna died, for example, or when any of these Formula One idols die people question a lot, and they say ‘what happened, what went wrong, what can we do better?’ So they worked on the car and we worked on the track so that’s what happened the last 20 years, really a track evolution and making it much safer for the drivers.”

‘Playing with topography’

In order to create dramatic corners designers need suitable land to work with in the first place. “Eau Rouge is Eau Rouge only because of the change of elevation,” says Epp.

At COTA, they had that. “On this particular track we were lucky enough to be involved in selection of the piece of land,” said Epp. “So really being able to choose a piece of land that provides this elevation change.”

The opening sequence of fast corners at COTA, which won praise from drivers during its inaugural race last year, “basically plays with the topography”.

Start, Circuit of the Americas, 2012“We do not get that every time so other race tracks we come and it’s a flat piece of land and we have to live with that land and have to create the best thing we can do. I think we were fortunate enough here to play with it, it’s much easier for us, gives us more opportunity to create an exciting race track.”

But beyond just creating the layout of the track Tilke have other objectives to fulfil. “We at Tilke do much more than than only the track and the track safety and the features,” said Epp.

“We really develop a turn-key venue so that all of these different players can come and use the venue from day one. It’s media, it’s drivers, it’s teams, it’s FIA, it’s the spectators, all of these different type of groups.

“For example on race day you have 120,000 people that one day one need to experience this venue. And they all will give you the feedback on what it is. For sure the driver is the one that we care a lot because we want to have a great track and it’s about the track. But also every spectator has an important opinion on the work that we do.”

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125 comments on A Tilke F1 track designer explains why FIA rules mean no more Suzukas

  1. Magnificent Geoffrey (@magnificent-geoffrey) said on 22nd October 2013, 12:49

    I appreciate that we aren’t going to see any new ‘Suzukas’ in the future. That is understandable.

    However, as long as we keep getting more ‘COTAs’ and less ‘Sakhirs’ or ‘Yas Marinas’, I’ll be perfectly happy with that.

    • Chris (@tophercheese21) said on 22nd October 2013, 13:13

      +1

    • kpcart said on 22nd October 2013, 14:38

      +1 and good riddance to Valencia. Malaysia and Turkey have proved OK, but some of the others are so sterile. unfortunantly the Austrian a1 track is coming back, that is as bad as most tilke tracks

      • Patrick (@paeschli) said on 22nd October 2013, 15:21

        At least A1 is build in Europe …

      • Julien (@jlracing) said on 22nd October 2013, 15:51

        Well the A1 ring is in fact a Tilke designed track.

        • kpcart said on 22nd October 2013, 16:33

          ha, I did not know A1 was tilke designed… that explains it then.

          • Robert McKay said on 22nd October 2013, 20:05

            I’ll get on my traditional hobby horse at this point and say “I want more A1-Rings”.

            I like A1-Ring because it’s from a period of time seemingly before Tilke got paid by the corner. Simple, short layout, not the relative behemoths of Yas Marina, Singapore, and, yes, COTA (although it’s relatively decent for a modern circuit, it’s still overdesigned).

            —–
            On a wider note, yes I can see how modern regs would make it difficult to do anything “old school”, so therefore the trick must be to find ways to create modern wonders of the F1 world. Turkey’s Turn 8, as an example.

            What might also help, and is another of my hobbyhorses, is a bit more variety in who gets the gigs, and even a bit of competition/tendering perhaps.

          • Yeah Tilke got his rep for butchering the A1 ring into that really weird in/out/in/out/in/out and 2 straights layout. Im not quite sure he ever got why the change was an issue.

            Go and drive it on a Geoff Crammonds Grand Prix, its not that great.

    • Fer no.65 (@fer-no65) said on 22nd October 2013, 17:15

      @magnificent-geoffrey exactly.

      No more Suzukas doesn’t mean more Chicane-fests like Yas Marina…

      The regulations don’t forbid interesting corners… there’s more variation than 90 degrees corners, Tilke-boys !

    • I love all about sahkir but the turmoil.

    • BasCB (@bascb) said on 23rd October 2013, 9:04

      I think most fans (and drivers and teams) would agree with that @magnificent-geoffrey

      Off course it also needs Bernie to find locations that offer what the designer mentions

      we were lucky enough to be involved in selection of the piece of land,” said Epp. “So really being able to choose a piece of land that provides this elevation change.”

      They tried it with Abu Dhabi (see that did not work) and putting in artificial elevation. And India got a solid haul of moving earth around too, but its still a track on a flat piece of land.

      To add to what you mention – Its great that they don’t make tracks just like Suzuka or Spa, or Monza. Because that is what makes those tracks stand out and have character.

      • Joey-Poey (@joey-poey) said on 23rd October 2013, 15:25

        Yeah, when I read up there that they asked them to recreate all those classic corners, I was thinking “no… you still don’t get it.” It’s not that fans want a Frankenstein of all their favorite corners, it’s that we want something unique with character. A great example is turn one at COTA. Why is it so praised? I for one have never seen another corner quite like it. You could maybe compare it to Druids, but it’s still pretty far off from that with much more speed on entry and a flat apex instead of the banking that Druids has. Also it has a pretty spectacular view compared to Druids which is boxed in by trees.

        Point being corners that have made a name can’t be cloned and expected to retain their reverence and lore. I hope future businessman starting new F1 tracks can grasp this so we get “give me elevation change LIKE the corkscrew” not “we want the corkscrew.”

  2. Patrick (@paeschli) said on 22nd October 2013, 12:52

    COTA is one of the best addings to the calender in recent years but that’s basically because of the first sector. The two last sectors are boring as most Tilke tracks.

    • Steve C said on 22nd October 2013, 13:19

      …other Tilke tracks. Come on man! Have you seen the elevation changes at CoTA? Not only the first sector but coming out of the esses from turn 7 to turn 10 and then down the hill into the hairpin turn 11. This section, IMHO, is one of the best turn complexes on the calendar. The back straight, which isn’t straight or flat is pretty cool, too. I can take or leave the stadium section but I spent a day there watching the Aussie V8s and there was plenty of action. The triple apex, 16, 17 & 18, turns really set you up for turn 19, which saw a lot of action.

      This isn’t just a simple Tilke design, yes they mastered it and made it happen but Tavo drew it up and knew what a good piece of land would do for it.

      I live here in Austin (just outside) and have seen the track mature from a piece of scrubbrush to the World class facility that it is.

      • ThrillerWA09 (@thrillerwa09) said on 22nd October 2013, 17:59

        Indeed!

        I’m considering a move to Austin because 1) COTA, and 2) I hear Austin is a pretty awesome city.

        • meh…

          Over-hyped.

          It’s OK, but hardly awesome. It’s in Texas, after all…but if you’re a gun-toting Jesus freak who doesn’t think women should have any rights, who thinks Science is anti-Christian and Creationism should receive equal time in science text books as proven theory of Evolution, and you want to arrest all immigrants – or simply shoot ‘em – then yeah, Texas is great.

          • Austin != Texas. It’s a college-town liberal oasis — and who knows, enough liberals in cities like Austin combined with enough migrants might eventually change the face of Texan politics (and the current hysteria is just a futile rear-guard battle).

            Indiana went to Obama in 2008 partly on the strength of college-age voters in their own liberal college oases

    • matt90 (@matt90) said on 22nd October 2013, 15:57

      I hated the look of the Hockenheim-stadium-like section when I first saw it, but to be fair it produced some good racing as the width of the track and nature of the switchback meant so many different lines could be taken. And the penultimate corner proved tricky. I’m not sold on the turn-8 style corner due to the slow approach, or the general appearance of the expanses of tarmac (although the colouring makes it far less bleak to look at than most new circuits), but otherwise I think the whole track is pretty decent.

  3. bebilou (@bebilou) said on 22nd October 2013, 12:54

    So, we would have to blame FIA ? Yes, but not only. Nobody asked Tilke to put that many straights/hairpins combos in his tracks. And so few fast corners.

    • GT Racer (@gt-racer) said on 22nd October 2013, 15:53

      Nobody asked Tilke to put that many straights/hairpins combos in his tracks.

      Actually they did, The FIA as well as Bernie himself asked for that sort of layout as its long been believed that it was the slow corner/long straght/slow corner configuration that allowed for more overtaking opportunities.

      Tilke did it when he altered A1-ring & it worked, He did it again when he re-did Hockenheim & it worked & its also worked on tracks like Shanghai, Bahrain, Sepang & Istanbul.

      You don’t get much overtaking in high speed corners & you don’t get much overtaking on circuits with no or short straghts, Its why traditionally there was never as much overtaking at circuits like Silverstone, Suzuka & Imola when compared to circuits with long straights into slow hairpins such as Bahrain, Istanbul, Sepang etc….

      • matt90 (@matt90) said on 22nd October 2013, 16:06

        The trouble is that most of those circuits still only end up with a couple of main overtaking spots, and Tilke sometimes failed to capitalise on making the rest of the circuit genuinely fast and interesting. Abu Dhabi is of course the prime example. Other times he got it right, notably in Turkey and Malaysia.

    • John H (@john-h) said on 22nd October 2013, 22:46

      Its the constant radius corners that frustrate me the most. There’s nothing in the regs that stipulate that a corner must be an arc. Luckily, it seems Tilke and his employees have finally discovered the Bezier curve tool, and I love the COTA.

      Nice work getting an interview with the designer, very interesting Keith.

  4. Jack (@jackisthestig) said on 22nd October 2013, 13:04

    The new circuits are too wide. Look at Suzuka, it’s quite narrow so the cars dominate the track, so to speak, rather than seeming lost in a huge expance of tarmac.

    • Julien (@jlracing) said on 22nd October 2013, 13:56

      You are totally right. Look at Shanghai, Yas Marina or COTA. The cars are just drowning in the track. If you make a mistake, the is still a few metres of track and than another 50+ metres of tarmac run-off.

    • Dom (@3dom) said on 22nd October 2013, 13:58

      Totally agree @jackisthestig there’s barely any reason for them being so wide either, because with the tyre marbles it’s hard to take advantage of the really wide tracks anyway (either when trying overtake or defend)

    • kpcart said on 22nd October 2013, 14:41

      I miss the old Hockenheim straights in the old design (even with chicanes) up to year 2001 I think. that cars looked so great on the narrow road, and it was great seeing them side by side. side by side on these tilke tracks doesn’t look as interesting. Monaco would be as boring as Yas Marina if it had the massively wide road.

    • matt90 (@matt90) said on 22nd October 2013, 16:10

      I agree. In some sections a wide track can be good, as it encourages different lines during passing attempts, but on fast sections where passing is highly unlikely it only serves to make the circuit look a bit bleak and the driver less talented.

    • HoHum (@hohum) said on 22nd October 2013, 20:31

      I totally disagree, the narrowness of the track at Suzuka (originally for motorcycles) is its one fault, a wider track would allow more real overtaking.

    • CeeVee (@ceevee) said on 22nd October 2013, 21:47

      Not sure I agree. One of the most interesting IndyCar circuits was built on at an airport using existing runways. It worked well because the track was wide enough to give multiple fast lines through corners and allow the cars to race two or even three abreast. Monaco, in comparison, is a poor circuit because it is it so narrow that there is only one line for the cars to follow. If you look at old film from the 50’s and 60’s you can see starting grids with the cars lined up in threes on what were quite narrow circuits like Aintree.

      • Alesici (@alesici) said on 22nd October 2013, 22:20

        That would be Cleveland. The first corner, a pretty fast ‘hairpin’ crossing between two whole runways would allow drivers to enter it 6 abreast on lap one, it was so crazily wide! The traditional line just seemed such a long way to travel…

  5. ECWDanSelby (@ecwdanselby) said on 22nd October 2013, 13:08

    Love anything track related, Keith! Nice one.

    Interesting about the topography. I thought they could artificially create elevation now?

  6. Ron Mon (@henslayer) said on 22nd October 2013, 13:14

    They could have given CotA my favorite feature of Suzuka, which is the crossover. I made an illustration of it a while back.

    http://oi47.tinypic.com/dnosy1.jpg

  7. timi (@timi) said on 22nd October 2013, 13:21

    Blah, blah, blah. We should now look into getting the FIA to change some of their track restrictions.
    Heck, even if we need a lot of run-off for safety, why can’t most of it be gravel? Still very safe, better at stopping cars before they crash into a wall, thus we’d get smarter, better racing (hopefully), without kamikaze overtakes with easy bail-outs.

    The run off size of today doesn’t seem like it’ll be reduced in any way. But my god do we need 1. better stopping power in those zones, and 2. more punishing materials than tarmac. We could pretty easily do this, all while keeping the masses and masses of runoff. Plus I’m pretty sure gravel is cheaper than the laying of tarmac.. no? What’s the problem FIA, what’s the problem? Worst case scenario put in a couple of those huge speed bumps like the two at the final turn in Montreal.

    P.S. Does anyone have a link to the track regulations that must be met?

    • ECWDanSelby (@ecwdanselby) said on 22nd October 2013, 13:27

      Problem is, you need tarmac initially to lay the gravel..

      Also, you can’t have speed bumps on run-offs. That’s even worse than gravel for making F1 cars air borne!

    • Gravel is less safe than tarmac, and has a higher maintenance cost versus tarmac

    • @timi gravel traps have to be several centimetres deep, whic adds to the expense. That’s not really the issue though (most countries F1 goes to have plenty of money to spend) – it’s that gravel is not a sealed surface. So it is easy to dig in and roll, a much bigger safety hazard than just hitting a barrier head-on (which is actually quite safe these days).

      • Paul Sainsbury said on 22nd October 2013, 19:52

        I am afraid I really must correct you on this.

        Whilst a car rolling does indeed have its risks, looks spectacular and trends to get commentators very excited, on the whole, this type of accident, thankfully, tends to leave the driver uninjured. It is the ‘head on into the barrier’ accidents that are still very dangerous, even with today’s cars.

        • skylab (@skylab) said on 22nd October 2013, 20:26

          The problem with gravel traps is, indeed, that the cars tend to roll if they go off at any angle other than straight ahead. The car is then out of control in three rather than just two planes and is much much more dangerous. Airborne cars are too scary.

        • Not so: the problem with rolling cars is they can then strike the barriers at a point which is very weak, such as the driver’s head, for example. It also drastically increases the likelihood of going over the barriers.

    • Mallesh Magdum (@malleshmagdum) said on 24th October 2013, 8:10

      @timi newer circuits are multi-purpose. Gravel cant be used if u want to host events. I remember the Indian circuit once hosted an automotive award event and the guests were seated on the runoff at the parabola turn. The cars were displayed on the tarmac…..if the circuit had gravel run-off it would have been difficult to host the event

  8. Colm Lynn (@99-colm) said on 22nd October 2013, 13:32

    Tilke definitely needs to up his game, but the restrictions placed on him by the FIA means he is really attempting things with one hand behind his back.Creating tracks with a kilometre long straight as well as a pit straight is a waste of the available real estate since the lap is usually 5-6km in length. They should be allowed to build 7-9km length circuits so that they can really “develop” the circuit properly and incorporate their ideas fully, then maybe we would not have disappointing finishes to a lap like Turkey and COTA.
    Also does anyone know where to get data on the f1 tracks-e.g. track maps, capacity of former circuits e.g. Zandvoort

    • kpcart said on 22nd October 2013, 14:43

      I don’t think Tilke needs to up his game, he has had long enough, 15 years or more. give someone else the contract, why this monopoly????

      • Patrick (@paeschli) said on 22nd October 2013, 15:26

        +1, lets see if someone can do better within these regulations

      • GT Racer (@gt-racer) said on 22nd October 2013, 16:03

        why this monopoly????

        Because Tilke comes as a package.

        Tilke’s company designs the circuit, The infrastructure & the facilities. Tilke’s company as well as contractors regularly used by Tilke’s company also then build everything to the same standards since they all know the procedures & whats expected of every part of the operation.

        Its far easier & much simpler bringing Tilke & his company’s in than having one guy design the layout & then have a couple other people/company’s have to come in to design/build everything else as well as the circuit.
        One example of this is Korea, Tilke designed the circuit layout but the Korean’s insisted on doing everything else themselfs & the whole thing was a mess that to this day has never been completed.

        Not saying its not possible for anyone else to do it, Its just much more complex when compared to bringing in 1 person & 1 company that’s well organized, efficient & knows exactly what there doing.

        • kpcart said on 22nd October 2013, 16:43

          after reading your comment I ask the same question, why this tilke monopoly???? anyone else can also design the infrastructure and facilities, why keep the same designer that has not been popular and no doubt lost money for F1 because of his lame designs for 2 decades?? he must be a friend of a friend or someone very very high up, otherwise how can F1 be so commited to one man engineering not only tracks, but the state of f1 as a result of that??? it is pathetic.

          • GT Racer (@gt-racer) said on 22nd October 2013, 17:18

            anyone else can also design the infrastructure and facilities

            Its not just about design, As I said Tilke’s company does everything including the construction & its the having 1 company do everything & understands whats expected that makes Tilke & his company so appealing to those wanting a new circuit.

            Yes other people can design & build, However as far as im aware there is nobody else than can do everything from design, planning & construction under 1 roof & has experience of circuit design, exactly what facilities are required & the best processes when it comes to laying tarmac etc….

            Its not about Tilke having ‘friends’, Its just about having 1 guy/company handle everything making it far easier & far cheaper than having a couple different people/company’s handle each aspect totally separately.

            The thing that got Tilke so popular when it came to new circuits & modifying existing circuits was just that, You contact his company telling him what you want & his company handles the rest. That much easier & ends up been much cheaper than having to hire a couple different people & company’s to do each individual thing.

          • Nick (@npf1) said on 22nd October 2013, 17:19

            Other tenders might not be up to his standards. Ever been to a track like Zandvoort? It is a right mess, the facilities were built in 1997, but feel much older, not to mention the infrastructure is a nightmare.

            This article is an interview with someone who works with Tilke, so you should probably reconsider your idea Tilke alone designs the tracks.

          • @gt-racer as far as im aware there is nobody else than can do everything from design, planning & construction under 1 roof & has experience of circuit design, exactly what facilities are required & the best processes when it comes to laying tarmac etc….

            Well yeah of course there is no one else who we would be aware of, when F1 track design for new GP circuits is totally monopolized by Tilke and his firm. Are we even aware if other firms have attempted to win the business like that which was COTA project??

  9. WillP said on 22nd October 2013, 13:50

    I don’t think its just the FIA rules to blame, or even Tilke. The whole process is backwards.

    If a country wants to run an F1 race these days, it needs to build a circuit. The circuit is given some land and it is created within the boundaries of the rules. That’s what we now end up with. Sometimes it is successful, sometimes not so.

    In earlier years, a country would apply for an F1 race BECAUSE it had a track… often a great track. But even if it wasn’t that great, it would often come about through a love of motor sport, an evolution of tarmac through the local terrain.

    This is probably overly romantic but there is a point in there somewhere. You can’t force a natural track rhythm and atmosphere.

    • In earlier years, a country would apply for an F1 race because it had a track

      Spot on.
      I think COTA is a great addition to the calendar for any series and for the American motorsport, but why don’t they (FIA, Tilke…) just update and/or upgrade existant circuit?

      We all don’t want circuit graveyard all around the world, don’t we?

      • Optimaximal (@optimaximal) said on 22nd October 2013, 15:05

        The issue is the FIA keep raising the bar for safety and facilities, meaning the classic/existing circuits have to spend money keeping their standards up to the grade to host an F1 race – they lack money because of how the sport is run so don’t/can’t invest.

        On the other hand, a new build can very easily acquire/burn through investor or public money because of the ‘perceived’ benefit of creating jobs, tourism and/or business for the area. They, of course, rarely get that return on the investment in the time-frame they’d like.

  10. kcarrey (@kcarrey) said on 22nd October 2013, 14:35

    FIA rules are making F1 rot from within.

  11. sato113 (@sato113) said on 22nd October 2013, 15:06

    What ruins COTA for me:
    the run off and a tight hairpin leading onto a long straight.
    Also that sector 1 is just a copy of maggots, becketts, chapel.

    • Keith Collantine (@keithcollantine) said on 22nd October 2013, 15:22

      @sato113

      sector 1 is just a copy of maggots, becketts, chapel.

      Having now driven on both in real life I would say they’re really not that much the same. OK, they’re both combinations of switchback left and right curves, but the similarities end there.

      The Silverstone bends are quicker on the way in, flatter and don’t go on as long. The COTA turns have more gradient and some blind entries. I don’t think they’re any more similar to Maggotts and Beckets than the Esses at Suzuka are (I haven’t driven those yet!) – they’ve all got a bit in common but they’re all great in their own right.

      COTA definitely started with Maggotts and Beckets as the inspiration but ended up with something of their own.

  12. jonathan102 (@jonathan102) said on 22nd October 2013, 16:02

    I don’t mind safe tracks. Safe is good. But what I don’t want is a tarmac run off that is wider than the track itself. Put some gravel in it or something.

  13. Dave (@raceprouk) said on 22nd October 2013, 16:04

    But fitting in many such corners was not achievable. “Some of them – for example Eau Rouge – if you take Eau Rouge in Formula One you need to drive it with 300 kilometres an hour,” explained Epp. “So to set up a turn of 300 kilometres an hour you need a straight of almost a kilometre to reach that speed.”

    This bit I don’t get – the straight from La Source to Eau Rouge is way less than a kilometre, yet modern F1 cars take it flat in the dry. Even in the ’90s, it was often taken flat.

  14. I’ve had an idea which may work: why don’t they attempt to border the tracks with a 10cm deep “water trap”? That shouldn’t cause a significant enough deceleration to flip a car I don’t think but it’d slow them down and of course you can’t dig into water. It’s also mean run-off area lengths could theoretically be reduced significantly and there’d be no get out of jail free after making a mistake.

    The only problem I could see would be recovery and speed of attention, but since it wouldn’t be that deep it may work.

    • Dave (@raceprouk) said on 22nd October 2013, 16:12

      of course you can’t dig into water

      Oh yes you can, quite easily if you hit it at speed. Then you have a car upside-down with the driver’s head partially submerged.

      • @raceprouk that was why I was careful to specify a lower depth! Just enough to cause some drag.

        What was meant by the part you have quoted is you can’t physically get a tea tray dug into water as you can with gravel. Fair point with the submergement though.

        • Dave (@raceprouk) said on 22nd October 2013, 16:46

          Maybe, but the tyres can still dig in.
          If you’d said 10mm instead of 10cm, then the idea has merit. Then again, some circuits already have enough issues with drainage without adding shallow canals all over :P

        • JP (@jonathanproc) said on 22nd October 2013, 16:49

          @vettel1 The main problem with this is that it would be incredibily difficult to get 10cm of water to stay where you put it. You’d have to create entirely flat run-off areas, or have huge dips to stop it running onto the track which in itself would be more dangerous.

          Of course this could be solved by having flat tracks…but then that just recreates the problem of flat = boring.

          • @jonathanproc I was thinking gradual slope downwards to prevent spillage onto the track conceptually.

            Again very valid point though: if course it would have to realistically be a feautire incorporated into the design plan itself, but I think it could have been a decent solution for places like Korea’s T1 for example (which is what I was thinking of when I envisioned the idea).

            Wouldn’t work at Spa though!

    • bull mello (@bullmello) said on 22nd October 2013, 17:19

      @vettel1 – Aaaah, just like Driven!

      j/k, Max.

    • HoHum (@hohum) said on 22nd October 2013, 20:49

      Why not jelly ?

  15. Bookoi (@bookoi) said on 22nd October 2013, 16:25

    So it’s too dangerous to create modern equivalents of classic circuits, but the classic circuits we have are safe enough to race on? There’s an inherent contradiction in the FIA’s track safety rules…

    I know the whole ‘it’s too safe’ argument never carries much weight, but I don’t see how creating something like Spa or Suzuka is any more dangerous than having the drivers race between concrete walls and crash barriers at places like Valencia or Port Imperial…

    • Loup Garou (@loup-garou) said on 22nd October 2013, 17:15

      (@bookoi) said on 22nd October 2013, 16:25
      I know the whole ‘it’s too safe’ argument never carries much weight, but I don’t see how creating something like Spa or Suzuka is any more dangerous than having the drivers race between concrete walls and crash barriers

      Exactly. Some circuits like Singapore and Abu Dhabi seem more ‘enclosed’ and likely to result in accidents than Spa and Suzuka.

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