Tilke's monopoly may be over
12th March 2011, 19:20 at 7:20 pm #129014
Sorry if this didn’t deserve a topic all to its self but I’ve just read an interesting article on the BBC about the new Silverston track lay out and it’s designer, Drew MacDonald.
Any way hear it is http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-12499373
What do you think?12th March 2011, 20:14 at 8:14 pm #163276
I think people underestimate Tilke, it’s hard to find the balance between a safe track and one that performs well and allows for overtaking. This Drew McDonald sounds like a right tool though.
Just because he is making changes to Silverstone doesn’t suddenly make him a top designer. Silverstone is a fairly boring track as it is and doesn’t really make way in terms of overtaking so improving it won;t be difficult.12th March 2011, 20:30 at 8:30 pm #163277
I agree with RIISE on this. The apparent constraints on Tilkedromes are imposed by the FIA for safety reasons.
It’s not really fair to judge Tilke on this. He is working under major constraints and until someone comes along, reads these rules differently and comes up with tracks consistently ‘better’ it’s not fair to really pass judgement on the man, judgement should be passed on the system.12th March 2011, 20:59 at 8:59 pm #163278
I think one of the problems with the new Tilke tracks is their are no new non-tilke tracks to judge them against. Get some more designers in and tracks will improve through competition, the best designers getting the contracts. It cannot be right when one man has designed so many tracks and still gets contracts to do more when a lot of his work has been heavily criticized.12th March 2011, 21:00 at 9:00 pm #163279
SHAMELESS PLUG IN 3… 2… 1…
Tilke’s not all bad: http://www.f1fanatic.co.uk/2010/08/22/top-ten-hermann-tilke-designed-corners/
But, on the whole, I think the Tilkeisation of the F1 calendar has been a bad thing. Korea seemed like a step in the right direction, and India looks promising too, but most of his circuits are all fundamentally the same. One long straight followed by a hairpin, a couple of shorter straights also followed by hairpins, short straights followed by tight corners… yawn
Why does he have to have a hard braking zone at the end of every straight?? A circuit only needs one good passing place, rather than a few ok ones. Why can’t he have a few fast corners at the end of straights, like Stowe or Copse at Silverstone, or Turn 1 at Japan, or the Parabolica at Monza??? I haven’t exactly got an FIA rule book on me but I’m guessing the FIA wouldn’t have an issue with that?
And on Populous- well I’m a bit undecided on their job at Silverstone, the new Abbey chicane thingy is amazing but the double hairpin after that is crap. The jury’s out… or at least it would be if they ever got a chance to design an F1 circuit, but saying as Bernie takes a cut in every Tilkedrome (don’t sue me FOM, that’s just my hunch) that ain’t gonna happen anytime soon12th March 2011, 22:18 at 10:18 pm #163280
I pretty much agree with RIISE but I’d like someone else designing the tracks just for variety and to compare and contrast.12th March 2011, 22:43 at 10:43 pm #163281
What do you think?
I don’t think MacDonald and populous are going to get contracts to design full circuits for a while. First of all, the FIA and FOM won’t approach him until the Silverstone upgrade is completed and they know that it works – and this applies to multiple racing series, not just Formula 1. Then they’ll probably get a couple of contracts for Grade-2 circuits – circuits that won’t host Formula 1 – to see what MacDonald can do with a blank canvas. He might also get a few upgrade contracts (like Silverstone). It won’t be until they know he can design circuits that the FIA and FOM will approach him for full designs. I would not expect this for another five or six years at the least.13th March 2011, 9:28 at 9:28 am #163282
The problem isn’t really with Tilke, it’s more to do with the monopoly he has over the F1 calendar and the rather stringent requirements forced on him by the FIA. If he only had a few tracks on the calendar, we would be looking at his mix of long straights and hairpins as simply part of his “style,” rather than complaining about how similar they all are and thus how boring the racing is.
The problem here is with Bernie, who keeps forcing organisers of new GPs to use Tilke to design the circuits. You can’t really blame Tilke for accepting all of these contracts, as any sane businessman would do the same. It’s the lack of transparency by Bernie that is most infuriating.
I hope that eventually the business of awarding GPs becomes more transparent, and involves putting the design contract out to tender, rather than Bernie giving it to his friends.13th March 2011, 10:38 at 10:38 am #163283
The problem here is with Bernie, who keeps forcing organisers of new GPs to use Tilke to design the circuits.
First of all, Bernie doesn’t force organisers to use Tilke. Organisers choose Tilke because of his resume, since he’s the only person who has developed half a dozen Grade-1 circuits. Secondly, he’s not the problem, either. Given the positive reception to the Austin circuit layout, Bernie is now pushing to get Tilke involved in the design process sooner so that he can consult on which piece of land the organisers should set aside for the circuit. This should mean more circuits like Istanbul and Austin and less like Shanghai and Abu Dhabi. Bernie is also trying to get the rule book loosened up so allow Tilke and other designers more freedom in plotting out circuits. The rulebook is the problem here, not Bernie and not Tilke.13th March 2011, 11:48 at 11:48 am #163284
How can the rule book be the problem. hair are some great tracks like spa that comply to rules, they are safe, they have overtaking places and they produce great races. If good tracks comply to the rules then you cannot blame the rules for creating bad tracks.13th March 2011, 12:07 at 12:07 pm #163285
Agree with DavidS, the problem is that Tilke has the monopoly and that can design the track with no threat of someone else doing a better job. If there was no competition in life, we wouldn’t strive to perform to the best of our abilities, and instead complacency kicks in. Now im not saying thats entirely the case with Tilke, but by having 2/3 companies all going for the contract we will either get a variety of tracks to which the best is chosen (hopefully) or get 3 near-copies from everyone, thus proving that Tilke has been doing the best he could so far.
But whets to loose by having multiple companies going for the contracts? Thats the part i don’t understand.13th March 2011, 12:49 at 12:49 pm #163286
When Populous were asked to develop Silverstone did they not have to take into consideration MotoGP’s requirements? With this in mind does Tilke or whoever designs a track have to be wary of anything outside F1?
You mention about Tilke needing competition S.J.M, do you know of any?13th March 2011, 13:28 at 1:28 pm #163287
How can the rule book be the problem. hair are some great tracks like spa that comply to rules, they are safe, they have overtaking places and they produce great races. If good tracks comply to the rules then you cannot blame the rules for creating bad tracks.
Because the rules are written specifically for new circuit design, not for existing circuits. There is a separate set of rules for bringing existing circuits in line with safety requirements.
Also, it’s a myth that “good” circuits always produce good races. Spa and Silverstone have produce some real stinkers over the years. Likewise, Bahrain and Shanghai have given us the odd good race. Most people who criticise circuit design generally have no idea what they are talking about, as if there is some empirical absolute that will guarantee a good race every time. Hermann Tilke’s basic circuit design philosophy of a heavy braking zone after a long straight can be seen in the earliest of racing circuits. There are no less than four examples of this on the Nurburgring Nordschleife alone.
When Populous were asked to develop Silverstone did they not have to take into consideration MotoGP’s requirements?
The reconfiguration was originally designed for MotoGP. When it was decided that the circuit would be re-routed, the British Grand Prix had already moved to Donington. If the British Grand Prix had not moved, it’s unlikely Populous would have gotten the design contract. However, it should be noted that 2010 was not the first time the “Arena” configuration had ben kicked about. Hermann Tilke drew up some preliminary draft designs (then known as “Arrowhead”) as early as 2003 that utilised the same ideas as Populous did, though his was more of a simple triangle shape, using a single double-apex corner where Populous created Village, the Loop and Aintree, with Abbey being re-styled as a prototypical Tilke passing zone. He also hit upon the idea of moving the pits, first to Hangar Straight, and then to their current (new) location between Club and Abbey. See for yourself:13th March 2011, 14:05 at 2:05 pm #163288
@ AndrewTanner, nope i know of none but at the same time i know very little of that area of expertises and thats not to say theres not a good number of companies that exist.
It just bemuses me, we have would-be teams wanting to enter F1 who need to present themselves as credible, F1 recently opened up the Tyres to new companies when Bridgestone announced they was withdrawing. Why isnt Track design done the same?13th March 2011, 17:06 at 5:06 pm #163289
If it aint broke, don’t fix it. The moment that FOM can’t make any money from the Tilke tracks, they will be dropped, like with everything else.
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