Silly Chicanes

Are Chicanes good or Bad?


  • Total voters
    23

tooncheese

Hans Heyer
Contributor
Chicanes, love them or hate them, you can't ignore them. Currently chicanes litter our favourite tracks, creating slowness and safety all round. Chicanes originated in the thirties when terrified race organisers desperately tried to slow cars down, which were going dangerously close to the predicted top speed of the corners.

Monza, in a very dangerous period, had several tragic accidents in a short space of time, and the result was up to five chicanes on one lap. The problem was that the cars were very heavy, and didn't stop in any hurry, and if they overturned the driver's neck would be holding up the 1 tonne+ car.

The first artificial chicane in modern Formula 1 came at the mighty Pescara circuit in Italy. The chicane was devised in 1934 when organisers decided that letting cars come along the pit straight following four miles flat out was a risk to the mechanics and a corner similar to the old bus-stop chicane at Spa was devised.

Whilst we consider Monza and Spa to be our fastest circuits, they both have three chicanes, as did the old Hockenheim. Early in the year we saw Mark Webber fly into the air and escape unscathed, an accident caused by a chicane. So from that we know that chicanes are dangerous, but Formula 1 cars are incomparably safe. So the original purpose for chicanes now is their downfall. Although we think of these big stops as great overtaking opportunities, the old Monza had many close and exiting finishes, because cars didn't all have to go single file through daft chicanes.

Depending on what you class as a chicane, the current calendar has up to 35 chicanes. All of them poised to make life boring. So what do you think; are chicanes useful or useless? Should we go back to the days of fast Formula 1?*

*Look at picture upon reading this bit
 

F1Yorkshire

Avatar for sale to the highest bidder
Contributor
Chicane's are useful when it comes to safety and they have no doubt saved countless lives over the years but F1 is now one of the safest motorsports around due to the level of impact testing and regulations. So my 1st thought would be to get rid of them all as they are no longer needed.

But they do serve a purpose, looking at the 1st 2 Monza chicanes, it they were removed the cars will be increasing in speed all the way to the 1st Lesmo, 26 cars arriving at a high speed into a fairly tight corner.
One of you will correct me on the actual speeds but what is better; 26 cars trying to take the corner at 180mph or 140mph due to the chicane slowing them down.

You also have to consider the other Formulae that race on the circuits. Do GP2 and F3 and touring car series have the same level of safety?

Some chicanes do need to be reviewed though. If Silverstone had stayed with the original layout abbey should of been restored to its former glory. The last chicane at Barcelona should definately go even though there are plenty of arguments saying that the rest of the track should be demolished at the same time.

But some of the finest racing can be seen at chicanes. Laguna Seca's corkscrew is a chicane as is Eau Rouge at Spa.

I'm going to stop arguing with myself now and just tick the 'depends' box.
 

FB

Not my cup of cake
Valued Member
I think there is a place for chicanes, for example the chicanes at the old Hockenheim circuit provided some interesting overtaking manoeuvres over the years. I agree that some are pointless for example the one put in on the Mulsanne straight at Le Mans after Webber’s back flip, from what I understand, actually made things more dangerous (is it still there?).

They do offer a different challenge to the drivers on high speed circuits and also make them compromise on the set up to some extent to I’ve gone for depends. One other point, we wouldn’t be able to bitch about Schumie cutting the chicanes if they weren’t there so perhaps we really should keep them :D
 

RickD

Pole Sitter
I think it depends as well, how fast do you think cars would go up Eau Rouge otherwise and how boring would it be? :)
 

teabagyokel

#dejavu
Valued Member
I certainly think that it is not a black and white issue of "chicanes good vs chicanes bad". Some chicanes have helped my enjoyment of F1 no end, such as the first chicane at Monza, the final bends in Istanbul and the 'Chicane of the Wall of Champions' in Montreal.

Of course chicanes slow things down, and particularly the new chicane at Barcelona is ill-thought out. But I am of the opinion that within reasonable bounds, F1 is about being successful on different kinds of track.


tooncheesef1 said:
Early in the year we saw Mark Webber fly into the air and escape unscathed, an accident caused by a chicane.

I'd like to take issue here, I feel the incident was caused more by non-parallel walls rather than the chicane; if you want an accident caused by a chicane Senna-Schlesser from Monza '88 is the best example.

Got to have a variety.
 

siffert_fan

Too old to watch the Asian races live.
Contributor
Being old enough to remember the great slip-streaming battles at the pre-chicane Monza, I would say that chicanes have ruined that circuit for me. However, I really enjoy the one at Montreal. So I have to go with the ever popular vote of "it depends".
 

teabagyokel

#dejavu
Valued Member
I don't know, tooncheese, I don't want to get complacent on safety. I know that it is difficult when you see incidents like Kubica in 2007 and Webber this year end without significant injury to worry too much, but I feel that the chicane (in certain places) might have helped to create the safety.

I certainly feel that 24 cars going into the Curva Grande at Monza together on lap 1 at 200mph would be unwise.
 

sobriety

Pole Sitter
I certainly feel that 24 cars going into the Curva Grande at Monza together on lap 1 at 200mph would be unwise.

I think we should try it, just once, to see like.

Though the word 'chicane' brings a picture of the Mulsanne to my head, and makes me feel a little bit sad about how it is now
 

teabagyokel

#dejavu
Valued Member
sobriety said:
I certainly feel that 24 cars going into the Curva Grande at Monza together on lap 1 at 200mph would be unwise.

I think we should try it, just once, to see like.

Maybe, I just doubt it'd be a good idea. Again, it is unwise to speculate, but there is not going to be one magic legislative move that anyone can take to get everyone purring again, on chicanes or anything else for that matter; I don't think corrective measures should be considered too much since we've had an excellent season thus far.
 

snowy

Champion Elect
Chickens are a double edged sword, on the one hand they can be totally ludicrous and self defeating on the other a monstrous test of driver skill. Barcelona's temporary tired chicken of 1994 was totally lamentable. The chickens put in to slow the final turns, again at Barcelona and at Estoril are abominations before God! :crazy:

And then there is Eau Rouge...
 

F1Yorkshire

Avatar for sale to the highest bidder
Contributor
snowy said:
Chickens are a double edged sword, on the one hand they can be totally ludicrous and self defeating on the other a monstrous test of driver skill. Barcelona's temporary tired chicken of 1994 was totally lamentable. The chickens put in to slow the final turns, again at Barcelona and at Estoril are abominations before God! :crazy:

And then there is Eau Rouge...

So basically your saying that Barcalona and Estoril are tesco value and pumped up to make them look better than they actally are which would then make Eau Rouge KFC?
 

LifeW12

Podium Finisher
Chicanes are fine when they appear on street circuits (Monaco, Surfer's Paradise, Singapore, Marrakech, even the Chase at Bathurst) when there is limited run off as they provide a mechanism for slowing cars down :yes: .

There are some circuits that have always had chicanes like Montreal that add to the character of the circuit :thumbsup:, Brazil Senna S as well

The design of chicanes could be improved so that they become an overtaking opportunity and not just a couple of Tilke's Tedious Turns, like Turn 11-13 at Abu Dhabi

They don't need to be present when the track wouldn't be any less dangerous if it wasn't there (Hungary, Villeneuve at Imola, Singapore 3rd sector
 

MCLS

Anti F1 fan
Valued Member
Life_W12 said:
:

They don't need to be present when the track wouldn't be any less dangerous if it wasn't there (Hungary, Villeneuve at Imola, Singapore 3rd sector

The Villeneuve chicane was made as a response to the Ratzenbenberger crash, perhaps it was a little over zealous, but there would have been an outcry if the chicane there wasnt added
 

Flood1

Rookie
My thoughts are that they are added after something bad happens and not as a part of the overall circuit design. They have been necessitated due to the increasing speed of the cars, but generally I find them offensive especially with regard to the reconfigurations of existing historical layouts.

Yes, I do understand safety, I just think drivers should be responsible enough not to require slow-down points to keep them from overdriving their skills and the capabilities of their cars.

In some places they do improve overtaking chances, but I would prefer that historical circuits not be modified to provide artifical "slow down" points.
 

DOF_power

Banned
Chicanes are what destroyed true Grand Prix on-track racing.

The glorious slipstream battles of old Monza/Spa/Hochenheim/Silverstone are history and the current racing without rain on these tracks is mediocre to horrible.

Only Montreal, and maybe Albert Park, provides good racing in the dry on a consistent basis.

Yes get rid rid of them, americans race at average speeds of 300 to 340-355 Km/h on the ovals and are perfectly O.K. just make the cars wider.


No chicanes + well done progressive bankings + racecars with no wings nor diffusers = awesome race.
 

MajorDanby

Motorsports' answer to Eric the Eel
Contributor
Grizzly said:
DOF_power said:
No chicanes + well done progressive bankings + racecars with no wings nor diffusers = NASCAR.

Lets get rid of the corners and go oval racing :twisted:


Thats DOF's lifetime aim. For F1 to become NASCARs poor cousin
 

Grizzly

Bear
Contributor
MajorDanby said:
Grizzly said:
DOF_power said:
No chicanes + well done progressive bankings + racecars with no wings nor diffusers = NASCAR.

Lets get rid of the corners and go oval racing :twisted:


Thats DOF's lifetime aim. For F1 to become NASCARs poor cousin

I can just imagine the push-rod v8 Ferrari hand crafted from wrought iron, scaffold poles and some sticky tape...
 
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