Posted on October 22, 2010
Drivers concerned about pit lane entry and “dangerous” Turn 16 in Korea | James Allen on F1 – The official James Allen website on F1

The general view among the drivers is that the new Yeongham track is enjoyable to drive and quite challenging, with two distinct characters; the straights and tight turns of Sector 1 and the twists and turns of the later part of the lap, which in time will form a street circuit section.

But many of the drivers are complaining already about the pit lane entry, which is on the racing line through the blind final corner and about the angled kerb at Turn 16, which is below the level of the asphalt and caused the Hispania car to go off this morning. Some drivers felt it was “dangerous”.

At the pit lane entry point, the speed differential between a car on a hot lap and one on its way to the pits is potentially dangerous. The matter is bound to be discussed at length in tonight’s drivers’ briefing.


Take a look at these two images I shot this evening on the track. The first, shot from the driver’s eye level in the middle of the final turn, a blind right hander which leads onto the pit straight.

Barely 30 metres later(below) the pit lane entry line comes into view and a car which wanted to pit would start to move to the right and slow down, on the racing line. The cars are in fifth gear at around 240km/h at that point. But having discussed it there is nothing that can be done about it this weekend, so it will stay as it is.

“I think the pit entry is quite on the edge here, ” said Sebastian Vettel. “Because it’s blind and someone going into the pits will be going slower than someone who is staying out. If you are trying to pass and they decide to pit it could get quite difficult.”

Mark Webber agreed, “The pit entry and exit is a little bit marginal but apart from that I’m clutching at straws to critcise anything.”

“For sure the entry to the pits is a bit strange,” said Felipe Massa, “Because you are the middle of a high speed corner and you need to stay inside, so sometimes it’s not easy to see if the guy in front is going into the pits or not,”

“We also have to look at the kerbs on the inside of Turn 16, there is a big bottoming out of the car there and that’s dangerous.”

Turn 16 in Korea - see the marks from heavy impact with skid blocks


The problem here is that the kerb is lower than the level of the asphalt. Massa’s team mate Fernando Alonso shared his view on Turn 16, “It’s the worst corner, ” he said. “The grading of the asphalt is not at a good angle. You arrive on the flat track and it goes uphil just on the inside of the corner and you hit very hard with the chassis there.”

In response to the drivers’ comments, tonight the FIA Race Director Charlie Whiting has ordered the course workers to build up the kerbs on the inside so drivers will have to go around the area, rather than drive over it. This will be in place in time for Free Practice 3 on Saturday morning.

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Drivers concerned about pit lane entry and “dangerous” Turn 16 in Korea
89 Responses

  1.   1. Posted By: Jo Torrent
        Date: October 22nd, 2010 @ 10:17 am 

    I’m getting fed up with these drivers unwilling to take any risks. They are really annoying with their complaining about the slightest imperfection.

    I mean look at nowadays tracks were you go off and you can continue without the slightest damage to your car and with loosing only few tenths or barely a second. Not long ago, when Schumi and Mika fought, if you went off you lost huge amount of time and your car had to have some damage… Yesterday KUBICA started complaining about the last section without run off area, where if you’re off the track, you’re off the race and that doesn’t please Mr KUBICA. But that’s how it should be, I’m ok for run offs for safety sake but we should get rid of the tarmac off track and get the gravel traps back in order to make drivers pay for their mistakes. Look just at how they spoiled the RAIDILLON.

    Luckily for us there’s still SUZUKA where it’s impossible to have big run offs and where drivers know that not only the track is technically challenging but offs won’t go unpunished and might even physically hurt them. When you have that in mind, driving a FORMULA 1 car is a whole different experience.

    [Reply]

    kerek Reply:

    Could you point me to the source where you heard Kubica complaining about it?

    It ask because I remember him saying that he enjoys Monaco because it doesn’t have run-off areas and because a small error there means you are out of the race.

    [Reply]

    Canadian F1 Fan Reply:

    These guys do nothing but complain these days… could you imagine Senna, Mansell, or Pique whinging about the pit lane entry? I don’t think so!

    Curbs too high, curbs too low, track only 400feet wide, pit boxes don’t have 14 HD TV’s… “lets go home…” Lol

    [Reply]

    Kenny Reply:

    Jo, I suspect that even Mika would have complained about this pit lane entry…it’s dangerous, plain and simple. And I’ve got no problem with altering a kerb to make the drivers go around it rather than over it. They should all be like that IMHO.

    [Reply]

    Robin Reply:

    I agree with you Jo. It’s not like the old days!

    [Reply]

    Galapago555 Reply:

    Aaah, the Good Old Days, when races were dangerous and sex was safe!! ;-)

    [Reply]

    Jo Torrent Reply:

    When Mika was racing sex was dangerous.

    Galapago555 Reply:

    @Jo Torrent: …and races far safer than in the Good Old Days, the ones that James Hunt referred to when he said this.

    Douglas Reply:

    Their point is that the pit entry is blind and they could rear-end a car that it slowing to pit, as they are running at full belt through the turn. From James’ photos the complaint is legitimate. Who wants to see anyone die?

    [Reply]

    JR Reply:

    There’s risk and there’s risk.

    Some risks cannot be foreseen — Massa’s head injury last year being a classic example. These are the risks that the drivers are prepared to take.

    On the other hand some risks can be foreseen and to ignore them is foolish. To accept them is to gamble with drivers’ lives. This pit lane entry is clearly in the second category. I urge anyone who thinks it’s no big deal to watch the inboard footage of any car taking turn 17 and imagine what it would be like as you round that bend, to be confronted by a damaged car or one with a puncture trying to make it back to the pits.

    The normal yellow flashing incident signs are not enough — history tells us that drivers tend only to reduce speed when they see with their own eyes what the problem is. The solution: they should position an additional flashing warning sign immediately before turn 17 (perhaps using a unique colour) which should have only one meaning, “slow or stationary car on the racing line of bend 17″ .

    [Reply]


  2.   2. Posted By: Sean Rogers
        Date: October 22nd, 2010 @ 10:29 am 

    pit lane entry – You would think that a man with Hermann Tilke’s experience should have been able to work this one out by now?

    [Reply]

    russ Reply:

    why is he the only person on the planet smart enough to design a race track?
    What a joke!
    Just another monopoly.
    I skip his tracks in the game.I could run Spa and the old Silverstone all day.

    [Reply]

    Chris Orr Reply:

    Tilke didnt design the new Silverstone, it was some other company but i cant recall it off the top of my head.

    I dont like most his tracks but he doesnt have a complete monopoly.

    [Reply]

    James Allen Reply:

    It was Populous, a London based Architects firm

    Matthew Green Reply:

    exactly what i was thinking … allthough i guess maybe he did not have a say on the concrete blocks on the corner which make it a blind bend ???

    Matt

    [Reply]

    Douglas Reply:

    Question: why are all new F1 tracks designed by Tilke? I know there are a lot of considerations in modern circuit design (bikes/ investors, etc,) but why the same sole individual?

    Is it all down to the pitch?

    [Reply]


  3.   3. Posted By: Pinball
        Date: October 22nd, 2010 @ 10:33 am 

    The pit lane entrance situation could easily be improved by moving the barriers back off the edge of the track a couple of metres, to increase the amount of available sight distance. So put in a kerb and verge, and then the barriers behind the verge. That way a driver on a hot lap can see a slowing car and move clear.

    I’m surprised the barriers are that close on the corner, as in normal road design sight distance checks are very common thing to do when designing a road, and I’d assume a firm as experienced as Tilke would be all over that sort of stuff, not to mention the FIA inspectors. Having said that I imagine the barriers have been placed where they are due to the location of the future marina. Maybe the geometry of the marina needs to change slightly.

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  4.   4. Posted By: Bec
        Date: October 22nd, 2010 @ 10:34 am 

    They complain about the pit entry to Spa, Singapore, Valencia etc, etc. Drivers complain about everything.

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  5.   5. Posted By: PjT
        Date: October 22nd, 2010 @ 10:49 am 

    Because of the kink in turn 18, a driver on a hot lap can not steer clear (left) to take 18 at speed. That will become an issue sooner rather than later. There is some sort of a service road on the inside of turn 17. Could the cars merge on to that from somewhere before/at turn 16? I can’t see the current situation as being safe to race at full speed.

    [Reply]


  6.   6. Posted By: Ed
        Date: October 22nd, 2010 @ 10:57 am 

    They should build a bridge from Turn 16 across to the current pitlane. It would solve the problem and also add something unique to the track.

    It also stops the need to reclaim any more land.

    [Reply]


  7.   7. Posted By: Rob Jackson
        Date: October 22nd, 2010 @ 11:18 am 

    They all complained about the pit entry at Singapore three years ago as well. They have improved it since but it wasn’t as bad as they thought in the race. Can’t see it being a huge problem this weekend either.

    [Reply]


  8.   8. Posted By: Louis
        Date: October 22nd, 2010 @ 11:21 am 

    What is it with Tilke, he messed up the design of the pitlane entry to Singapore as well. Yet another evidence that he’s actually rubbish at his de-facto job of FOM’s circuit designer?

    [Reply]

    Jo Torrent Reply:

    I don’t agree with you. He managed great circuits with caracter Turkey, Abu Dhabi, Korea and Malaysia.

    Don’t forget that great circuits are long ones (above 5 kms generally) with camber changes, uphill and downhill straights and corners and that costs money. So if promoters can’t afford enough, the circuit won’t be great. As simple as that.

    [Reply]


  9.   9. Posted By: roadie
        Date: October 22nd, 2010 @ 11:36 am 

    Firstly, higher resolution images would be appreciated! I haven’t seen any video of the pit entry so cannot comment on it, but surely if the cars are bottoming out in 16, then they either need to raise the ride height or avoid the problem area?

    [Reply]


  10.   10. Posted By: JR
        Date: October 22nd, 2010 @ 11:42 am 

    Having just watched shots from the 2nd practice on the BBC website, I must say the pit lane entry position is amazingly stupid and dangerous. What I can’t get my head round is that this fundamental design error must have been obvious from the moment the circuit was first sketched out — so how come it went right through the design and build process and wasn’t picked up?

    My suggestion for a fix is that cars that intend to enter the pit lane must slow to a given speed (I’ll leave the experts to say what that should be) at least 300 metres before the corner. That would at least mean that no cars would enter the corner in close proximity to each other and would avoid an overtaking driver being ‘brake-tested’ half way through the corner when he’s on the ragged edge — a situation which would lead inevitably to him going off, or rear-ending the slowing car.

    In contrast, turn 16 is just one of those things that ends up on the snagging list. It sounds like they’ve already got a fix sorted.

    [Reply]

    JR Reply:

    To reply to my own comment: after looking in more detail at the layout of the track my suggestion is daft.

    That pit lane entry is even more dangerous that I thought at first. Corner 17 is really long and totally blind. In the worst case scenario a car limping off at much reduced speed would be rear-ended at an horrendous closing speed. The only fix I can think of is to make an exit from the track further back — cutting out turn 17 completely — and make a new entry to the pits from the outside of turn 16. Nothing else I can think of would be safe.

    [Reply]

    JR Reply:

    If it’s concrete walls either side on turn 16, as you say later in the comments, James, then a pit entry through from the outside of turn 16 is not an option either.

    The only other short-term fix I can see is to paint the white line back right round turn 17 and penalise any driver not going into the pits who crosses it. A bit clonky — but it could save someone’s life.

    [Reply]

    Rob Kay Reply:

    Yes, I thought a longer white line going through turn 17 would be safer, but you’d have to penalise drivers using the current racing line (crossing the entry lane) as well

    [Reply]


  11.   11. Posted By: Dan Whittington
        Date: October 22nd, 2010 @ 11:58 am 

    I haven’t had a chance to see the circuit properly, what with being asleep and now at work however I would be interested to see how tight the blind right hand turn/pitlane entry is and whether the cars could run in the middle of the turn without losing downforce or speed, thus avoiding slower cars entering the pits.

    With regards to turn 16. If the drivers know the chassis will bottom out by running over the kerbs, surely holding off the kerbs on that corner is the way to go. Mclaren should be good there and it tends to be good over bumps.

    [Reply]

    Kenny Carwash Reply:

    There is enough room for the drivers to run side by side through turn 17 but to take a wide line would compromise their exit speed and consequently the run down the start/finish straight. Then there’s the issue of offline grip, which is a particular problem at Korea.

    The drivers won’t compromise their lap on the off chance that the car in front might pit. If their team advises them that the other team is getting ready for a stop then they might move half a car width over, but the change in grip could still catch out the unwary.

    I have to wonder why the pitlane entry is the shape it is, too. If it were more direct, instead of having that left-hand kink, then the pitting drivers could enter at more or less full speed and still have time to scrub off speed before the line. As it is, they have to slow down during turn 17 to negotiate the kink.

    [Reply]


  12.   12. Posted By: sender
        Date: October 22nd, 2010 @ 12:04 pm 

    Well, the pit lane entry is a problem. It is difficult to say if they can do something this weekend. I guess that all the drivers know the situation and will just race accordingly.

    [Reply]


  13.   13. Posted By: drums
        Date: October 22nd, 2010 @ 12:34 pm 

    James, thank you for the technical insight.

    [Reply]


  14.   14. Posted By: azac21
        Date: October 22nd, 2010 @ 1:08 pm 

    on the spot James!

    I think this is creating a serious issue. C Whiting claimed that no short-cuts would be allowed concering safety on the new track.

    I hope quali and race pass on without any serious accidents. Then, they ll have a year to reconfigure the pit lane entrace.

    [Reply]


  15.   15. Posted By: Galapago555
        Date: October 22nd, 2010 @ 1:11 pm 

    James, any trust worthy weather forecast? At F1.com they predict a rainy Sunday. Something similar on Korea Meteorological Administration

    http://web.kma.go.kr/eng/weather/forecast/timeseries.jsp?sido=4600000000&gugun=4611000000&x=24&y=7.

    The track will be really slippery if we have heavy rains on Sunday morning…

    [Reply]

    James Allen Reply:

    Sunday early hours rain, track still wet for start of the race, is what I’m hearing

    [Reply]

    Galapago555 Reply:

    So if the track gets dryer during the race we’ll start to gamble! An eye on Jenson – I will change my tyres on a different moment – Button, as usual.

    [Reply]


  16.   16. Posted By: Robin
        Date: October 22nd, 2010 @ 1:15 pm 

    Is it just me that thinks it looks great when the cars were flying through T16? I would like to have seen them leave it as is….

    [Reply]

    Michael Reply:

    I agree, the bridge idea mentioned above could go straight on at turn 15(?) up and over to the pit complex, it could become an iconic feature.

    [Reply]

    Stevie P Reply:

    Robin, I totally agree about T16. During 2nd practise they showed an analysis of certain cars going through it, which was very interesting – the Ferrari (of Massa, I think) looked to have very soft “bouncy” suspension. I wish\hope they leave it alone!

    However, as for the pit-lane entrance… hmm!? The authorities MUST tell the drivers if you have a problem, get out of your car… DON’T trundle back to the pits slowly. Because if someone is ambling around that last corner at a slow speed and someone else is going at full tilt through it, the 2nd driver is not going to see the 1st driver until they’ve clobbered them… AND it will be messy!

    It seems as though the entry line into the pits AND the normal racing line, through the blind section of the turn prior to the pit-entry have exactly the same line? Watching 2nd practise, I had no idea who was heading into the pits until a driver swung right at the last moment… normally you can tell who’s heading towards the pits by their physical position on the track. Not here you can’t!

    [Reply]

    Jo Torrent Reply:

    100% with you. The curbs make car bounce and wobble and that looks great and makes their work more challenging something they are finding increasingly harder to deal with. They want it the easy way.

    Afterall, if they don’t want to deal with the curb they can use a different line compromising their laptimes for extra comfort.

    [Reply]

    Jato Reply:

    I would leave it too, except remove the concrete walls which IMO what makes it dangerous. A really bad bump there could spear the car head-first (a bit of an exaggeration) into the wall.

    [Reply]


  17.   17. Posted By: Gary Rowe
        Date: October 22nd, 2010 @ 1:15 pm 

    What is the FIA’s excuse on the pit lane entry?

    How did they OK the design of a circuit with a feature that has an obvious potential for danger?

    Do they care how they let it happen?

    [Reply]


  18.   18. Posted By: MIke
        Date: October 22nd, 2010 @ 1:19 pm 

    Why not leave Turn 16 as it is? They can already choose to go around the trouble spot if they can’t handle it, or take it if they can. It would be one more thing separating the best from the rest.

    [Reply]


  19.   19. Posted By: jonrob
        Date: October 22nd, 2010 @ 1:22 pm 

    The pit entry is almost bound to see a major accident over the weekend. I am extremely surprised that the layout of this part was FIA approved. But then it was designed by Tilke who can do no wrong and whose company laid the asphalt so very late so of course it was approved. Had it not been Tilke to loos a lot of money, then I am sure the race would not be happening this year.
    With the emphasis on safety nowadays the pit lane entry is inexplicable, maybe forgotten until the last minute in the design. Accidents designed in.

    [Reply]


  20.   20. Posted By: Michael Grievson
        Date: October 22nd, 2010 @ 1:26 pm 

    I dont see the pitlane being a problem. The field will be spreadout by the time they’ll be changing tyres.

    Turn 16 is easily solved. Don’t us the kerb and stay on the track instead

    [Reply]

    JR Reply:

    Are you saying that a scheduled tyre change is the only reason a car goes into the pits? What about for penalties and — even worse — if it needs to limp in with repairable accident damage (like a broken front wing), or a puncture.

    The idea of a car coming round the long, blind corner 17 doing 80kph less than the rest of the field bearing down on it, makes my blood run cold.

    [Reply]

    Ben Reply:

    What about in qualifying? I can see the potential for a lot of flying laps getting ruined and a lot of post qualifying penalties being handed out.

    [Reply]

    Tim Reply:

    If a car is “limping in” there should be yellow flags shown – this is surely true at ANY circuit, regardless of the pitlane entrance design.

    My understanding is that the danger comes when a car is fine but slows, from racing speed, to enter the pitlane and hit the pitlane speed limit line. This, so they say, will happen on the racing line, out of sight of a following car entering the curve and expecting to go through it at full chat.

    An answer would be some VERY quick work with the flags (show a yellow as soon as anyone enters the pitlane). However, the relative lack of experience of local marshalls might leave this a little hit & miss – unless they put the more experienced marshalls from Australia on this duty…

    [Reply]

    Ben Reply:

    No, that is the first safety car line. The put lane speed limited is much further along, before they enter the pit complex. They have to go much slower through the final corner if they enter the pit lane as they have to keep turning into the plane rather than getting on the gas and straight lining.


  21.   21. Posted By: Marty McSuperfly
        Date: October 22nd, 2010 @ 1:37 pm 

    James, whats the turn penultimate to the pit entrance one like? Can they do a Brazil pit exit, or old catalyuna entrance? ie just have massive line of paint/hatching that means the corner may be rubbish to drive through, but is safe for pitting cars?

    [Reply]

    James Allen Reply:

    No, walls both sides

    [Reply]

    Marty McSuperfly Reply:

    Oh dear!
    Webber best keep an eye out for those Lotus then ;-)

    [Reply]

    Chris Orr Reply:

    Can they move the walls back? if not this year then for next?

    [Reply]


  22.   22. Posted By: Stephen Stuart
        Date: October 22nd, 2010 @ 1:49 pm 

    Drivers always like to complain! If they all know the kerb is lower than the ashphalt in turn 18, they could avoid it if it is ‘dangerous’ – really they want a track which allows them to drive straight lines. When circuits used to evolve from roads, I am certain no-one went out overnight to fix issues of ‘difficulty’. I do get a little tired of prima-Donna whinging from these guys. Perhaps they will use these two track ‘issues’ as negotiation tactics to get more money a la Rooney!

    [Reply]

    Jo Torrent Reply:

    One day someone has to put them on the nordschlife in order to make them figure out what’s a difficult, a dangerous, a mighty track.

    Nowadays, they don’t face death or even injuries. They are not satisfied, they want comfort as well. Tracks are karpets nowadays and still the complain about a couple of kerbs on a 5 km layout.

    Maybe on next year’s gpda agenda they’ll put forward airconditiong and back massaging seats.
    The most dangerous aspect of their job are camera flashlights agressivness. Hopefully in few years high iso camera’s won’t need any artificial lightening.

    [Reply]

    Stevie P Reply:

    Steady on Jo… it’s still dangerous!

    Massa got clobbered by a spring that nearly took his life in ’09 and the week prior to that young Henry Surtees lost his life. We’ve had errant tyres flying around the pit-lane at times this season – which has been dangerous; Yamamoto drove off with a team-member still looking into the car… very dangerous! Webber was very lucky to walk away from his trip through the air in Valencia; let’s not get blase and comfortable about this… it is still a dangerous sport.

    I like to see challenges for the drivers though… on some circuits, some of the run-off areas have neutered the challenge of the turns… turn 16 looks a challenge to me and I like that.

    But, I don’t wish to see anyone killed, yet I accept it can happen.

    For me the last corner\pit-lane entry looks very dodgy… because you can’t see ahead! You can’t see through the turn. It’s why (I think) they stopped the 2nd session when Sakon went a-spinning around. You cannot see what is around that corner, because of the walls on either side of the track… on top of that, it’s high-speed. As JR states (above) if someone’s recovering\limping in to the pits at slow speed AND someone is belting around the corner at high speed…???????

    [Reply]

    Jo Torrent Reply:

    what happened to massa is impossible to avoid. It is just a stupid accident with dramatic consequences. He was hugely unlucky that day, and that bad luck could have happened to him outside a track in a different form. It had nothing to do with him.

    I think that statistically, what happened to him has less than a chance out of 10000 to happen and yet it hit him. Accidents that unlikely can’t be considered due to F1 danngerosity. I think that the remaining leathal point is loose parts after a crash and particularly loose tyres… SENNA died because of that and the very reason why he died haseen’t been solved 16 years later.

    Tombob Reply:

    I don’t want to see circuits sanitised more than they already are, but it makes a mockery of the lives that have been lost in the sport over the years, if those lessons – learnt the HARDEST way – are not put into effect. If it’s clear that part of a circuit, particularly a new one, is potentially dangerous, then why not change it?

    The benefit of hindsight can’t bring back Senna or Ratzenberger. It’s not as if it’s difficult to modify the Korean pit entry either – they are just pre cast concrete walls that can be moved with a JCB.

    I was watching a youtube video earlier today where Gerhard Berger was talking about the dangers of Tamburello after his accident. He and Senna walked down to the corner and stood at the exact point where Senna was later killed. Senna looked over the wall and pointed out a lake behind the wall, so it couldn’t be moved back to allow more run off. In the case of Korea, the walls at the pit entry can be moved, easily, so why not just do it.

    [Reply]

    Steve W Reply:

    Very good point. After all of the lessons that have been learnt over the years and the great efforts that have gone into making the sport safer, it seems crazy to make circuits more dangerous again just for the sake of it. Yes, it may add an extra element of excitement, but that all gets forgotten if someone loses their life as a result. There’s no need for the walls to be so close to the circuit. I know they want to create a street circuit feel, but surely they should put the walls close to the circuit in the slower corners, not the quicker ones at the end of the lap.

    Jo Torrent Reply:

    Buildings are supposed to ve there !

    Richard M Reply:

    Agree, they should show them a video of the 1968 race at Nordschlife when Jackie Stewart won by over 4 minutes in the fog and the rain driving with a broken wrist. Now that was driving! Todays drivers just moan about a kerb which is a bit too low for them.

    [Reply]


  23.   23. Posted By: Kenny Carwash
        Date: October 22nd, 2010 @ 1:55 pm 

    I can see the pitlane entry causing some problems but it’s something they should be able to overcome between themselves and their teams.

    I’m less convinced about Turn 16. At the end of the day if you’re clouting the kerb and bottoming out at the apex, and you’re worried about breaking the car or losing control, then just take a wider line to avoid it.

    That’s one of the problems with today’s drivers, I think. They want everything their way and don’t seem willing to drive around problems like this. I suspect that’s why Michael Schumacher can’t see what all the pit entry fuss is about.

    What they should be doing is getting together with their teams and weighing up the risks of taking an optimal line through turn 16 against the time lost by taking a safer line. Decisions like that are a part of racing and it annoys me that the drivers’ first instinct is to sterilise circuits of any little quirks like this.

    Here’s hoping Rubens tells them all to ‘man up’ in the GPDA briefing!

    [Reply]


  24.   24. Posted By: Pete
        Date: October 22nd, 2010 @ 2:37 pm 

    I read just this morning that the white line for the pit entry will be removed, so that drivers can more aggressively enter the pits without hindering the others that may be zooming by on a hot lap.

    [Reply]


  25.   25. Posted By: JR
        Date: October 22nd, 2010 @ 2:56 pm 

    Corner 16 is already being fixed. It’ll be sorted for tomorrow. It’s the pit lane that’s the major problem.

    [Reply]


  26.   26. Posted By: Rafael
        Date: October 22nd, 2010 @ 3:06 pm 

    James,

    With regards to the pit entrance issue, isn’t it a similar situation to the one in Sao Paolo? Because if I remember correctly, the entrance to the pit lane in Brazil is also right smack in the middle of the racing line on the run up to the start/finish straight and the cars only get past it at the point where those pitting are just about to hit the speed limit beam. How come no one ever really complains about that?

    [Reply]

    Carlos Marques Reply:

    Because everyone has plenty of visibility going up the hill to see the cars in front; have lots of space to move around the slow cars (i.e. wide track, no walls, no rubber marbles off the racing line). Cars start slowing down for the pit entrance well outside the racing line.

    [Reply]

    Andy C Reply:

    Absolutely agree.

    [Reply]


  27.   27. Posted By: StallionGP F1
        Date: October 22nd, 2010 @ 4:39 pm 

    Pitlane is being fixed

    [Reply]

    azac21 Reply:

    I heard something about removing the white line at the pit lane entry. But is this sufficient? Dont they need somehow to improve visibility of the right-hander i.e remove part of the wall????

    [Reply]


  28.   28. Posted By: Carlos Marques
        Date: October 22nd, 2010 @ 5:37 pm 

    This can all be resolved very easily if everyone installs blinkers in their rear wings! Simply turn on your right-turn blinker if you intend to pit. :)

    Or have someone paint a double-yellow line along the length of the final turn before the pit entrance; if you’re on the right-side, you’re going to the pits (because you can’t cross a double-yellow as we all know). If you’re going straight, stay-left!

    Just applying some basic road rules to F1 for a change…like they do with the red light at the end of the pit exit…

    [Reply]

    Andy C Reply:

    Excellent idea. Which is exactly why f1 would never dream of using such a practical idea :-)

    [Reply]


  29.   29. Posted By: Glen D
        Date: October 22nd, 2010 @ 5:53 pm 

    Personally i dont really see the big issue.

    The whole reason for the barriers being so close is that that area in a few years will be covered in highrises, apartments etc and be very much street like.

    Maybe it’s a slight oversight but the drivers are there and have to just get on with it.

    Looks like a pretty good track imo. Just have to see if the race is as good!

    [Reply]

    Glen D Reply:

    Tweaks being made to track

    http://www.autosport.com/news/report.php/id/87625

    [Reply]


  30.   30. Posted By: Rich Cooper
        Date: October 22nd, 2010 @ 6:24 pm 

    I have a suggesion for the drivers, if they feel the pit lane entry is dangerous, why not raise an arm in the air to signal your intention to pit. Thats what drivers used to do in the past.
    The pit entry reminds me of the old Kyalami circuit last used in 1985, the pit entry there used to be flat out, so with a driver slipstreaming you would have to raise your arm.

    [Reply]


  31.   31. Posted By: Yannis JP
        Date: October 22nd, 2010 @ 7:14 pm 

    I have a feeling that if everything remains unchanged we are going to see a major accident around the entry of the pit lane. I hope I am wrong. Perhaps the organizers could draw the white line further back and penalize any drivers that go over it without entering the pits.

    [Reply]


  32.   32. Posted By: EM
        Date: October 22nd, 2010 @ 8:32 pm 

    I’m in total agreement with those that say if your car can’t handle the kerb then don’t drive over it! Blindingly obvious. Next they’ll be complaining the chicane at the end of the pit straight in Monza slows them down for the curca grande.

    The pit lane does seem more idiotic to me though. Who’d have thought Tilke didn’t have a clue about circuit design? I was watching this morning seeing all the long sweeping corners that make up the bulk of sectors 2 and 3 thinking what’s the point of these? No challenge and no overtaking opportunities.

    A good old white flag (?) for slow moving cars heading back to the pits and good driver awareness so they don’t lift off when someone is right behind and they’re going to pit should do the trick.

    Honestly the thought of cars spinning off, hitting the walls, breaking if they bottom out, having their lap ruined if they fail to antisipate traffic and so on thrills the life out of me this weekend more than the sweeping left handers.

    [Reply]


  33.   33. Posted By: Stephen Pattenden
        Date: October 22nd, 2010 @ 10:02 pm 

    If only they’d tried the PS3 game before this weekend – you could tell the pit entry would be an issue just from that!

    [Reply]


  34.   34. Posted By: Steve W
        Date: October 22nd, 2010 @ 10:02 pm 

    It seems a very poor design by Tilke. Normally the drivers can be accused of moaning too much, but I think they are right to be concerned about turn 16, it looks far too dangerous. I can’t believe it needed the drivers to point this out, surely Charlie Whiting should have spotted this when he did his inspection last week? On reclaimed land, they seem to have had plenty of space for Tilke to do what he wanted with the circuit, so I don’t understand why the pit entry and exit seem to be so tight? And it’s even more bizarre that there is big run off areas in some parts of the circuit, then concrete walls lining the track on some of the quickest corners when there doesn’t need to be. Overall the circuit looks quite exciting though.

    [Reply]


  35.   35. Posted By: Jonathan
        Date: October 22nd, 2010 @ 10:13 pm 

    In the photo at the top of the page, you can see that Alonso’s big jowls fit almost perfectly into Webber’s gaunt cheeks… these two are like South America and Africa.

    [Reply]

    Laurence H Reply:

    Brilliant!

    [Reply]


  36.   36. Posted By: Duncan
        Date: October 22nd, 2010 @ 10:23 pm 

    I haven’t watched the practice footage to see how it looks in action, but perhaps they could extend the pit entry white line to the beginning of the corner. Make it a penalty to run inside the line unless entering the pits. It would probably make the corner boring and slower with the cars running around the outside, but would keep the cars at speed separate from those slowing.

    [Reply]


  37.   37. Posted By: Robert McKay
        Date: October 22nd, 2010 @ 10:52 pm 

    Pitlane entry is ridiculously stupid, surely the work experience kid could have gone “that’s going to cause a problem”.

    On an unrelated note I quite like the track, actually. I am surprised because it doesn’t look much on paper, but it seems less “overdesigned” than Abu Dhabi, Singapore and Valencia.

    But I note this track has a “mini” Istanbul Turn 8 on it. Hang on, isn’t one of the Austin corners “Istanbul Turn 8″-inspired? Wouldn’t want to go milking the one decent corner he’s come up with, would we now.

    [Reply]


  38.   38. Posted By: Darren Fellows
        Date: October 23rd, 2010 @ 12:07 am 

    I think that this can easily be retified by making the turn left into the Pits less sharp.

    This means that the Drivers can go full pelt into the Pits and stamp on the Brakes before the line and not have a corner going into the Pits to deal with, that is the main reason for the speed loss going into the Pits !

    [Reply]


  39.   39. Posted By: Bayan
        Date: October 23rd, 2010 @ 2:17 am 

    I don’t think they should change the kerbs so that drivers can drive over them. Why don’t they just avoid the problem area (like they do in Monaco to avoid the big dip)?

    Wouldn’t this punish people who want to ride the kerb and make the race a bit more interesting?

    [Reply]


  40.   40. Posted By: Andy C
        Date: October 23rd, 2010 @ 9:32 am 

    I think considering the challenges Korea have faced ghe track is good.

    You’d expect some teething problems and I think there will be some good racing.

    Let’s just give them a break. They will learn from the pitlane and a couple of the curbs.

    Let’s not forget we see curbs issues at most tracks every single year.

    The pitlane can be solved for next year and will hopefully not cause any accidents tomorrow.

    The track has a lot of decent corners and most of the drivers seem to think there will be overtaking opportunities tomorrow.

    [Reply]


  41.   41. Posted By: JohnBt
        Date: October 23rd, 2010 @ 10:40 am 

    I thought they were moving the walls at pit entrance for visibility.

    [Reply]


  42.   42. Posted By: tank
        Date: October 24th, 2010 @ 3:29 am 

    James,

    Why is the pit on the outfield of the track? Sure there must be, but I can’t recall another track that has that.. “feature”. Clearly the entrance is bad; the exit is bad as well, since the cars leaving the pits will be perpendicular to cars hurtling down the straight. The pit lane is on the wrong side of the track!

    [Reply]

    James Allen Reply:

    Interesting point. It has to do with the access road, probably.

    [Reply]


  43.   43. Posted By: Tholithemba
        Date: October 25th, 2010 @ 7:08 am 

    Well this can be solved by pulling/extending the pit line a little backwards

    [Reply]

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