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Author Topic: Are we being fair to the newer tracks?  (Read 4483 times)

Offline F1fanaticBD

Are we being fair to the newer tracks?
« on: December 02, 2013, 06:18:26 PM »
Its been almost an universally accepted truth, at least among GP Wizard members, that the newer tracks are lack of character, excitement and extremely dull. I admit I was among them as well, but then one thing got me thinking, specially after Indian Grand Prix this year, are we being fare to the newer track?

The older tracks have history to offer, have stories about making of hero out of ordinary, as the brave men tackled the corner with machine and his driving ability. Certain track will make drivers fear as many speed demons lost their live while racing through them. There is always a legacy, a myth, an atmosphere about the well-loved old circuits, which are being build in ages, with their evolution of different era.

The newer track, but with latest technology, with a clear intention to catch the flavors of the old tracks, surely lack that sort of legacy or heritage for sure. But criticizing them, not being exciting enough, are we doing justice to them? In early years of racing of F1, when a team went to new race, they were daunted by the prospect of driving in the unknown, racing in the dark, where they went almost blindly. While on the other hand, when a new circuit is introduced, every millimeter of the track is being recorded in the simulator, where they are rigoriously tested, engineers with unbelievable computing power, run the racing scenario with minute detail, and the car will be set-up with that much detail, that it will be able to adapt the circuit in no time thus ensuring the best possible time, which makes the racing a tad bit boring, seems like its pretty easy to drive around this tracks. Anybody who saw the driver's parade in Circuit of America would know how steep that first corner is, that several classic cars fail to make it to the apex with a driver in it. When F1 cars were running it looked astonishingly simple. So if you let the cars of 70's, 80's run the circuit, I thing it will make us realize how difficult the circuit is. I think it goes for the many of the new Tilke-dromes. Also dew to regulation, the circuit nowadays made as wide as possible, which also dilute the ability of the F1 driver to test their racing skill.

Sometimes it makes me wonder, if Monza was presented as a new track, how would be the reception of it among the fans, and I am pretty sure it will be disastrous. The parabolica, the Lesmos would not have been treated with respect, but rather with despair. I have a feeling the Silverstone may have been put under the scrutiny if it have started now.
« Last Edit: December 03, 2013, 03:03:18 AM by F1fanaticBD »

Keep running the fast cars, you will be never out of girls


  • Guest
Re: Are we being fair to the newer tracks?
« Reply #1 on: December 02, 2013, 07:17:49 PM »
Nicely written piece BD, provocative stuff. Agree about Monza - possibly my favourite track.

Danger is a key element in the excitement of F1, and there's not enough of it around at the moment. Whether it's Tilke or the parameters that he's forced to work within, the tracks are part of the problem. Too wide, too much run-off, too safe.

Online cosworth151

Re: Are we being fair to the newer tracks?
« Reply #2 on: December 02, 2013, 07:59:20 PM »
I'm afraid I have to disagree. As vintly said, the wide tracks with huge runoffs of the current generation of dedicated tracks makes them dead bland. Far too many of Herr Tilke's tracks rely on gimmicks and half hearted, watered down copies of classic track features. Shanghai being in the shape of a Chinese letter is so silly that now even they are disavowing the whole notion. The dirt pile at Austin looks more like it belongs on a motocross course.

Most of the classic circuits have evolved over the years. This has allowed them to perfect the features of their layouts. And, yes, they do have heritage. They also tend to have long time enthusiastic fan bases. Most of the new circuits are in areas that really don't care a fig about racing. The empty grandstands prove it.

As for the street circuits, the only one I really care for is Monaco. I'll readily admit that it's main attraction is that it Monaco! It's been there forever and its whole atmosphere is the epitome of F1 ambiance. It has evolved over the years, too. While the section from the current Start/Finish to Tabac has stayed pretty much the same (with the exception of the tunnel being lengthened), the rest of the circuit if vastly different than it was back in the mid 60's.
I still feel that any circuit should have to prove its worth hosting other series before it can move up to F1.
“You can search the world over for the finer things, but you won't find a match for the American road and the creatures that live on it.”
― Bob Dylan

Offline John S

Re: Are we being fair to the newer tracks?
« Reply #3 on: December 02, 2013, 08:01:49 PM »

Nice thought provoking piece BD,  :good: not all of us dislike the newer tracks you know.  ;)

I for one think Turkey, Malaysia, Bahrain and COTA are good racetracks, India I just can't make my mind up, I'm also not so keen on and China, Singapore & Abu Dhabi. Now Korea is well..... a half decent track, but it's brought down by no atmosphere - even on TV - because the area around it really is so drab; the media do their best to hide it but there is a certain downbeat perception on Yeongam weekend (Oh I wish there was a yawn emo)   :(

Silverstone to me used to be a hopeless track and was really just a pancake flat road round the edge of the old airfield complex, it may have been fast but it was boring as hell when compared to Brands or Donnington - both of which feature big elevation changes as well as tight corners - ideal to mix up the racing. The new layout at Silverstone makes the track much more interesting and maybe, for me anyway, just about puts it on a par with some of the newbies.

I agree that narrower tracks make for more challenging and therefore exciting racing, however the Elf & safety committees wont allow new Monzas or Spa whatever we agree in debate.  :crazy:

Racing is life - everything else is just waiting. (Steve McQueen)

Offline Jericoke

Re: Are we being fair to the newer tracks?
« Reply #4 on: December 02, 2013, 08:07:53 PM »
The 'classic' tracks are 'classic' for a reason.

The nature of supply and demand has rewarded the entertaining tracks, and relegated the dull ones to history.  That is to say they've earned the right to be 'classics'. 

As far as I know NONE of the 'classic' tracks have their original layout.  They've taken the time to refine the tracks, to create the spectacle they're known for through trial and error.

Does this preclude a 'new' track from becoming a classic?  Not at all.  But it must be earned.  Some of the new tracks will adapt and become classics.  Others will whither and be forgotten, to be replaced by new 'new' tracks to complain about.

Offline Dare

Re: Are we being fair to the newer tracks?
« Reply #5 on: December 02, 2013, 09:54:23 PM »
To see first hand how the classic tracks evolved
all one has to do is buy a copy of Grand Prix Legends
[my favorite racing game].

You can see how dangerous the old tracks were especially
the Monaco chicane and Spa with the hoses and trees along
the course.
democracy will cease to exist when you take away from those
who are
willing to work and give to those who would not."

Offline F1fanaticBD

Re: Are we being fair to the newer tracks?
« Reply #6 on: December 03, 2013, 03:36:34 AM »
I have nothing to say about Run-off area's, for me that is just a simple no-no, if you are in the pinnacle of the sports, you should be precise better than anybody else. When we know there is a net if take a fall, it does take away most of the credit. I was referring on about lay-out and elevation changes, I will never defend those pathetic run off areas.

Then who is the front-runner among the newbies, who will surely become a classic?

For me, I will put the money for COTA (Sorry Cossie), because that first turn really take away my breath, and the atmosphere is simply put electric. If they could manage it for quite sometime and avoid Michelin/Ferrari debacle for some time, I think it has the potential to become one. I would have loved it, if India made a mark, but if your people consider it as a spectacle and not a sports (Though I have reasons to believe that was more of media stunt, to get attention, rather than actual mindset of people) then how come it become a classic F1 race? As a track Korea is good, but everybody is simply dreadful about the atmosphere, which is pretty shocking. For quite sometime Bahrain has been in talks more for politics, less for sports. And there is not much of a spectacle present there as well. There is mixed feeling about Abu Dhabi and Singapore for me, because the tracks are superb, the atmosphere is tantalizingly addictive. Singapore does put loads of pressure on drivers physically, because of its uneven surface, and tight corners, Abu Dhabi seems to fall in a bit sort of predictable side.

I think the classic track is something that has something for everybody, from a technical nuts to a casual fan, it will offer something unique to everybody. That is a daunting task, and it takes years to attain such ability. But I have a feeling we expect way too much from the newbies, and they don't have much of a chance to show us that.

I am may be a bit naive in this regard, but whenever there is a race, whenever there are motors running, to beat each other, a road or a tarmac or anything in front of them, and guys pushing everything within their ability to clinch the final laugh of a winner, it will always excite me, mesmerize me and like a junkie I will be keep going back to have some more of it, because I feel like its a celebration of speed, celebration of engineering, celebration of racing instinct, and I can't resist any of them,and I don't want to ever.

Keep running the fast cars, you will be never out of girls

Offline lkjohnson1950

Re: Are we being fair to the newer tracks?
« Reply #7 on: December 03, 2013, 07:33:32 AM »
Most of the drivers say COTA's sector 1 is as good as any F1 circuit on the schedule. They also say sector 3 is OK. Sector 2 is the lump of coal in the stocking. I liked Turkey, some good fast bits, not a lot of Tilke hairpins, and the triple apex turn seemed quite difficult for the drivers. Most of the Classic tracks are fast, requiring the driver to be precise just to stay on the road, perhaps that is what the newer tracks are missing. And Tilke himself has said that the FIA/FOM regulations take away a lot of his options, eliminating things he would like to do. Of course, Spa, Monza, Monte Carlo etc would NEVER be approved for F1 if they were new tracks.

Offline Irisado

Re: Are we being fair to the newer tracks?
« Reply #8 on: December 03, 2013, 06:36:03 PM »
They did get it right with a minority of the newer tracks.  Malaysia's circuit, for example, is pretty good in my opinion.  It's not ridiculously wide, it has some challenging corners, and does not have acres of run off.

The problem with so many of the tracks built in the 2000s is that they're too wide.  You don't need a track which is so wide that almost four cars could, in theory, run side by side to produce good racing.  In fact, excessively wide tracks produce very dull racing, as we keep seeing.  Overtaking should be a challenge, not a case of being able to use all the road to easily sweep by another car on one side or the other, especially in this era of fake (read DRS) passes.

The classic tracks became classic because of the racing and the atmosphere, but it's also worth noting that most of them had a heritage in motorsport before they held their first Formula 1 race.  This is not the case for some of these newer venues, and this is why they fail.  You need demand and passion for Formula 1 before just giving it to a country, and too many of these newer venues have been chosen because of the amount of money Ecclestone gets out of it, rather than because they were suitable places to hold a Formula 1 race.
Soñando con una playa donde brilla el sol, un arco iris ilumina el cielo, y el mar espejea iridescentemente

Offline F1fanaticBD

Re: Are we being fair to the newer tracks?
« Reply #9 on: December 03, 2013, 08:58:06 PM »
I don't go to Grand Prix, I watch them on the TV, so when I am watching it in the TV, how much of that atmosphere does translate into the viewing? We see the glimpse of large crowd only when the pan-out shots taken by the crew, so how come this be a deciding factor?  :DntKnw: :DntKnw:

I am trying to understand the logic behind this repulsiveness about the newbies.  :DntKnw: :DntKnw:
Keep running the fast cars, you will be never out of girls


  • Guest
Re: Are we being fair to the newer tracks?
« Reply #10 on: December 03, 2013, 09:12:45 PM »
I don't have an answer to that BD, but if when I make it to the Indian GP if when it comes back on the calendar, will you join me there?

Offline monty

Re: Are we being fair to the newer tracks?
« Reply #11 on: December 04, 2013, 09:09:08 AM »
Are we being fair to the newer tracks? YES! - well some of them.

The atmosphere for visitors is certainly one thing but it is the racing that really matters. If you visit Silverstone you feel a great atmosphere, the facilities are fantastic and there are a number of places where you get a great view. However, even if you are watching a Silverstone race on TV you get a sense of the speed, you can see the cars have to be wrestled through corners, you sense how difficult it is to overtake and in most areas you can see that a mistake will result in a non-finish.
For a visitor, Spa is horrible, no facilities, lots of muddy banks, etc. but again watching races at the track or on TV you really sense the challenge and the excitement. The problem with some of the modern tracks is the lack of danger - not of injury but of simply suffering a penalty if you get it wrong. Where is the challenge of staying inside the white lines when the penalty if you don't, is simply you go over the blue lines! Boring!

Offline Ian

Re: Are we being fair to the newer tracks?
« Reply #12 on: December 04, 2013, 11:22:53 AM »
Monza's toilet facilities were disgusting in my view, just portaloos, no toilet paper and nowhere to wash your hands. Building sites over here have better facilities. You are right though Monty, the atmosphere is why you go to a race and I certainly wasn't disappointed there.
An aircraft landing is just a controlled crash.

Offline Scott

Re: Are we being fair to the newer tracks?
« Reply #13 on: December 04, 2013, 12:29:30 PM »
Monza's toilet facilities were disgusting in my view, just portaloos, no toilet paper and nowhere to wash your hands. Building sites over here have better facilities.

No question...made sure I went before I left the hotel and then didn't drink NEARLY as much beer as Ian  ;) ;)
The Honey Badger doesn't give a...

Offline Ian

Re: Are we being fair to the newer tracks?
« Reply #14 on: December 04, 2013, 01:43:31 PM »
What!!! Don't listen to that reprobate called Scott, I drank very little that weekend.
An aircraft landing is just a controlled crash.


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