Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez, Mexico City, planned changes

Videos reveal planned changes to Mexico’s F1 track

2015 F1 seasonPosted on | Author Keith Collantine

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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102 comments on “Videos reveal planned changes to Mexico’s F1 track”

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  1. 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 :

    1. It's Hammertime
      24th July 2014, 11:01

      Yes brother. My thoughts exactly. Keep the corner, reduce entry speed, introduce an o/t opportunity, this would be perfect.

    2. I like what you did there, but that area is full of stands, so I think that all those corners placed there now have something to do with keeping the cars more time to the public’s sight.

    3. @npf1 Not too keen on that. You’d basically make it a carbon copy of the long right hander in Shanghai, which I feel is an awful corner.

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. No Peraltada, no care.

  5. 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…

  6. Robert McKay
    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?

    1. 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.

  7. 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.

    1. Quote of the Day!

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

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

    1. 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.

  10. No Peraltada.
    No Interested.

  11. This is pretty much as good an idea for the track layout as we could expect. Peraltada RIP. On the other hand, The sound of the crowd coming into the ballpark will be incredible, and I suspect that it’s designed to be this way. It’s time to start rehearsing the Ole Checo song, if not Ole, Ole, Ole, Estaban! Estaban! If all goes well with a restored Mexican GP, then the future will be open to maybe restoring the historic corner. It isn’t the Monza banking, after all!

  12. Check the video at 1:51, I hope 2 cars never tangle there, or the debris can go straight to the fans!

  13. I have read the disappointment of everyone about the Peraltada, but the Peraltada lost its tilt and became flat after 1991 Mexican Grand Prix because Ayrton Senna hit the barriers there. Unfortunately, right after F1 decided not to return to Mexico following the 1992 race in spite of a contract with FOM running until 1997, the owners of the circuit decided to build next to the Peraltada the baseball stadium (The Foro Sol) which also is a main music concert venue.

    So don’t cry for the Peraltada, it died 22 years ago.

  14. Um, before you lot go any further with the discussion… peraltada means “banked”. You can see it in Mansells’s overtake video.
    That corner had a “twin” past the pit lane, as it was designed to be used in an oval configuration, it was to be a multipurpose race venue back in the sixties.

  15. I don’t know what to say really I am happy and sad in equal measures. Happy for the track sad for the Peraltada loss. In the same way that I would absolutely hate it for any driver to have a terminal acciddent on the other hand danger is one of the reasons why F1 is so exciting. What I haven’t fathomed yet is what I like less tilkdromes or altered classics (Silverstone, RBR ring, Hockenheimring). Well now come to think of it what I despise most is uninteresting tracks that over the years became even more appaling (Barcelona, Nurbugring). For crying out loud you have destroyed the cars, leave the tracks alone!

  16. Another boring Abu Dhabi clone, not excited in the least tbh.

  17. Another track that will never be judged fairly because it’ll always be compared to the great one that once stood on the same site.
    Just like the Red Bull Ring (pretty good), Nurburgring (ok), Monza (good apart from terrible first chicane), Hockenheim (rubbish) and Silverstone (great fast bits, boring slow bits).

  18. I’m not too sure how that 2014 Force India managed to qualify ahead of a 2012 McLaren, or Ferrari…
    I absolutely hate it when old tracks are butchered to accommodate new cars, I find it’s more interesting when the drivers have to adapt to an old track that’s unlike all the others on the calendar. With enough run off areas and high tech barriers are surely enough to make a track safe, we need good racing to fund F1, not more spectators at the race tracks.

  19. I am surprised that only one person, in all the hysteria over Peraltda, realised that a Force India is on pole position…

    1. @vettel1 mmm you made me watch it again and I noticed that for the other cars they actually used the 2011 liveries, so there’s a black and a white Force India on the grid hehe.

  20. Gloriously animated Tilkifications!

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