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Featured Some Thoughts on Mexico's Revised Circuit

Discussion in 'Formula 1' started by Jordan Adcock, Nov 3, 2015.

  1. Yes

    35 vote(s)
  2. No

    56 vote(s)
  3. Not sure

    19 vote(s)
  1. image.jpg
    Did the sheer atmosphere in Mexico City compensate for the clipping of a classic circuit?

    So the Mexican Grand Prix finally returned last weekend, and though the race itself wasn't exactly for the ages, everyone seemed agreed that the turnout and loudness of the crowd really added something more than normally expected from a new venue.

    It was almost enough to drown out the frequent complaints beforehand about how the Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez had been cut down by F1's most trusted circuit designer Hermann Tilke. What has changed, and what was the result?

    Peraltada's the most obvious change, and fans could rightly feel upset. When Mexico fell off the F1 calendar after 1992 and maintaining Mexico City's track was less important than the actual city building up around it, this super-fast 180-degree corner could never survive. Its gravel trap replaced by a concrete wall right next to the track, and with no place to bring it further in due to the baseball stadium built in the infield, plus a very fast pit entry with the potential for accidents.

    peraltada 2.jpg

    To be fair, F1's not the first to deal with a somewhat pacified Peraltada. Both Champ Car and A1GP used a simple chicane to slow down cars before they reached the corner, and in terms of preserving the original as much as possible I honestly would have preferred this.

    But instead we have the stadium section, and it's probably why fans were aggrieved: to replace a corner which pushed drivers to the limit, with one where they're practically crawling around?

    Although I'm sceptical that I would ever choose to watch F1 cars at the slowest point on the track, having the baseball grandstands pincering the track like that, full of passionate fans was the best thing the organisers could have done with a section that slow and twisty. Whatever I might say against the new layout, it absolutely did its job: put F1 in a stadium format like other sports, and watch the evocative pictures sell the race by themselves, all with the Mexican tourism logo hung between the two stands.

    Martin Brundle of Sky Sports F1 wasn't far off when he compared the track to a street circuit, with the walls being so close as they frequently were. Its closest counterpart is really Canada's Circuit Gilles Villeneuve; it has Montreal's tight walls and great fan atmosphere while lacking that track's thrilling fast flow. Both are closed in, though one by water rather than an enormous city.

    Overall, Mexico now boasts a very typically Tilke layout, with corners now tighter and slower pretty much everywhere, but it's made interesting by the unique challenge the location provides for the teams. The high altitude means less air and less downforce to generate, plus the newly completed track surface refused to afford much grip. Together they added up to lots of mistakes, especially in the esses and heavy braking zones. I will say that when drivers reached turn 1, I kept wondering how they got the car turned into a ninety-degree corner after the highest top speeds of the calendar.

    So again, Mexico's return definitely wasn't bad, and boasted a bit more actual character and support than F1's other new territories, but I still can't quite put aside my sadness that what once stood is basically Tilke-fied. I think most fans can accept that the changes were mostly necessary to keep up with modern safety requirement. Yet to end on a curmudgeonly note, just because we accept the changes doesn't mean we have to like them.

    But did you appreciate the changes to the track? Comment below and vote in our poll!
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 4, 2015
  2. Chris Stacey

    Chris Stacey
    Ted Kravitz Appreciation Society Staff Premium Member

    It certainly wasn't as good as it was originally, but I still think it is a good track. I think they need to revise the run into the stadium section. There's 40 thousand spectators there and it's the least possible place to overtake on the whole track as the run from T12 into T13 is too short (yes Perez made two overtakes there but it was only because he was let through after Sainz gained an advantage by running off track, and when Vestappen [I think it was him] made a mistake at the preceding corner).
  3. Andrew Scott

    Andrew Scott
    Premium Member

    Don't like it :thumbsdown:, they murdered a very challenging Mexico circuit and turned it into a typical F1 track. Why can't they just leave these iconic tracks as is, sure make them safer if it's necessary, but stop altering these circuits layouts.

    F1 drivers are allegedly the worlds best so they should be able to cope with any layout, whether it's tight and twisty, fast & straight or a combo of all 4.

    I'm sick to death of the FIA & FOM controlling every micro aspect of F1, smacks of people on a power trip, but that's just my opinion.

    • Agree Agree x 10
  4. Chris Stacey

    Chris Stacey
    Ted Kravitz Appreciation Society Staff Premium Member

    I'm afraid such a resolution with the Peraltada was not possible as there is a public road just meters on the otherside of the track. In order to keep the track the same and increase the safety (of which was virtually non-existent), they would have had to redesign the public road that boarders the track, rather than the track itself, and I doubt the FIA/FOM/Whoever have the power to change city structures outside of the piece of land they've acquired.
    • Agree Agree x 2
    • Beer Beer x 1
  5. Andrew Scott

    Andrew Scott
    Premium Member

    Ahhh, I see said the blind man. Didn't realise that was the case, thanks for the enlightenment.
    • Love Love x 2
  6. Dave Stephenson

    Dave Stephenson
    Technical Administrator Staff

    Unusually I think I should put a word in for Tilke and his boys who have to work within the strict safety/design guidelines set out by by the FIA which are very stringent. Many of the older circuits features only survive because they aren't new circuits.

    additionally on brand new circuit designs they have to work with the land they are provided. This is good if the land is topologically interesting but when it's flat ground prepared as though it should be housing factories and tower blocks it's much more difficult to work with.

    Most of the great circuits people talk about have elevation change as a core part of what makes the circuit. Spa is an obvious example but there's many others. Of the newer circuits, Circuit of the Americas has good changes in elevation. Having this available to the designers in the natural topology allows them to express themselves more by playing with elevation change and camber to provide a more interesting and technically challenging track while still maintaining the FIA's requirements for run-off area and safety.
    • Agree Agree x 3
    • Like Like x 2
  7. Duke55

    Premium Member

    Many will bang on about how they've butchered the Peraltada, but if you're prepared to give it a chance there's a handful of good points that come from the new Stadium section. Firstly, It's still a great corner for the modern cars to accelerate out of to shoot them down the long main straight, which still provides a good opportunity to overtake other cars. Secondly, the layout gives a good percentage of the punters a chance to keep the sun behind them for the majority of the race. Thirdly, the layout is excellent for all those folk to witness the podium presentation at the end of the day. And finally, the atmosphere that can be built because of what comes with a stadium layout, similar to any football complex.

    Anyway, I can see the benefits that come from the new adventurous design that hasn't been trialed before at a motorsport circuit/precinct. It gets a thumbs up from me.
    • Agree Agree x 1
  8. Rob

    XBO: OctoberDusk06 Premium Member

    Isn't it strange that IndyCars can run at 230mph the whole lap, inches away from a wall for about 2-3 hours? And love it. Close preservation simply would have taken some minute revisions and something that IndyCar invented in 2002 to save lives (because they actually do race in the face of danger)...safer barriers. Wake up F1. Or grow some larger attachments instead of bigger extortion rackets and Saudi dependence. It's what the fans want Jean. And I'm sure the drivers (well, maybe not some of the miniature versions they have in F1) would prefer it too.

    (ponders) ... (scratches head) .... (hates to see a great series nosedive)

    Nah. They just want to "pilot" :roflmao: their video game cars and appear to go fast without really going ....f-a-s-t. When will someone in power (Red Bull, Ferrari, anyone, Please Help) understand that it's about fleecing the track owners to the point of sucking them dry, then moving on. When a rainstorm can cripple a track because it rains and attendance drops for the third straight year due to mismanagement, something is wrong when such a promising track is involved. Bubba has now been fired after extracting millions and leaving nothing, just like he did in the NFL with Tampa Bay. Oh, and special thanks to F1 for juxtaposing the Mexican Grand Parking Lot Prix a week later and a car ride away from Austin, both in emerging markets that are actually producing more additional T.V. fans/year than Europe. Sadly, Mexico will not be around long either as F1 moves on to another Tilkedrome or reconfigured mess soon enough, and all will be a-buzz again...for about two years, when the couch critics again crank the winge up.

    Get ready to watch your favorite drivers and even a few (gasp) World Champions on NBC soon.
  9. Timmieturner12

    Premium Member

    I don't know that much about the circuit in the past though what I do know is that they killed the final sweeping corner. I just don't get why that was removed, back then you saw some drivers struggling for grip in that corner which made it really interesting to look at how they handle a f1-car in those sort of corners. Well for the rest it looks quite the same to me
  10. Frederic Schornstein

    Frederic Schornstein
    TXL Racing Premium Member

    I don't know the old layout. I think the stadium was really good for the crowds etc., but they made the rest of the circuit really tight and twiddly. I have no idea why they put in so many slow corners in modern circuits.
    If you look at something like Abu Dhabi there are no proper faster corners on the whole track. One at the start and one in the middle. As all drivers say an F1 car really comes into its own in fast corners not in these slow speed chicanes.

    What really shocked me when I saw some onboards I thought it was extremely slow and then they showed a mercedes onboard and nearly looked like a diffrent kind of class which was really shocking.
  11. :poop:
    • Like Like x 1
  12. fortyfivekev

    Premium Member

    Posted in the other thread about this but for F1 to continue to be popular with the masses the drivers need to look like heroes doing something that the rest of us can't do. I bet I could drive one of these cars through a 1st gear corner pretty well but a 5th or 6th gear corner no way. I am all for safety improvements but removing all the ballsy corners isn't going to help the sport long-term because no-one will want to watch.
    • Agree Agree x 1
  13. I like the rest of circuit, but the new Peraltada no.
    • Agree Agree x 1
  14. Arne Dopudja

    Arne Dopudja
    Leader of the infamous Chevy Gang.

    Not the best track, that goes for Ring and Spa and such, but it is in the top tracks. Very modern looking. The stadium section is what sets the bar now. More of that. More like an arena sport. More spectacle. Like TrackMania. :D
  15. kedy89

    Premium Member

    It's :poop:. The stadium section was unnecessary, even if there is no runoff in Peraltada they could've added a bit of a chicane the straight before to lower the entry speed. If they say it's too dangerous I don't see why the last corner at Indy a few years back was no problem. That one also had high speed with no runoffs. Yes I remember RSC's crashs there, but then just put safer barriers. The rest is just classic Tilke, a bunch of 90° and 45° corners. But I get it, half of today's driver generation is just incapable of driving on challenging tracks without the usual 1km tarmac runoffs. Wait a few years and they'll reinstall the '94 chicane in Eau Rouge.
  16. SK

    Prince with a thousand enemies. Premium Member

    The track is total garbage. 90° left, 90° right. The 50km main straight makes the cars look slow. At least use some flattering camera angles that make them look fast. The only thing that sets this apart from the other Tilkedrome's is the crowd. They fkn carried this race. It would have been a snore-fest if it wasn't for them.
    • Agree Agree x 2
  17. The track now generally sucks.

    The race sucked too (but that's besides the point because you can have good or bad races at any track).

    I completely understand that the final corner (Peraltada) was too fast/dangerous relative to todays lame circuit layout safety standards but why was the rest of the circuit destroyed??

    Personally, I found old-Mexico's medium speed left-right-left-right-etc. section an even more prominent characteristic of the circuit than Peraltada (although definitely not as magnificent as Peraltada). There was no need to absolutely destroy the rest of the circuit.

    Imagine they decid 130R @ Suzuka is too dangerous so they kill-off the "snake" section (1st sector)? Imagine they decide Eau Rouge @ Spa is too dangerous so they kill-off Pouhon (fast double-left hander in 2nd sector)? It makes no sense.

    There was no reason to destroy an entire circuit when the only "issue" was the entry speed to one, single corner (Peraltada).
    • Agree Agree x 1
  18. I'm also sad that the peratalda is gone. But what i'm not sure about is: what was first? The stadium, or the plans to revise the circuit? From what i've heard they had to do the stadium section because they built the stadium on top of the peratalda, not sure though. But the rest of the track has become pretty nice, only improvement could maybe be to replace the "semi-hairpin" in the stadium by a 90°corner or something, and cut the wall when entering the stadium to make it a bit faster and a possible overtaking spot
  19. I hate the stadium section. It was awful. This is why people are calling F1 boring. Sections of circuits like this. Fair enough, it brought crowds and they were loud but Peraltada was a much better corner
  20. Kris Cobb

    Kris Cobb
    Avid Chronic Racing | Team Principal

    I can slightly understand the stadium section but why butcher the rest of the track.

    Peraltada could have stayed with the stadium, also Indy has no runoff on the road course. Just stupid taking tracks that have character and destroying them.
    • Agree Agree x 2