F1 Fanatics, on your daily commutes, your trips to the shops, your joy rides, do you encounter a bend in the road that ever so slightly echoes or very explicitly gives you the sensation of threading through some of the most glorious bends of great racing circuits?
Here is an example near me. This stretch of downhill parking lot leads to an uphill kink that resembles a mirror image of the great Eau Rouge of Spa-Francorhamps. On my bicycle, I pedal full speed down the hill and at the trough I can feel the compression at the beginning of the uphill.
Going the opposite direction downhill and turning right feels like a mirror image of the Senna S at Interlagos. I stay left and brake late to touch the first apex and try to carry as much speed as possible for the exit of the second apex. This is the site of several inside late braking overtaking maneuvers between me and my friends (on bikes).
Well the exit I take from Sheikh Zayed Road to get to the Dubai international Financial Centre where I work has a little chicane in it which is a bit like the Variante Alta at Imola…execpt if I launched my car over the kerbs I’d probably do several grands worth of damage!
I’m not sure which one it is, but one of the corners at Singapore is a sharpish left-hander with a bump (well, trough actually) on the apex, which troubled the F1 cars a lot in 2010 as they were bottoming out. Near where I grew up there’s a lovely bit of twisty road, and one of my favourite corners used to be just like that – a quick but sharpish left-hander with a hidden trough at the apex. I loved the way it unsettled the inside wheels as you went round the corner. That bit of road has since been resurfaced, and the corner isn’t nearly as much fun now it’s all smooth :(
I’m sometimes reminded of the Parabolica on motorway slip roads, that sense of a constant radius bend that goes on long after you’ve expected it to end…
This is a stretch of road just along from my house which has always reminded me a bit of Eau Rouge, but in reverse. The road drops steeply downhill then kinks right then left, before heading back up the hill (behind the photo position). And a few hundred metres further along the road is the Angel of the North which would give the circuit it’s identity!