Tilke Engineering

bogaTYR

Points Scorer
i watched an interview with hermann tilke and found it interesting. first of all, its not so much hermann tilke himself designing the tracks but his associates. tilke himself does have a say though and is the person with the final ok. the way they design a track was interesting too. basically, all tracks are designed in 3 dimensions. tilke finds it important that all tracks have a geographical feature like hills to add to the complexity of the track.

here is the website, and the race track they designed in kazakhstan..

http://www.tilke-ac.de/projects.php?projid=3050-01
 

McFerrari

Rookie
Full respect to Tilke and his "associates" but you just can't create good tracks overnight. Many of the best tracks have had their history and challenges, dangerous at times. I know I sound stupid, but Tilke's tracks don't have enough danger in them. As far as I'm concerned the man, along with Ecclestone, deprived us of the great Hockenheim track. Oh how I wish to see the cars streaking their way through the forests at 200 mph. That was what racing at Hockenheim was all about! Not any more though.
 

McFerrari

Rookie
bogaTYR said:
i watched an interview with hermann tilke and found it interesting. first of all, its not so much hermann tilke himself designing the tracks but his associates. tilke himself does have a say though and is the person with the final ok. the way they design a track was interesting too. basically, all tracks are designed in 3 dimensions. tilke finds it important that all tracks have a geographical feature like hills to add to the complexity of the track.

here is the website, and the race track they designed in kazakhstan..

http://www.tilke-ac.de/projects.php?projid=3050-01
P.S BogaTYR? Were you on 606? I'm sure I recognise the name. If so, I'm no longer on that site anymore and have been 606 tee total for 2 months now, meaning I don't have to get into stupid arguments with glory hunting football fans.
 

Brogan

🦶 Leg end
Staff Member
I'm familiar with Tilke's website but a lot of others probably aren't so thanks for posting the link.

Where did you see the interview? Online or on TV?
 

bogaTYR

Points Scorer
bro, we aim to please! not the same but close...


macferrari, an interesting statement cos tilke actually does take danger into account. one of the fundamentals they use, is there have to be 'danger points' in any track. thats why tilke engineering is so much into 3D circuits, there have to be hills and bumps in any circuit, according to their way of thinking.

the reason behind this, tilke was as a kid at the nurburgring and was impressed by the excitement of cars going over a hill at full speed without really being sure what was on the other side of that hill. of course there are safety margins in this, but the element of danger does get taken into account by the team.

also, and dont forget this, tilke is not the decision maker when it comes to a circuit. he just does what his customer asks him to do. of course he comes up with ideas and suggestions, but its the customer who decides. it was not tilke who decided to change hockenheim for instance. this was done by the owners of hockenheim, all tilke did was put the changes these people wanted into a framework and a design. like any other architecture project, its not the architect who decides if something should be build.

bro, i wanted to put this article in the circuit section where i think it should go but found i could not add an article there.

and finally, mcferrari, there is only 1 bogaTYR on these boards :) thanks for remembering.
 

FB

Not my cup of cake
Valued Member
bogaTYR makes a very valid point in that Tilke only designs what his customers want and if they request something bland and featurless, like the two new German tracks for example, that is what they get. He has made some interesting circuits though, Turkey and the A1 ring for instance. It's a shame when famous old circuits get carved up but on Hockenheim specifically I can't think of any really great races at the old circuit (unless you count Piquet beating up Salazar) - I think it might just be races in Germany that aren't interesting...

It would be nice to see circuits without the huge run off areas and astroturf so when the drivers get it wrong they are "punished" by more than losing a few seconds on that lap. Don't get me wrong, I'm not wanting to see drivers spearing into armco barriers but if they can't keep the car on the track (in all and any weather conditions) what are they doing driving an F1 car? Anyone remember Jackie Stewart's "gardening expedition" at Silverstone in 1973?
 

Brogan

🦶 Leg end
Staff Member
Fat Bloke said:
It would be nice to see circuits without the huge run off areas and astroturf so when the drivers get it wrong they are "punished" by more than losing a few seconds on that lap.
Interestingly, last week Martin Brundle when commentating on Bahrain said he prefers the large run off areas as it allows drivers to get back on to the track and continue racing and thereby gives spectators a better experience.

I can see the merits in both approaches really - less run off will make the drivers more aware that a mistake will result in the end of their race wheres more run off makes for better racing.

I agree with the comments on Tilke too. He is all too often criticsed for poor circuits when in reality he can only work with what he's given.
As he has shown, when given the opportunity (Turkey) he can create a decent circuit.
 
Some comments, sorry for incoherences, I wrote all of this in a hurry:

- Fat Bloke: new Tilke circuits have the "astroturf" that you ask for, for the purpose you imagine: if you put a wheel out of the pavement, you lose the car and then, several seconds, but you can recover and continue. Check the outside of curve 8 in Turkey if you do not believe me: you'll find a thin strip of grass put there for that very purpose.

- Regarding bogaTYR comments about Nürburgring, any hill or valley design includes, necessarily, a calculation to ensure that a car can brake within the visibility range it has. Any other kind of design would be mad.

That's the way vertical curves have been designed since road were invented. Concave vertical curves ("valleys") have to be designed in the same way because at night your car lights do not illuminate the whole road.

So, AFAIK, there are no vertical curves without visibility in regular tracks. I concede that at Nürburgring, originally designed as a regular road, for regular cars at regular speeds, it could happen that you have vertical curves without visibility, and that could be the origin of bogaTYR comment, but if you try to propose this kind of design today people would look at you in the same way as they would look a father giving his toddler a loaded gun.

Phil Hill flying over a vertical curve at Nürburgring: as bogaTYR explains, that's why you cannot race at this track today with F1 cars, the track is outdated for the speeds of the cars


You do a similar calculation for horizontal obstacles: you have to take in account the visibility the obstacle gives to the driver and design a curve with a degree of curvature that allows you to brake.

These distances include reaction time, as it is logical.

- You can use other things, if you want to separate good drivers from regular ones. For example, what I like to do (in the few designs I've made) is to use longitudinal slopes in the entrance of the curves, to trick the driver, because braking distances are increased and oversteering in the exit is reduced.

I also like to design spiral transition curves at the entrance and the exit of curves (like the ones at China) because they require a throttle control that it's kind of difficult to achieve. Besides, spiral curves allow you to increase side slope in the transition curve, instead of increasing it in the straight.

You might have noticed at old roads with pure circular curves or at old tracks with the same kind of curves (like Catalunya) that the transition of the sideslope happens in the straight.

Repsol (I think :)): the lonely spiral curve in Catalunya (the curve to the right). The rest are pure circular curves (including the entrance to Repsol, to the left).


If you haven't noticed, check how the driver moves the steering wheel at the next old road you travel.

Before the curve, in the straight, the driver will have to steer in the opposite sense of the next curve (if the next curve is to the right, he has to steer slightly to the left).

Why? Because in the straight there is a transition of the sideslope. Sorry if you already know this, but here there is a couple of graphics for those who don't (and who might learn something for the next time they walk a circuit before a race):

A straight. Notice that the edges are lower than the centerline, for water to run out. You, unconsciously, take in account this slight (2%) sideslope when driving


A regular curve: the red line shows the lower edge (because of the side slope) and the yellow one shows the upper edge.


A pure circular curve, like the ones at old roads and old tracks. Notice (sorry for the drawing) that the "higher" edge starts to "twist" before the entrance of the curve, in the straight. Sorry for the simplification: the lower edge also "goes down", because the curve normally has a sideslope larger than 2% (up to 10%)


That kind of "subtler" tricks you can expect from a road designer, but you'll never would design on purpose a zone of the road where an obstacle would give the driver no time to react, specially if it's a stopped car with a driver in it, a driver that might be unconscious.
 

bogaTYR

Points Scorer
thanks so much for this reply! its very interesting to see all this information and these comments.

can i ask where you get this information from? is this linked to your work?
 

FB

Not my cup of cake
Valued Member
Ciro - Can I echo bogaTYR's thanks, very informative.

It just goes to show the depth of background work which goes into every aspect of everything in life and I'm certain you haven't even scratched the surface with what is posted here. I remember watching a program on Discovery about the different choice for the tarmac at the new F1 circuit at Indianapolis. Like many viewers I'm sure, I didn't fully appreciate the depths engineers have to go into when making something like a race track which, when all is said and done, is essentially trivial.

On the astrofturf, I re-read what I posted and perhaps should have written "or" rather than "and astroturf". My desire was to see the drivers really punished when they run off the track not just lose a few seconds as they rattle across the astroturf or run-off area. Perhaps real grass, freshly watered just before the race starts would act as more of a disincentive to go off the track. Sutil in Spain last week is a case in point, drivers shouldn't simply be able to take to the escape road when things get a bit rough or they enter a corner too fast. The only way I can see around this however is stewards deciding if a driver could have avoided leaving the track and then punishing them and we know how reliable stewards are.

Finally, turn 8 Turkey - greatest corner in F1 at the moment.
 
Thanks bogaTYR and FatBloke, you're welcome. Yes, I work on roads.

Wilson Motorsport, Tilke, Roy Prospner, Apex Motorsport Managements and ITYAC are the few firms I know that offer you to design tracks, surely there are more.

Tilke has put together a group that works with local contractors to reach a complete design. The "track theory" behind the racing line is as important as designing the "Stadium" for spectators.

I think that racing track design evolved not long ago. It has developed from regular techniques for road building, but with a twist.

Maybe the most important difference is in the regulations for circuit design. You have to use a "racing-line oriented design" (Appendix O to regulations). Thus, the considerations a designer has to have about the top G a car can pull in any direction explain the large safety areas.

G-G diagram: it shows acceleration capabilities of a car, it is used to estimate the "envolvent of trajectories", which is a fancy way to say "safety areas". In a car with downforce, the scale of the graph varies with speed (at 200 kph you can pull 3 Gs or so, at 100 kph you can pull only 1G).
 

Brogan

🦶 Leg end
Staff Member
Great post Ciro :thumbsup:
Interesting stuff.

I can think of worse jobs than being a race circuit designer :D
 
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