News and views on motorsports

Thursday, December 18, 2003

Hermann Tilke is Evil

Curious about the new Shanghai circuit in China, I searched the world wide web for a circuit diagram. I had read that it was styled to resemble a Chinese character. So a quick search on Google and true enough I found a suitable diagram for me to peruse. You can find it here

I was deeply disappointed. The track sucks just like Sepang really sucks. Both these circuits and the Nuburgring were designed by this same evil guy. OK so the Nurburgring is a bit better than the other two. It has in the past produced overtaking manuevers and some great racing to watch. But Sepang?

Examine it closely. The most remarkable thing about it is the grandstand and the concourse in between the front and rear grandstand. Of course for corporate hospitality, guests, politicians and their cronies the circuit is supremely comfortable and offers many facilities for these people to relax and kick back under air conditioned rooms and such. But what about the driving? The circuit is just one drag race after another. Drag race at the back main straight where the cars accelerate from the relatively slow and almost hairpin like Turn 14 to the final hairpin Turn 15. Another drag race happens from the last corner to the first. On hairpin to the next. Anyone who watches racing long enough will know that almost no overtaking happens when corners are arranged in this manner. After the two hateful Turns 1 and 2 there is another drag race to Turn 4 which is another slow corner. The hill sections in Turn 9, 10, 11 are also just disgraceful.

And so it is with the Shanghai circuit. The same drag race after drag race. At least Sepang has Turns 5 to 8 that is sort of a fun. (I've driven there many times). If you look at the diagram at the above mentioned website you will see hairpin straight hairpin straight. What is with this clown who designed it?

He seems to be designing just about every new F1 circuit nowadays. I don't know but I would guess that it's probably a requirement from Bernie Ecclestone. If you want your track to be on the calendar then you need a facility designed by this guy. I wouldn't be surprised if Bernie has some dealings with Herr Tilke with regards this. I mean it seems to me that the circuits are designed to pack people in rather than providing a challenge not only to drivers but to the set up of the cars itself.

It's sad to see drivers circuits being dropped one by one from the calendar. First, Estoril, then Spa. What's next? Thank god we still have Suzuka. God forbid that Bernie would want to take Silverstone out of the calendar as well.

And the point is these drivers circuits also produce the best racing and that looks great from a television audience standpoint. So why are they making these mickey mouse tracks. Formula 1 cars need space to run. Circuits like Spa really give these cars the space they need to show off their entire breadth of their abilities. With idiotic circuits like Sepang we hardly get to see it.

Give use circuits with lots of fast flowing corners like Eau Rouge or the Suzuka esses. What about corners like the Signe curve at Paul Ricard or the old Lesmos at Monza. What has happened to the long flat out corners prior to the bustop chicane in Spa. These are the corners that really test both man and machine. Not the silly hairpins that Herr Tilke is so fond of.

I say they should ban this man from ever holding a pen and designing a Formula 1 circuit ever again. And in the meantime get rid of that Bernie as well.

1 comment:

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