Featured Street circuits, motorsport history that should be kept alive?

Discussion in 'Formula 1' started by Angus Martin, Jun 13, 2018.

  1. Angus Martin

    Angus Martin
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    Baku F1 GP.jpg
    In recent weeks, international motorsport has seen a fare few number of races on street circuits. Some of the tracks being modern such as the Baku GP. Others were timeless classics such as the Monaco Grand Prix, the Grand Prix de Pau and this week is the start of the Isle of Man TT.


    After what I’m sure everyone can agree was a slightly “dull” race at Monaco, I’m wondering if these sorts of tracks should become a happy memory instead of a relationship turned sour.

    Firstly, I would like to say that, in reality, the Monaco Grand Prix was an exciting race to the person who knows a lot about the sport and can analyse the different strategies at play. However, from the perspective of someone coming to the sport for the first time, it may have seemed like a stale-mate as in there was no on-track action.

    Attraction of new fans is an issue motorsport deals with constantly, but even more so when races fail to provide the excitement one gets from a proper jostle for position. And this is where Monaco becomes more and more of a problem as Formula 1 cars are getting faster and wider. It’s not only Monaco which is having problems. This week is the start of running for the Isle of Man TT. In the first few days, there have already been multiple fatal accidents involving both Dan Kneen and Steve Mercer. This reinforces the fact that maybe, modern machinery is becoming too fast for these classic circuits.

    This is where historic, or classic racing comes into play. In fact, if you take the example of Monaco. The ACM (Automobile Club de Monaco) also organises the Historic Monaco Grand Prix. This event ranges from old GT racing all the way through to classic F1 cars. The racing in all of the categories over the weekend is astonishingly good because the cars are slower. Slower vehicles also keep the racing as safe as possible. For example, at the Isle of Man TT, the slower bike races don’t see as many of the horrifying crashes we witness in the superbike races. This is down to one major element; the bikes aren’t going as fast as the “big boys” when they do eventual crash making it less dangerous for the riders.

    On the flip side of the street circuit conversation. The more modern layouts are proving themselves as great tracks for close racing and even a little bit of carnage. Today’s new generation of street circuit are seeming to aim for more modern streets with more than two lanes and less flowing turns. As a result, you get tracks such as Singapore and Baku which constantly provide the best races of the Formula One season by creating an unpredictable result thanks to the possibility of overtakes and crashes. Even though these circuits aren’t as fun to drive as the typical Spa or Silverstone. The fact is that long flowing turns need downforce whereas start-stop 90-degree corners mostly only use a car’s mechanical grip. You can then get long trains of cars all able to squabble when they arrive on one of the many long, wide straights. Finally, with the barriers on either side of these tracks, drivers are bound to end up making slight mistakes and binning it causing safety car intervention. And the whole “procession” starts over again because cars that had previously managed to create gaps have now been forced back into the clutches of their rivals…

    In conclusion, there are a few ways of getting out of this rut and making sure we don’t have a repeat of the monotonous Monaco GP. The FIA should either decide to get rid of the track from the F1 calendar leaving it for slower cars or change the layout to accommodate for the more modern cars.

    Your thoughts?
     
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  2. Sky

    Sky
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    the canadian gp was just as boring. so why not get rid of it or change its layout too? the next race will probably be just as dull. get rid of it or change it too. and the one after. and the one after. and the one after. and the one after. get rid of every racetrack except baku.

    then race baku every week. and when baku produces a dud race. get rid of it and cancel the championship. :p
     
    Last edited: Jun 13, 2018
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  3. Bazooka_Joe

    Bazooka_Joe
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    I think the problem does not lie in the tracks themselves but in the cars that do not allow one following closely another thus robbing us from the battles. Some remedies were placed to 'fix' it (ekhm - DRS) but it's like reattaching a missing limb with a plaster ;)
    Reduce that stupid aero dependency to a reasonable limit, remove the tyre and fuel saving garbage and actually let the drivers to do the real racing on the limit for from the start to the chequered flag. The tracks will all of a sudden come back to life without any layout changes.

    Probably Monaco will still be tough to overtake, but at least limping Ricciardo's car won't take up the entire racetracks' width and someone else might have a chance.

    I think I could replace Ross Brawn now :)
     
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  4. Jolero02

    Jolero02

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    I agree with most of what you say( about the reasons why Street circuits like Baku and Singapore create good racing) but not sure about Monaco- the terrible( bar I’m strategic oversight) race in Monaco this year more than others is due to the problem in F1 at the moment. The tyres Pirelli have created seem to be in this weird range where the tyres don’t drop off dramatically ( like past Pirelli tires) but don’t seem to give any grip, meaning that the already hard to overtake 2018 cars are even worse. The odd nature of the tyres has In Monaco this created an even worse dynamic due to the poor overtaking at Monaco on a usual day- this is why Monaco was so boring. The troubled nature of the tires/overtaking dynamic has only been hidden by the wildness of Baku( due to the factors you subscribed) and the Safety Car all season ( that’s a story for another time)
     
  5. Jolero02

    Jolero02

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    While what you say simplifies the issue, I think you summed it up perfectly
     
  6. Koen Verlinde

    Koen Verlinde

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    Monaco wasn't dull...didn't you see Monaco races in the 90's and 2000's or have you just forgotten about them? Those were dull. In 1991, one overtaking pass was made that made the headlines, one. At the same time, a lot of those people who say current F1 is boring think of 1991 as one of the best seasons.
    Yet...1 overtake, Mansell on the inside of the chicane on Prost who didn't even defend. And that somehow is considered amazing?

    The problem with street circuits is the combination of F1 problems since the mid 80's of too much aero making it hard to overtake, but now amplified by the amazing reliability these cars have and too much blind/90° corners which are typical for street circuits.

    Now I'm sure someone has already mentioned this before but it doesn't get worse from repeating.
     
    Last edited: Jun 13, 2018
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  7. 123rem

    123rem
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    I think as simracing grows and grows, there will be more interest in the difficult, technical circuits such as Bathurst, Monaco, Nordschliefe, etc - circuits not good for overtaking. In fact, I think it's happening already.

    The fuss over Monaco was caused by Hamilton saying how bored he was, but I think this is more to do with Hamilton being a total wanker. If he was leading, he would not have complained.

    The preservation of tyres needs to be eliminated from all racing, bar endurance.
    It is dull to the drivers, to the teams and to the audience.

    Nobody wants to watch a driver managing his tyres.
     
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  8. LeSunTzu

    LeSunTzu
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    Sorry, Baku and Singapore do not produce the best races each year, but the worst. Baku turns F1 into Mario Kart and Singapore is too often a lottery (or worse! ;)).

    And the fuss about Monaco has nothing to do with Hamilton but with the fact that there was a procession behind a slow car. F1 processions are ok when drivers are delivering. When Sirotkin and Stroll in the worst car of the plateau lap quicker than the 6 leaders, everyone is disgusted by this mockery of a race.
     
  9. 123rem

    123rem
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    As street circuits go, Singapore is a horrible circuit, the worst on the calendar. It is boring to watch and boring to drive.

    There should be at least one challenging corner on any circuit, and there was at Singapore - the Singapore sling chicane - then they got rid of it.

     
  10. Koen Verlinde

    Koen Verlinde

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    If drivers can't take corners but jump over kerbs, it's worth mentioning to point to the drivers as well.
     
  11. Rokas Charlapavicius

    Rokas Charlapavicius

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    I don't know about you, but street races for me are not about ''racing''. It's about the ''spectacle'' and especially ''unpredictability'', which is much higher on street circuits rather than on the regular ones. Lets take this years Monaco Grand Prix for example. Was it a spectacle? I personally enjoyed Riccardo's qualifying lap, as for the race it was fun seeing Verstappens' attempts to move up. Was it unpredictable? Yes it was. Verstappen was pretty much bound for victory until all of a sudden he binned it in FP3, Riccardo's win was never in doubt until he said: "Losing power'' over the radio. And all of sudden there's intrigue.

    Sure, that does not happen every year, but it seems to me that most people watch street races for the carnage and just for that. This is not Nascar.

    Just a few other examples of Monaco unpredictability I can remember off the top of my head:
    2017 - Kimi getting pole position out of nowhere after 8 years.
    2016 - Riccardo's botched pit stop.
    2015 - Hamilton win being ruined by team strategy.
    2014 - Rosberg missing the chicane in qualifying, Bianchi scoring points for Marrusia.
    2010 - Schumi slipping through Alonso on the last corner at the safety car restart.
    2004 - Schumi and Montoya colliding in the tunnel behind the safety car.
    1996 - Rain in Monaco, only 3 cars running at the finish.
    1992 - Sennas' desperate defending from Mansell.
    1988 - Senna crashes out from the massive lead.
    1982 - Sudden rain with two laps to go, causing chaos and multiple lead changes.
    And so on...

    My point is: sure, racing at Monaco is 99% boring, but that 1% of action is usually something to remember for a long time and that is why it should stay. Plus at least for me it is exciting to see the cars thread the needle through the barriers, which compensate those 99% somewhat and what should get that 'regular' viewer excited.

    Also I agree with someone who said that we shouldn't take tracks off the calendar because it was too dull. That is not the way to look at this.
     
  12. Stuart Gillard

    Stuart Gillard
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    I think there is a place for historic street circuits such as Monaco on the current F1 calendar however the sport needs to dramatically change the cars and also regulations.

    I started watching F1 back in the early 90's when Mansell, Senna and Prost were providing most of the on track action, and in those days Monaco was usually just as an exciting race as any other.

    The cars had a lot more mechanical grip and relied a lot less on aerodynamics to keep the car glued to the circuit, this alone allowed cars to follow each other so much closer as there wasn't anywhere near as much "dirty air" as there is on today's cars.

    The re-introduction of refueling would dramatically add a lot more variety to the races and qualifying as fuel loads would vary, aerodynamics need to be simplified to allow cars to follow a lot closer, more emphasis needs to be placed on generating mechanical grip which has no negative effects on a following car, the engine allocation needs to be addressed to allow drivers to be flat out from start to finish racing rather than putting on a steady paced procession and the penalty system for gearbox and engine changes needs to be dramatically addressed or totally abolished as this is robbing the sport of close racing and drivers many points unfairly in most instances due to no fault of their own.

    I could go on with my list, but in my opinion the sport is in the worst place it has been in since I've been watching it, there isn't really any one thing that is going to fix the current issue and it certainly isn't down to running historic tracks and circuits such as Monaco, with the correct cars, rules and regulations in place racing wheelbarrows around Monaco could be just as exciting as F1 and in the direction the sport is going that might just well happen.
     
  13. Epic Gamer Dude

    Epic Gamer Dude

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    There have always been fatal accidents at the Isle of Man TT, dating back to 1911. Motorbikes back in 1911 were nowhere near as fast as they are now but people still died.
     
  14. 2112

    2112

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    Interesting premise. I despise Monaco yet my "home" track and one of my all-time favorites, since the F1 days, is Long Beach.

    Long Beach, though, has always had one thing constant: Shorline Drive. The long Shoreline straight has allowed for some very daring moves, (Bourdais' pass this year, even though it was penalized), and scary moments, (Regazzoni going head on into the run-off at the Queen's hairpin and hitting the wall at full-beans). The exit of the straight, whether heading into the Fountain today, or going into the Queen's hairpin then, was always wide enough to allow for two cars side-by-side, depending on how daring the driver is/was, with penalties for choosing incorrectly. The same with Seaside now, and Ocean in the early days.

    Monaco does not offer that type of chance of a very high speed straight with passing opportunity to the daring at the end.

    I like street circuits as long as they are well thought out. While I do not like Monaco now, I used to like it, but even then it was difficult to pass on. The track was made for much narrower cars and, discounting drives like Senna's in the rain, seems more for spectacle than actual racing. If I am honest, there is nothing wrong with that as the race is always popular with the spectators.
     
  15. dcollins22585

    dcollins22585

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    Come on man. Parts of Baku aren't even wide enough for 2 cars. 90% of street courses are horrible.
     
  16. gamer19

    gamer19

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    It's so not. You just have to give it enough time. :geek:
    Singapore is great, I spend so much great time there. Love it. And definitely not boring, what are you talking about ? Was a Monaco boring, this year Canada ? Let's wait for this year Singapore and compare them huh ? :sneaky:
    Speeds aren't comparable but neither was protection. What is your point ?
    They don't have to be.
    The parts where overtakes happen - they only need to be enough wide. Fact.

    My favorite street circuit is probably Surfers Paradise, so curvy, complicated (at first;)) very very tight but absolutely love it. You know, in a way, it reminds me quite of my first girlfriend... :D
    Curvy, complicated and so tight, how not to love all that. :x3:
    Dunno, maybe our tastes are different. I like them ...like that.
    Maybe you like some other things who knows, I'm not here to judge. :sneaky:
     
    Last edited: Jun 14, 2018
  17. Durge Driven

    Durge Driven

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    I don't think the problem is the cars as much as the gulf in performance
    F1 should be called the 3 team cup p

    10 years from now Formula-E will probably be faster and more exciting to watch on today's F1 street circuits and a true test of drivers in cars with same power

    Is the reason Bernie and Liberty like street circuits that cities bring in good revenue as opposed to tracks that are in the boondocks
     
  18. St3fan

    St3fan

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    Most people say they like tough challenging circuits, especially in sim racing, but whenever I suggest to people that we try out Macau they always be like "it's too hard let's try something else" although that track isn't really impossibly hard.
     
  19. Durge Driven

    Durge Driven

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    Put it up on your own server

    The ones that hang around will learn and start lapping better and be thankful for the time they spent on it because of you ;)
     
  20. St3fan

    St3fan

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    I like your optimism :)
     
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