Street circuits: How can we make them interesting?

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    ching ho

    Hello, F1 Fans.

    I am currently undergoing an assignment at school known as a personal project. In this assignment, I have the chance to choose whatever topic/task that I like, and work on it for half a year. I have chosen to design a circuit from the streets of Hong Kong. However, as soon as I get started, I find that there is a large problem in some street circuit designs: Races around tracks such as Monaco, Valencia, and Singapore are not very entertaining.
    This is where I need your suggestions – What are your favourite tracks? Why? Are there certain elements of track design that you like (eg. elevation changes, long straights, tight corners)?

    Thanks for your valuable input.



    Hello! The problem with street circuits isn’t the grip levels in my opinion. The layout is the problem. You need a couple of high-speed sections, followed by slow corners. Put in some challenging corners and make your circuit have a nice flow and you will be OK!!



    I think elevation changes can give a circuit a lot of character. Obviously, this isn’t always the case, as Silverstone is very flat, but some of the best circuits have undulation. You only have to look at Spa, Suzuka, Austin, Interlagos to see this.

    One of the main problems with street circuits is that it can hinder the chance for exciting on-track action, because it doesn’t yield many chances to overtake, which can be frustrating for many fans. But this is something you have to deal with when designing a street circuit. Is it going to be just using the actual streets of the city, or will it be a purpose-built track in the style of a street circuit, or perhaps a mix of the two?

    Finally, as has been mentioned on here recently, having a great track is one thing, but what can make or break a circuit is the time of year that it appears on the calendar. Having it at the start of the year might be good, as it means the results are usually less predictable, compared to having it later in the year, when people have more of an idea about who will finish where. However, on the other hand, having a race at the back end of the Championship might be exciting for a different reason, as it could prove a vital twist in how the Championship goes. Lots to think about :P



    @jamiefranklinf1 is right. Sponsors is another very imprtant thing, but you can deal with it.



    If you can get the formula, street circuits are not always bad. Did you remember that Albert Park is a street circuit? If it were me, I would like to combine the better things from existing street circuit in recent years.
    Monaco: +elevation changes
    Valencia: +wide tracks
    Singapore: +night atmosphere
    Melbourne: +available space, green park, and fans atmosphere

    the main problem as everyone said is the lack of fast corners. that makes most street tracks always gonna feel the same. Too much barriers and concrete walls is not recommended, more spaces would be appreciated. The point is, make it hybrid. Like Melbourne and Montreal. (IMO)



    The street track I’m working on for rFactor uses an (IMO) interesting mix of fast, wide dual carriageways going into slow, fiddly and narrow housing estates. Also, sliproads.
    Existing roads is always the best way to go IMO, but you really need to get the location right. And if the city has local landmarks (such as the Nestlé tower in Croydon) then all the better.
    And don’t let Hermann Tilke anywhere near it, although to be fair he’s better at street circuits than he is at purpose-built facilities.



    Street circuits are entertaining.

    Especially Valencia and Monaco.



    Monaco is indeed the pinnacle of them all, of course. Although Singapore is doing things right. Aside from turn 10, that is.



    Is turn 10 the Singapore Sling chicane corner? At least it’s memorable and has a bit of character which is more than can be said for a lot of the anonomous 90 degree bends in Singapore.



    You do have a point there.



    For me, one of the main ingredients of a ‘succesful’ circuit is the possibility of overtaking (without DRS). I think the main reason that overtaking on street circuits is nearly impossible without DRS is the dominance of slow corners. Rounding these slow corners take some time, which causes the car in front to accelerate away from you when you are still mid-corner. Therefore you cannot use any slipstream. That is why we don’t see overtakes in Valencia without DRS.

    So what you need (in my opinion) are high- and medium speed corners connected by straights. Take Silverstone as a good example. The straights are shorter than in Monaco or at the Hungaroring, yet we see a lot of overtaking (without DRS) every year!

    So I’m with @sigman1998



    In my opinion, the problem of most street circuits is the limitations of their designs. If you look at the area surrounding the current Singapore GP circuit, there are a lot of crossings, which basically only enable 90 degree corners. The Singapore Sling is a creative solution to that, but having too many chicanes won’t help either.

    Because of the way most cities are built, its roads simply lack the characteristics most fan-favorite tracks have. If you were to do a street circuit, you’d have to end up with something like Albert Park or Circuit Gilles Villeneuve, which stand out for their flowing tracks and diversity in corners.

    You can avoid 90 degree corners, but only until a certain extent. You don’t want to have a street circuit with 2 kilometers of straight, because that’s not very exciting either. Monaco is a great track to drive on, but because of its barriers and narrowness, it’s very hard to overtake. Try to leave some room for kerbs in fast corners, but make sure it doesn’t become too easy to go off track and rejoin.


    ching ho

    Dear All,

    I would like to thank you very much for your suggestions on the creation of a street circuit. I am currently brainstorming different ideas through a map on Google Earth.
    Do you have any ideas as to where I could find some rules regarding the specifications and safety requirements of race tracks?



    FIA website would be the first place to look.

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