Videos reveal planned changes to Mexico’s F1 track

2015 F1 season

Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez, Mexico City, planned changesAlmost every corner on the Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez will be altered to accommodate Formula One when it returns to the venue for the 2015 Mexican Grand Prix.

A promotional video issued by the federal district reveals how the circuit, which was first used for F1 over 50 years ago, will be revised to bring it into line with modern safety standards.

The sweeping three-turn chicane which opens the lap of the clockwise circuit will be tightened. The next sequence of corners – turns four, five and six – will also be tightened and slowed, giving more space for run-off.

The challenging, high-speed Esses in the middle of the lap will be altered in parts and also benefit from increased run-off space. But they should remain one of the quickest sections of the circuit.

However the once-fearsome Peraltada corner will not be retained in the configuration it was when F1 last raced at the circuit in 1992. The circuit will turn right into a baseball stadium in the centre of the corner, and rejoin the old track via a hairpin and two right-handers.

The high-speed nature of the 180-degree bend, and the inability to make safety improvements to it due to a public road which runs behind it, forced other single-seater series which have visited the track since F1 left to make changes. The now-defunct Champ Car and A1 Grand Prix championship last raced at the venue in 2007 and 2008 respectively, each time using a slow chicane before the corner:

More on the planned changes for 2015

Thanks to Luigui_Torres for the tip!

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101 comments on Videos reveal planned changes to Mexico’s F1 track

  1. mattshaw85 (@mattshaw85) said on 24th July 2014, 9:53

    What a disappointment, nearly every corner tightened means it looks like any other track on the calendar. I suppose they want to go through the stadium to make an ‘arena’ section, as the chicane before the peraltada would have surely made it safe enough.

  2. Bezo said on 24th July 2014, 9:55

    *sigh* I guess the Peraltada was never going to happen.

  3. It's Hammertime said on 24th July 2014, 9:56

    I’m so disappointed. That corner was awesome. Cutting the Peraltada is tantamount to removing a man’s wedding veg. Couldn’t they have just tightened the entry/ brought the apex closer to the entry (AKA Parabolica Monza) to reduce entry speed? Or neutered it/ retained in a manner similar to Curva Grande Monza by installing a rettifilo type chicane before hand?

    The reason it goes through the baseball ground in the manner proposed is safety related (they couldn’t flick ‘fast’ left back towards the Peraltada bank because the northern part of the bb stadium wouldn’t give enough run off (for modern regs). The cynic in me says its also been engineered to “improve the show” by offering a opportunity for photographing bunched slow moving f1 cars.

    Yesterday’s announcement had me googling flights and planning a trip. I doubt i’ll bother now, what a shame.

    • sato113 (@sato113) said on 24th July 2014, 10:35

      you’re cancelling a great trip just because your upset on one corner? great fan you are!

      • It's Hammertime said on 24th July 2014, 10:58

        I realise the first post was a touch Melodramatic. But come on, where’s the challenge. That is the signature corner of that track. Ive been to 6 grand prix in recent years (Silverstone, Monza, Spa & Nurburgring…off the Hungary this weekend), and (personally) the excitement of the sport for me is watching the cars on the limit, mastering the challenges of the given track. With tires/ fuel saving/ strategy etc, you only really see this 100% commitment on a Saturday. Its great a historic track is back, in a country that loves f1, and that will create a great atmosphere, its just a shame we had to neuter it to make it happen, thats all.

        • Breno (@austus) said on 24th July 2014, 13:44

          I have a question, were you excited when Raikkonen lost his car, hit the barrier, bounced back across the track and got hit by Massa?

          • It's Hammertime said on 24th July 2014, 16:24

            No, I didn’t. What are you trying to insinuate? F1 is all the better for losing its “blood sport image”, but I do think modern f1 track design generally lacks challenge, or differentiation. Korea, China, India and Valencia and Abu Dhabi all suffer from a generic approach to circuit design.

            Turkey, Cota, Nurburgring, Spa, Barcelona, Silverstone, Austria, and Monza to name a few represent a challenge because of the elevation change, the bumps, the high speed corners. The Peraltada corner in its original state was epic viewing, but unsafe, i’m just thoroughly unhappy with the proposed redesign.

  4. sato113 (@sato113) said on 24th July 2014, 10:29

    ooh how long is that main straight? longer than china? i like, i like

  5. Atticus (@atticus-2) said on 24th July 2014, 10:44

    Why am I not surprised!?…

    The plans bears an uncanny resemblance to the one which circulated around when these rumours first emerged awhile ago.

    I’m actually fine with a lot of the transformations.

    I like that most of the corners (T1-T3, Esses) are to be modified in a way to retain speed while increasing run-offs by opening up the corner angles with moving around with the straight preceding the corner entries (T1, beginning of the Esses). In fact, I don’t think the Esses are going to be much slower than they are now and certainly more technical.

    T4-T5 may will be tightened, but they were never that outstanding (most of those features, like the old decreasing radius T1 and the Hairpin were eliminated in an earlier ‘upgrade’ anyway) and now they should provide more overtaking.

    I was so sure F1 won’t miss the glamour of creating a POI which is going through a baseball field! :) In fact, what is to happen with the Peraltada is my only objection to the plans (surprisingly). I understand @keithcollantine‘s tweet and replies here, but I’m with those who would use SAFER barriers on the outside.

    …May I ask who designed this rebuild plan? Judging by the apparently smart use of land (bar Peraltada), my guess is that it was not Hermann Tilke.

  6. Nick (@npf1) said on 24th July 2014, 10:50

    While this solution to the Peraltada is miles ahead of the one used by CART (every 90 degree corner is one too much, small hairpins I can live with) I wonder if something like this would have been entirely out of the question :

  7. taurus (@taurus) said on 24th July 2014, 12:14

    Best corner on the track ruined. I would rather they stuck a bus stop chicane in there just before Peraltada like the one at Watkins Glen. If the money was there they could shift the road about 15 metres and gain enough space for the ENORMOUS tarmac runoffs we apparently need at every corner over 30mph these days. I dont see much reason for tightening up every other braking zone either. Just leave it alone.

    I see a lot of talk about circuits that are trying to improve the viewing opportunities for fans at the track. I think much of the Peraltada change is to do with this. Obviously going through a baseball field around a hairpin at 50mph will give people at the stadium a great view of the cars but I’m sure everyone else in the world would rather see them hanging on for dear life at 150mph round the Peraltada (See also: Hockenheim and Silverstone – I’d take the 1991 layout over the new one anyday).

    The new straight after turn six is an improvement though.

  8. HUHHII (@huhhii) said on 24th July 2014, 12:19

    What a dissapointing layout. I think every other circuit in the calendar except Sochi have better layout than this. I’d be happier to see Istanbul returning rather than this slow-corner-after-slow-corner atrocity.

  9. TomMK (@tommk) said on 24th July 2014, 12:29

    No Peraltada, no care.

  10. JackySteeg (@jackysteeg) said on 24th July 2014, 13:24

    Curious that the FIA won’t allow the drivers to take on the Peraltada in its full glory but will force drivers on old tyres to do standing restarts…

  11. Robert McKay said on 24th July 2014, 13:51

    If you have to alter pretty much every corner on a circuit to go racing there again (and totally neuter/negate one or two), is it worth it? Is it not tantamount to admitting the series outgrew the venue a while ago?

    • GT Racer (@gt-racer) said on 24th July 2014, 15:27

      Is it not tantamount to admitting the series outgrew the venue a while ago?


      I know that several of the drivers felt F1 had outgrown this circuit when F1 left after 1992. The drivers were not happy with the lack of runoff nor the quality of the tarmac which was & still is ridiculously bumpy in places.

      I seem to recall Senna been very critical of the safety at the circuit after his big accidents there in 1991/92 as well as some other big accidents which had occurred there before that.

  12. GT Racer (@gt-racer) said on 24th July 2014, 15:21

    Like I said a few days ago there was never any chance they were going to run the old peraltada because of how narrow & blind that corner now is on top of how fast it is.
    If a car goes off there they will likely bounce back onto the track & that would leave nowhere for cars behind to go & because the corners so fast & pretty blind cars behind won’t have time or room to react.

    If they still had some runoff or if the inside was open to give some visibility I could see them looking at running through it, But with it as it now is with Concrete walls inside & outside & the track been narrower than it used to be, There’s no chance they would even consider it.

    And the other problem is that there isn’t much that can be done to make it safer because of whats around the circuit now. The stadium is on the inside so you can’t move the corner inwards to create more runoff or at least make it less blind & more open. But you can also not extend the runoff on the outside because there are roads & a car part for an indoor arena behind the peraltada wall with residential houses just down the road.

    CART/Champcar never ran through the peraltada unaltered. They also ran through the baseball stadium the 1st few years & then used a chicane just before it for the final 2.
    A1GP also felt the full peraltada was too dangerous so they also went for the chicane option.

    I’d also point out that when the circuit was altered in the Mid-90s when the baseball stadium was originally built, They actually always planned to run cars through it, Thats why they have the 2 openings either side of it to get the cars on/off the original layout.
    So they haven’t actually suddenly built this stadium section just for F1 in 2015, Its been there for 20 years & was designed in a way to get cars racing through the stadium.

    One final point about the peraltada & the lack of runoff. Remember that they also have an oval layout for some local categories & the peraltada is part of that oval, Thats why the wall is where it is & a part of why I can’t see them really wanting to move the wall (Which they can’t really do anyway due to whats behind it now).

    Regarding the rest of the changes, I don’t think they really hurt the spirit of the circuit. The best part of the esses have remained pretty much as they were in terms of the radius of the corners, There just making them a bit narrower to create a bit of runoff.
    The 1st part has been bypassed but that was just an acceleration zone anyway, It was the following few corners which will remain unaltered which were the real challenging part & they will now be a bit faster given the straighter run from Turn 6.
    I think the tightening of Turns 1-5 will be much better for racing.

    Regarding the ‘cars are safe’ argument, Yes they are but perhaps a part of that is also because they have changed the circuits to make them safer as well.
    If they were running todays cars on the unaltered circuits of 20-30 years ago with no runoff etc… I doubt we would have got away with so many accidents as we have.

  13. joac21 (@joac21) said on 24th July 2014, 15:35

    Only last year someone got killed in the peraltada driving a small touring car

  14. When A1GP first raced at Mexico City, they used the full Peraltada at full speed – no chicane before. Here’s the onboard

    • PeterG said on 24th July 2014, 18:20

      They ran through it the 1st year but drivers were unhappy about the safety so for the next year they put the chicane before it to slow them down.

  15. StephenH said on 24th July 2014, 18:22

    No Peraltada.
    No Interested.

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