Donington Park 2010 British Grand Prix track – your design predictions

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After the news the British Grand Prix would be going to Donington Park in 2010 one of the Donington circuit owners remarked on television:

If I touch anything from Redgate to MacLeans I’ll be lynched.

If the classic Donington Park circuit’s fast, flowing corners were chopped to make it F1-friendly it would be a terrible waste. The news that Hermann Tilke is handling the re-designed may not fill F1 fans with optimism about the new Donington Park. So how would you change the track to make it big enough to accommodate F1?

A glance at a satellite map makes it clear that if the circuit owners can only work with what they have within the current perimeter of the track their options are very limited.

I sketched out a possible extension below using Quikmaps:

See the Donington Park circuit as it was used for the 1993 European Grand Prix here: F1 circuits history part 11: 1990-3

But this hypothetical track has its problems. Will the current pit and paddock be big enough for the usual complement of F1 transporters? Would it be long enough to meet the FIA’s criteria for circuit length?

ITV’s Ted Kravitz mentioned some other potential problems with the current track:

Run-off area and gravel traps are too small for current F1 standards.

The signature bump in the road under the Dunlop Bridge would have to be ground down.

If you want you can try your hand at designing a new Donington Park track using Quikmaps – here are some instructions and post links to your tracks below.

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Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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36 comments on “Donington Park 2010 British Grand Prix track – your design predictions”

  1. Well, there are already a few details emerging:

    New pit complex, track length increased to 3 miles/4.8km, “a spectacular sweeping curve” and a simulated lap time of 1:17.

    Also, Keith, “Donginton Park”? :D

  2. Fixed!

    It’s a shame they have to make the track longer at all really, so what if they lap it in close to (or under) a minute?

  3. Going by your map they’d need some heavy landscaping to be done. Parts of your map run straight through hills that have incline ratios of close to 1:1.

    You’re probably pretty close, however I think the left section of the new infield will be a chicane (right/left from where you have the new track split) then a long sweep around the path, slightly to the left of yours, and meeting yours at the top.

  4. @Kester:

    Why do landscaping? The elevation changes would be welcome.

  5. They would, but the FIA have very tight restrictions on circuit design which you can read about here: Don’t blame Hermann Tilke, blame the rules

  6. There are plenty of elevation changes all around there. However some parts of Keith’s map go over hills that even a 4×4 wouldn’t enjoy.

  7. Well if they’re talking about planing off the bump under Dunlop Bridge they’re definitely not going to like that much gradient!

  8. A good point by a regular top poster on the My Tracks forum: Donington Park would not just need an extension, but would need to be widened along almost its entire length. Most of Donington supposedly is 10m wide while 15m is currently the norm. But widening all of the track would seriously change the nature and character of the circuit.

  9. I reckon you need to keep the main straight in too.
    This limits the options to Tilke by bringing an inner loop after McLeans that returns back before Coppice.
    By doing this you also get to keep the original layout for other events.

  10. Scott Joslin
    10th July 2008, 14:05

    Not sure if anyone has seen Autosport, but they are suggesting that the start and finish will be moved to where the dunlop bridge is on the Starkys straight. With them taking on the esses first then the melbourne hairpin before going off into a new loop that rejoins at the old start and finish. As Kester said, that area is where there are some dramatic drops and rises, so will be interesting how it is managed.

  11. Scott beat me to it :)

    The circuit in Autosport looks pretty dull, quite frankly – done only to extend the length.

  12. Worth noting that the county boundary passes very close to the current Melbourne hairpin, so the track is very unlikely to be extended in that direction (toward the original hairpin (the outline of which is visible on the images above)).

  13. I’m sure this question has been raised before but is there anybody BESIDES Hermann Tilke who can design an F1 course?

    Also does anybody know who designed the modern Spa-Francochamps circuit? Surely that gentleman could be rewarded for creating the best update on an outdated grand prix circuit.

  14. Matthew – the most recent changes to Spa in 2007 and 2004 were done by Tilke.

  15. OK, here is mine. LINK:

    I hate doing this without going there. The only feel for the terrain is what I could get from Photos and Google earth.

    What I did was basically keep 90% of the original track in place and add a south circuit in the same flowing manner.
    Also, I did a pitlane that is on a long curve.

  16. Is the circuit in Autosport mentioned above available online?

  17. I would’ve been much happier if it was Brands-Hatch instead of Donnington, great circuit, huge history, if only it would’ve made 10 years earlier when Silverstone lost contract earlier just to get it back because Hatch wasn’t able to make it.

  18. Robert McKay
    10th July 2008, 20:04

    If I understand exactly what’s being suggested, it’s ironic that they are planning to extend the section of track that was the previous extension to make it longer in the first place.

    Anyway, overall, I’ll believe it when I see, it, honestly. I still don’t really believe this is going to happen.

  19. Here’s mine. Not very pretty but you get the rough idea. Just imagine the last 180 degree turn before the pit entry as similar to the spoon from suzuka.

  20. I also remain sceptical as to whether it’ll happen – they really want fans to pay for this by selling seats when there is only one British F1 GP a year? Not a chance I fear.

    However, nice webtoy Keith, allowed me to idle away an hour whilst the missus was watching Without A Trace, so here my tuppence worth, no last corner 180 and sweeping curve rejoining the main straight. Might be a smidge over the 1/2 mile, but looks like a reasonable solution…

  21. My Donington revamp:

    I have pretty much kept the same shape as the current Donington. It may have only added about 0.3km, but its still longer than Indianapolis. Also, it gives a lot of paddock space.

  22. My goodness, Ted Kravitz is a genius, i would never have guessed Donington doesn’t have sahara desert spec sand traps already. And the bump under the dunlop bridge, that would deffinately have to go, and then i think they should try plaining down the big bump of Eeu Rouge at Spa !!!! After all we can’t expect the ultimate racing cars to cope with minor canges in inclination!

  23. We can’t expect the ultimate racing cars to cope with minor canges in inclination!


    Seriously though, you’ve hit the nail on the head there. If they need to sanitise the tracks that much, there’s something wrong with the cars, not the circuits.

  24. Peter Boyle
    13th July 2008, 1:15

    Remodelled Silverstone for when F1 returns.

    Uses wide runways for long wide straights (passing
    opportunity). Extends lap by around 1mile.

  25. Hows about something like this?

    Doesn’t spoil the classic sections of the circuit, extends the Dunlop Straight to incorperate a new pit complex, and adds two new extensions at either end of the Melbourne Loop.

  26. Here’s my guess using information on the net.

    The changes are a tighter Coppice, the start/finish and pits along Starkey’s Straight, a quicker Esses chicane, and the new infield loop from Goddards to rejoining along Wheatcroft Straight. Redgate to McLean’s stays as it is.

  27. I wish they could just restore the melbourne loop to its original length, imagine the speeds they could attain. I realise they probably can’t though because the old loop is actually in a different county.
    If they did do that though the pit complex could be on the new 1.2 mile long straight it would create, and the circuit length would be roughly 3.5 miles long. Bring back the 1930’s!!!!!!!!!!


    That’s wahat i cam up with. Leaves Redgate to Coppice intact. Makes Starkey’s Straight longer by moving The Esses back and reprofiling it slightly, as mentioned in the plans, so that the that part of the track can be the new pit straight. New infield section starts at Goddards and incorporates the long, sweeping curve talked about before rejoining onto Wheatcroft Straight, which the track owner said would be left intact.

  29. I have been thinking that using the Melbourne Loop would be the only way, and I remember thinking the last time I was up there that the perimeter really is close to the neighbours, and those are housing estates too, so the Council will have a ‘hands off’ directive.
    Also worth remembering in any redesign is that the main entry is not designed for large volumes of traffic, and the A453 is not dual carrageway. The entrace is shared with the museum, so would that have to move?

  30. Here is my suggestion!
    A little bit rough around the edges but i think you got the point.
    The new final corner makes overtaking easier at the first corner.

  31. This the plan I put forward in 2004 to various Internet sites (long before Donington got the British Grand Prix !).

    If additional mileage is required some of the track towards the Melbourne could still be included.
    It would also be advantageous to include a stand between Starkes and the pits – this could include seating looking in both directions, i.e. some spectators would see Craner Curves, Old Hairpin, etc. whilst others would face towards the new extension and also see relevant sections of the existing track.

  32. Donington Reveller
    31st July 2008, 11:40

    Gday – just to say the inside area that shows on google maps and quickmaps doesnt exist anymore – it is now a dirtbike track that was built this/last year (reason why download festival had to move to the go-kart track area – the concrete area to the left of the track on the maps.).

  33. Do we really believe that the dirtbike track would need to be retained if the F1 requirements justified the use of the infield ?!

  34. My idea of what they are talking about.
    I have my doubts about how many of our correspondents have actually visited Donington. If you look at the image, you can see an access road which passes through a tunnel under the end of Starkey’s straight just before the esses, which then continues down the infield at the bottom of a small valley. Many of the designs so far cut straight across this.
    Mine turns off just after the tunnel and follows the eastern side of the valley down to a tight 90 degree bend then back up the other side of the valley to join the redundant stub of track at the beginning of the current pit straight.
    Huzzah! The historic Donington left intact, extra track length and a 200mph straight. Nice.
    You may of course think otherwise….

  35. aparently they have got rid of the dunlop bridge to =[

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