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Formula E: Circuit ratings

Discussion in 'Motorsports' started by Jimlaad43, Aug 10, 2015.

  1. Beijing

  2. Putrajaya

  3. Punta Del Este

  4. Buenos Aires

  5. Miami

  6. Long Beach

  7. Monaco

  8. Berlin

  9. Moscow

  10. London

Results are only viewable after voting.
  1. Jimlaad43

    Nice apex, I'll take it! Staff Premium

    It's fair to say that although it has divided opinions, the first Formula E season was a massive success. I'm going to use this thread to rate the 10 circuits from the first season and suggest what could be done to improve the circuit.

    1: Beijing - Beijing Olympic Green Circuit

    Circuit on Google Maps - http://www.gmap-pedometer.com/?r=6683568

    Beijing is a city with a lot of history, both ancient and contemporary. Hosting a race around the Olympic area from 2008 was an inspired choice. It's designed to accommodate the traffic and people needed to host an event. That said, the roads around didn't lead to an inspiring circuit. 90 degree corners and chicanes at junctions are never going to get too much praise. Overtaking spots were not too apparent, and it only took an over-optimistic defense from Nico Prost at the final corner for the race to be memorable for anything except being pretty dull.

    Best corner(s): Turns 7, 8 & 9
    Choosing the best corner here is like choosing which over-ripe fruit to have a bite from, there's nothing good, but one looks slightly better than the others. This chicane had a grass strip on the exit that lots of drivers tried driving over to gain time in practice, usually ending up in the wall.
    Location Rating: 7/10
    The Birds Nest stadium was a spectacular backdrop, and is one of the few areas of the city people know, but the gloom of smog didn't help.
    Circuit Rating: 2/10
    Uninspiring and drab.
    Race Rating: 4/10
    There wasn't much overtaking, and the race was won and lost in the pitstop and the final corner.
    What needs to be done?
    There's not much space to do anything really, unless the circuit encroaches the Olympic Park, going off the roads. But less chicanes where possible and maybe one or two of the 90 degree corners could be opened up with a re-tarmacking of the inside of the turns. There's no easy solution without reconfiguring roads.

    2: Putrajaya - Putrajaya Street Circuit

    Circuit on Google Maps - http://www.gmap-pedometer.com/?r=6683588

    Putrajaya was a long wait after Beijing, but it threw up a decent race on a decent circuit in a decent location. The helicopter shots of the city were especially fantastic, and the backdrop of buildings made it a good spectacle. The first two straights seemed to have been taken right from Donington Park, and passing worked just as well. Elevation change, a tight hairpin and a good race helped to bring faith into supporters that the series might just work.

    Best corner(s): Turn 9
    The first proper corner that Formula E raced on, quick but tight with no room for error, and varying lines perfect for overtaking into the next hairpin.
    Location Rating: 7/10
    Most people know Kuala Lumpur, not many know Putrajaya, but it surprised me, the fancy paint across the final corner and down the first two straights surprised me.
    Circuit Rating: 6/10
    Good overtaking spots and some proper corners, but still a lot of 90 degree corners.
    Race Rating: 6/10
    Overtaking happened, Sam Bird dominated and there was action.
    What needs to be done?
    This is going to be a reoccurring theme, but chicanes as the first turn don't work, as too many drivers cut them. So changing that would be good, but there's not much else that can be done, especially as it worked for the rest of the race.

    3: Punta Del Este - Punta Del Este Street Circuit

    Circuit on Google Maps - http://www.gmap-pedometer.com/?r=6683594

    Punta Del Este is similar to Beijing in a few ways, in that it's mainly chicanes and straights, but here we find one of two proper corners and good racing. The drivers were really attacking the kerbs, and this was the first race to really highlight the weakness of the suspension, claiming the races of a few drivers - most notably robbing Jean-Eric Vergne of a podium on his debut race. Surrounded by seas and a beach, the track had a holiday feel, and it produced good racing between the chicanes.

    Best corner(s): Turn 13
    The long right hander on the inside of turn 4 helped drivers get in the slipstream for overtaking into the next corner.
    Location Rating: 6/10
    Punta Del Este doesn't jump to mind when thinking of Uruguay, but it was based on an old TC2000 circuit, and good weather made it look good.
    Circuit Rating: 6/10
    Although the race was good, it is still a track of chicanes and straights.
    Race Rating: 8/10
    Fantastic action, edge of the seat entertainment, and a crazy finish.
    What needs to be done?
    As the regeneration gets better on the cars, slowly his track can lose chicanes, but the first on is the worst, being really tight, space to cut and a very narrow exit thanks to the pit exit.

    4: Buenos Aires - Puerto Madero Street Circuit

    Circuit on Google Maps - http://www.gmap-pedometer.com/?r=6683599

    An absolute success, this race was one of the best single-seater races of 2014, let alone the FE season. It had everything, from great corners, long straights and more lead changes than you could keep up with. In the end, the one chicane claimed loads of victims, and turns 1 and 4 were fantastic for overtaking. A true success.

    Best corner(s): Turns 10, 11 & 12
    This section was both crucial as they lead onto the start straight, and truly spectacular. The guys with the TV cameras nailed it and really showed these cars doing what they're supposed to do.
    Location Rating: 4/10
    Buenos Aires yes, but it wasn't exactly in a well known bit of the city.
    Circuit Rating: 9/10
    The turn 1 bump and having the startline and the finish line on different straights only slightly detracted from the circuit.
    Race Rating: 10/10
    Couldn't have been much better. A slow first half and a safety car in the middle turned the second half of the race into an action packed few laps.
    What needs to be done?
    Maybe sort out the dust in turn 1 and the bump on the exit, but not much needs to be changed at all.

    5: Miami - Biscayne Bay Street Circuit
    Circuit on Google Maps - http://www.gmap-pedometer.com/?r=6683612

    Miami has dropped off the calendar for next season, and I have to admit that I'm quite glad. OK, the location and city were brilliant, but the track on show was pretty awful. Two sets of Four 90-degree corners does not make a good circuit, and a pit exit that forces a turn to be run under permanent yellow flags doesn't help. The track at turn 1 was too narrow for anything much to happen on the first lap, and apart from turns 5 and 6, overtaking was not really possible. Biscayne Bay has had different configurations in the past, this is the worst by a mile.

    Best corner(s): Turn 8
    A bit like Beijing, not much to choose from, but turn 8 was tight but tricky.
    Location Rating: 7/10
    Looked good an TV, but having a section of the track under a highway wasn't the greatest idea.
    Circuit Rating: 3/10
    At least they avoided chicanes...
    Race Rating: 5/10
    There was a race to be had, but it was mainly over when nobody was able to make any major moves into the first corner.
    What needs to be done?
    Perhaps returning to an old Biscayne Bay configuration? But most importantly, work out something better as a pit exit. Again, start and finish line in different places is annoying as a fan.

    6: Long Beach - Long Beach Street Circuit

    Circuit on Google Maps - http://www.gmap-pedometer.com/?r=6683615

    Long Beach was the third track visited that has been used before, and it is basically the Indycar circuit with a shortcut. However, the shortcut is a chicane that cuts up the long right hand sweeper of turn 1. This chicane was once again tight and useless as a first turn with another obstructing pitlane exit, but it was basically the only detractor from the track (apart from wanting it on the full layout). A good race that should stay.

    Best corner(s): Turn 6
    The long turn through the car park is a favourite of many drivers and fans around the world.
    Location Rating: 9/10
    Steeped in history, and the Piquet story helped a bit.
    Circuit Rating: 6/10
    Despite the history, it is again a circuit with 90 degree corners. the track only has 7 turns, and the first chicane didn't really work at all. Will be better once the cars are allowed on the full track.
    Race Rating: 6/10
    It was really over at turn 1, but the drivers did the circuit justice with decent scraps, and the typical last corner T-Boning.
    What needs to be done?
    Cut out the first chicane, and just have a long run from turn 7 to the current turn 3.

    7: Monaco - Circuit de Monaco

    Circuit on Google Maps - http://www.gmap-pedometer.com/?r=6683620

    Monaco is almost exactly the same as Long Beach. Historic circuit with a shortcut form turn 1 to cut out a section of the track, rejoining later in the lap. It was nice to see Monaco used differently, but it was still the same old Monaco - really really tough to overtake. Monaco without the tunnel or the Loews hairpin doesn't seem right though. Turn 1 once again fell into the "works all the time except as the first corner" category that did plague the season.

    Best corner(s): Piscine 1
    The Formula E cars looked just as good as F1 cars through the left right flick.
    Location Rating: 9/10
    It's Monaco.
    Circuit Rating: 5/10
    Monaco is liked because of the history and toughness, but the rose tinted spectacles were hiding. The shortcut was nice, but it's not the same as the section it avoided. The major difference between F1 and FE cars straightline speed was highlighted a lot during onboards down the start straight.
    Race Rating: 4/10
    Overtaking was at a premium, even with the slower cars.
    What needs to be done?
    As soon as possible, go to the full circuit.

    8: Berlin - Tempelhof Airfield Street Circuit

    Circuit on Google Maps - http://www.gmap-pedometer.com/?r=6683632

    Tempelhof was the first "purpose built" circuit in Formula E. The Tempelhof Airfield was a major part of Berlin's 20th Century history, until it closed in 2008. With a nice big expanse of tarmac, circuit designers had a pretty simple task. On a first look, it doesn't look like they did a good job, but the race wasn't too bad.There were good overtaking opportunities and a few good fast corners, but a section of 4 chicanes in a row was a very bad idea.

    Best corner(s): Turn 9
    A good, quick and long turn which was crucial for a good overtaking opportunity on the long straight.
    Location Rating: 7/10
    Tempelhof made sense as it brought minimum disruption to the city, but the TV crews let viewers down, as there weren't enough cameras which could see the cars and the location of the terminal building behind.
    Circuit Rating: 6/10
    Apart from the final section, a good mix of straights, tricky braking points and fast corners.
    Race Rating: 6/10
    Di Grassi's disqualification left a sour taste, but there was good action elsewhere.
    What needs to be done?
    There's infinite scope to change the track with not much happening on the airfield, so a better end to the lap is my suggestion.

    9: Moscow - Moscow Street Circuit

    Circuit on Google Maps - http://www.gmap-pedometer.com/?r=6683643

    A late addition to the calendar, but Moscow worked really well. It's tough to choose a better part of Moscow to put a track. The track however, was a slight let-down. From the outset, it looks brilliant, and it does have some good corners, but a bit like Suzuka, it's a drivers circuit, not a racers circuit. Turn 11 represented the only real overtaing spot, as the straights to turns 1 and 2 weren't long enough for the speed of the corners at the end, while the chicane was clumsy and easy to cut.

    Best corner(s): Turns 2, 3, 4, 5 & 6
    That section of circuit is fantastic, and much better than a 90 left that it could have been.
    Location Rating: 9/10
    Apart from going through Red Square itself, they really nailed it.
    Circuit Rating: 6/10
    Good track, docked a point for the start line and finish line being separated by a corner. Lack of overtaking opportunities is the major detractor.
    Race Rating: 5/10
    A good setup was hindered by the trickiness to overtake, which did at least cause some entertainment.
    What needs to be done?
    The Paddock area next to the Kremlin could become the track and the current pit area and last corners could be the new paddock. Still have a bridge hairpin (but the other way) and have the final corner to the west of the bridge, slightly lengthening the start straight.

    10: London - Battersea Park Street Circuit
    Circuit on Google Maps - http://www.gmap-pedometer.com/?r=6683656

    A blast through the trees and the bumps to finish the season. The original plan was scrapped, and chicanes were installed, but they weren't too bad. However, the circuit was plagued by horrific bumps and camber. Overtaking was made tricky by the camber, as the cars would often bottom out trying to cross it, and the less said about turn 1, the better. The drivers asked for the bump in turn 1 to be fixed a few days before the racing, but it wasn't until they were all taking off before action as taken. The trees did mean that unless there were helicopter shots, you couldn't get a perspective of London, but it was a pretty park to say the least.

    Best corner(s): Turn 13
    Wow, what a corner. When I walked it on the Friday night, I knew it would be just about flat out for them, and the camber on the inside made it slightly banked. A quick shoutout for the 6/7 chicane, which was also flat out and amazing.
    Location Rating: 6/10
    Battersea isn't exactly the best known park on London, but it did the job.
    Circuit Rating: 7/10
    Overtaking opportunities were increased when turn 1 was fixed, but it was a bit too bumpy in places.
    Race Rating: 5/10 and 9/10
    The first race was more about getting points, so didn't produce the best stuff, but race 2 was all about the championship. A rainy quali shuffled the grid and there were great moves and racing all over the pack and circuit.
    What needs to be done?
    The track is fine (although I would move turn 9 and 10 a bit closer to 8), but the surface is a problem. From the entrance to turn 17 to the exit of turn 3, the bumps are appalling. The camber into turns 8, 9 and 14 are also too much.

    Do you agree with me? What did you think of the tracks of the series and how would you improve them?
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  2. What an amazing and well thought out post. I tend to agree with you but I really enjoyed Long Beach (for obvious reasons). Very informative.
  3. the_sigman

    Sim racer, F1 news editor... Racing is in my blood Premium

    I mostly agree. The basic things FE has to do is having smoother asphalts (there some suspension failures this season) and reduce a little bit the chicanes. And if possible wider roads, that was one reason I didn't like Battersea.
  4. There won't be a Monaco e-Prix next season iirc. ;)
  5. Jimlaad43

    Nice apex, I'll take it! Staff Premium

    I know, it's probably going to be every other season, alternating with the Historic GP
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