Changes to Interlagos for 2012
8th November 2012, 20:48 at 8:48 pm #132331
Not much of a surprise I guess, more tarmac! According to RTL GP (RTL has the television rights to Formula 1 in the Netherlands) they removed the grass at the Senna S and replaced it with tarmac to increase safety… Among other changes they made, together with a drainage system at the entire circuit and some fake grass at the back straight to prevent drivers from gaining speed by cutting a corner (that’s what it says, not sure of where the grass is supposed to be) they spent 22 million… didn’t see it mentioned anywhere else on this site yet, so here you go…8th November 2012, 20:58 at 8:58 pm #214456
Here’s a source in Portuguese, with some pictures: http://globoesporte.globo.com/motor/formula-1/noticia/2012/11/interlagos-ganha-area-de-escape-no-s-do-senna-para-gp-do-brasil-de-f-1.html
The article in Portuguese says the drainage system is around the Senna S though, and it looks like the astroturf was installed at Descida do Lago. Also, I’d like to clarify that that they spent R$ 22 million… which is about £6.5 million or US$11 million.
I don’t like the trend of asphalt run offs, but Interlagos is by far the poorest circuit on the calendar (in terms of facilities of course, the track itself in my top 5), and as a Brazilian I’m happy they are trying to improve it, it would be a crying shame if it lost it’s place on the calendar because of its unsuitable facilities.8th November 2012, 21:21 at 9:21 pm #214457
As long as the layout remains the same, I’m OK with with every changes, especially those which increase safety.8th November 2012, 22:41 at 10:41 pm #214458
I really dislike these tarmac run-off areas – especially at the first turn. Just like Circuit Catalunya, Monza, Singapore and to some extent Monaco, drivers will cut the corner on lap 1. It takes away some of the excitement of the first corner. This in contrast to Albert-Park and Montreal where the drivers are force to stay on the track, often causing chaos in the midfield.9th November 2012, 12:50 at 12:50 pm #214459
Baaaaaaah ! Come ooon !
What’s wrong with grass and gravel ?! really… we’ll end up watching cars going round on a massive tarmac field with white lines painted to delimit the track…9th November 2012, 13:12 at 1:12 pm #214460
Someone once said that tarmac run-offs actually reverse the driver’s learning process to find the maximum grip at each corner of each track.
I. e. before tarmac run-offs became the norm, one would converge to the quickest way through a corner from ‘below’, i. e. slowly building up speed in the corner. While, of course, nowadays it’s still the predominant approach and sensible thing to do, there is – I think – less in the way of doing the opposite – take a bit too much and see if that’s enough. If not, back off a bit. But increasingly try to nail it from ‘above’.
Of course, limited tyre availability curbs this possibility back somewhat; it’s not so fun finishing a set of tyres trying to nail it from ‘above’ and flat spotting one by braking too late… But then again, precisely that’s what tarmac run-off is good for. Late on the breaks? No issues, don’t flat spot it, run wide instead, you will have no problems. So it’s controversial a bit.
Another thing: it does encourage overtakes, I think. While playing with the abrasiveness of tarmac run-offs could cut this back, I think it is a way higher incentive to try a risky pass. The worse you could end up with is a little tour on the run-off, but no gravel, sand or grass will mess up your tyres, aero elements, radiator, etc.
Of course the main argument is always safety, but that needs no explanation – barring brake failures, where one could argue that a gravel trap would be more effective in slowing the car down.9th November 2012, 13:16 at 1:16 pm #214462
@atticus-2 The job of the grass is to limit the track, because tarmac doesn’t limit the track, because a driver doesn’t care too much about going off-track.9th November 2012, 15:55 at 3:55 pm #214463
Bring in the Paul Ricard stripes, at least.9th November 2012, 16:56 at 4:56 pm #214464
@raymondu999 aren’t they made of tungsten powder? As a Brazilian taxpayer, I’d say “hell no”. If that cost us 22 million, just imagine how much those run offs would cost.9th November 2012, 17:07 at 5:07 pm #214465
@guilherme No idea, road design isn’t my area. I could ask a friend though, who does design roads for a living9th November 2012, 17:37 at 5:37 pm #2144669th November 2012, 17:44 at 5:44 pm #214467
@raymondu999 – I started a thread on Paul Ricard’s abrasive run-off areas a while ago, and found out that they really were expensive.
The material used is a tungsten-asphalt mixture, which is very, very, very costly to obtain. Moreover, tungsten is apparently the only material that achieves the desired effect – other industrial-grade abrasives like ceramic aluminium oxide are either too expensive, or alter the chemical properties of the tarmac in an undesirable fashion – so there are no cheaper alternatives to consider (at least, until engineers come up with a suitable substitute).
For now, if track designers want a runoff surface that stops cars effectively in case of an accident, penalizes driver mistakes, and is cost effective, the tried and tested gravel/sand trap is, in my opinion, still the way to go.10th November 2012, 21:17 at 9:17 pm #214468
It is safer, so it is good.10th November 2012, 22:30 at 10:30 pm #214469
Looks like they’ve still left a strip of grass between the exit kerb and the tarmac expanse, which I think is the best compromise.
Anyone who blows a braking zone will meet it head on, go straight over grass and have the tarmac to stop them. Anyone who tries to get greedy will dip a wheel onto the grass and spin.11th November 2012, 21:09 at 9:09 pm #214470
You must be logged in to reply to this topic.