but it also strikes me as a bit of a freak accident that could have happened anywhere
It’s not the first time an accident has claimed a life there. There was another almost identical one there a few years ago; a stock car driver (I can’t remember his name) went wide, hit the wall and ricoheted back across the circuit where he was collected by another car (you can see it here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=F22ZuPzogxU) And it was the scene of Webber’s infamous accident in 2003, when Alonso collected debris left on the circuit, leading to the race stoppage.
Great… another chicane at an awesome (all-be-it dangerous) corner.
It’s unlikely because there’s no room. The back half of the circuit from Juncao climbs steeply and circles up around to the start line; Subdia dos Boxes is one of the highest points of the circuit. But on the inside of the corner is Bico do Pato, the hairpin – and that’s one of the lowest points on the circuit. Any chicane would require Bico do Pato to be moved backwards and the inside of Subdia dos Boxes to be filled in, because the outer wall cannot be moved back; just outside the circuit is a major arterial road.
The only reasonable solution would be to lengthen the circuit coming out of Juncao, then cut back across with a Tamburello-style chicane. Or, better yet, a replica of Tamburello; for a chicane, it’s actually quite a neat little complex. The idea of such a corner would not be to slow the cars dow, but to change the racing line going into Subdia dos Boxes so that if a car does go off and cut back across the circuit after glancing the wall – at a lower speed, as the chicane would shave a little off – it will be off the racing line.