Technical The End Of The Parabolica! Do we really need tarmac?

F1Yorkshire

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Contributor
Sad news race fans. One of the last difficult corners on the F1 calendar has now been tamed.
The health and safety monkeys have had their way and the once mighty and difficult Parabolica at Monza is now a car park. This will sadden many of the pure race fans and will surely kick off the track limits debate once again.

I don't think we'll ever see the close on edge racing around that curve any more. I also think drivers will no longer have to take a risk by being on the edge of the Parabolica and end up in the gravel during qualifying. No more of the all or nothing brave moves in order to get a high entry speed on to the main straight.

Drivers will be able to carry more speed onto the main straight by going wide on a warm up lap and will then gain an advantage over those who stick to the circuit. I think any driver who does go wide on the final turn but shows an improvement in speed in next sector should also have their times for their next lap deleted.




Now for the big question. What is the best way of ensuring safety when a car leaves the circuit? Do we really need to have acres of smooth run off enabling cars to return at high speed. Drivers should be punished for leaving the circuit but the track also need to be kept safe to prevent injuries to drivers, marshals and spectators.

This has been a key debating point in the F1 popularity working group thread but as Fenderman said:
...I'm wondering now if this is worthy of it's own thread since we have strayed well away from the OP and I'd quite like to explore the subject of track design and safety somewhat more. Would it be appropriate to move the relevant posts to a new thread?...

Is tarmac the way forward or it there a better solution to this Speed vs Safety debate?
 

FB

Not my cup of cake
Valued Member
Interesting piece from F1.com dating back to 2006. The surface of the tarmac can be designed to give different levels of grip so make the run off areas super grippy so that a) the cars can't go as fast, b) it takes more rubber off the tyre limiting it's life span.

The most interesting bit in this article is that they can increase braking distances with the track surface but have to compromise because of the problems a slippery track would pose to motor cycle racing. I wonder how many of the circuits on the F1 calendar are ever used for bike racing? Probably most of the European circuits but I doubt those in the middle East and Far East are.

Oh, and the stone used in Bahrain was imported from Wales. GO WALES!

http://www.formula1.com/news/features/2006/11/5333.html

Shame about the parabolica but there have been some huge accidents there over the years and it's probably more by luck than judgement that someone hasn't been seriously hurt. I suppose the risk here is that drivers leaving the circuit to get a run down the straight might just bounce in to another car as they come back on (Yes Pastor, you know I'm talking about you).
 

cider_and_toast

Exulted Lord High Moderator of the Apex
Staff Member
Premium Contributor
Once upon a time Bernie would not allow a track that hosted a GP to host another major race series. It was part of the deal.

That's one of the reasons why, when Donnington looked like it had won the British GP, the bikes transferred to Silverstone.

Of course I think that has changed now. In order to try and keep the cash flowing, circtuits have to be able to diversify.
 

Tuscan1969

Points Scorer
I'd like see a driver suffering the consequences of his mistake but safety does have to be paramount....so how about we give the runoff areas over to Tarmac but we install some hawk eye or goalmouth monitoring systems that automatically knows when a car exceeds the track limits and adds 10 seconds to the time per transgression....the only reason this would not be added to the time would be if the stewards rule that he had been forced off the track or had to move off line in an attempt to avoid an accident....
 

RasputinLives

Leave me alone I'm on Smoko
Contributor
I said it somewhere else but a car's width and a half of grass or sand or astroturf around the edge of all circuits with as much tarmac as you like after it would solve all of these 'track limit' issues.

Drivers only go outside the limits if its an advantage so make sure its not an advantage.

Seems like a no brainer to me.
 

teabagyokel

#dejavu
Valued Member
They must ensure it is safe, and it can only be safe if the driver is in control of his car, and you need tarmac run-off to allow that to happen.

They just need to police the track limits. Four wheels off, deleted time. Everywhere, and for any reason. In fact, you could have a cumulative addition to the 5 second stop-go in the race. For each offence, you could add a stationary second to the pitstop, unless the stewards find that you were pushed off trying to pass someone, or clearly fell off the road.

Track limits need to be enforced, and safe.
 

olegg

Race Winner
There was two terrible incidents in the Parabolica (1961, 1970).
Was there the gravel or "smooth" surface in these situations?
 

GermanF1

Race Winner
Contributor
This is all ridiculous. The sport is being destroyed. The cars are ultra safe these days (just look at the accidents of Kubica in Canada '08). There is no need to rape those tracks. Also ironically the last fatality of F1 happened at a tarmac run off, didn't it?
 

teabagyokel

#dejavu
Valued Member
If you're referring to Senna, it was a small run-off which was not moved back after Berger's accident in 1989 because there was a river running behind the circuit. A new track would have much more run-off before a barrier in a corner like Tamburello.
 

F1Yorkshire

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There was two terrible incidents in the Parabolica (1961, 1970).
Was there the gravel or "smooth" surface in these situations?

In 1961 it was just grass and a fence between the track and the spectators who were killed. http://www.f1fanatic.co.uk/2011/09/10/1961-italian-grand-prix/

As for 1970, the tragic Rindt crash it seems to be a sand/gravel surface but the accident seems to have happened before he left the circuit and not made worse by the run off area.

 

FB

Not my cup of cake
Valued Member
Didn't Derek Warwick go flying coming out of Parabolica and I seem to recall Christain Fittipaldi havign some problems just after that corner.
 

Rutherford

Podium Finisher
Drivers will be able to carry more speed onto the main straight by going wide on a warm up lap and will then gain an advantage over those who stick to the circuit. I think any driver who does go wide on the final turn but shows an improvement in speed in next sector should also have their times for their next lap deleted.

I believe that it won't happen. It looks like the outer edge of the curve will be resurfaced using artificial grass. Thus the drivers can't gain an advantage by going wide.
 

Johnny Carwash

Champion Elect
Contributor
Really miss the days of when the driver made a mistake and ended up in the gravel trap which literally ment that your race was over there and then. Unlike today were if you go wide at a corner the worst that is going to happen is that you might get a ticking off for exceeding the track limits.
 

FB

Not my cup of cake
Valued Member
Fast forward to about 2 minutes to see a good reason for what they need to get rid of the grass at Parabolica.

 

cider_and_toast

Exulted Lord High Moderator of the Apex
Staff Member
Premium Contributor
Granted the grass tipped him into the barrier but how close was the barrier to the track.

Even tarmac may not have been enough to stop him there.

Given what happened to Martin Donnelly a few months later in Spain, Walkers comments about the strength of the Lotus are somewhat ironic.
 
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