A1GP adds Mexican round but Peraltada gets chopped

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A1 Grand Prix has re-instated the Mexican round of the calendar as a new season finale.

The championship will still visit Brands Hatch for the British round, but after that it will return to the Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez in Mexico City on May 22nd-24th.

However the distinctive Peraltada corner is to be drastically overhauled. The fast 180-degree corner is to be castrated into a messy series of tight bends to prevent the cars passing through the section at high speed.

The corner will now be preceded by a ‘bus stop’ style double chicane. The cars will then funnel into a third chicane (no, really) and then a pair of right-handed bends.

Peraltada had seldom been used in its original form for many years. When Champ Car first visited the circuit the corner was changed, sending the cars through a baseball field.

More recently the full corner was reinstated, but preceded by a very tight and slow chicane. But apparently this solution is no longer safe enough for the FIA’s stringent standards.

When A1 first visited the track in the 2006-2007 season it used the full Peraltada without a chicane before it, making for spectacular action. But it adopted the Champ Car chicane on its return visit last year.

The new solution looks terrible on paper. I understand the desire to make circuits safe, and the track designers have little space to use for run-off on this part of the track. But it’s depressing to see the scene of such epic moments as Nigel Mansell’s pass on Gerhard Berger in 1990 mutilated beyond recognition.

Read more: A1 Grand Prix – the full Peraltada

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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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One comment on “A1GP adds Mexican round but Peraltada gets chopped”

  1. Robert McKay
    13th April 2009, 0:22

    Disappointing that Peraltada is getting mangled.

    However, kudos to A1GP for going to the new Algarve circuit, a real rollercoaster of a track with proper gradient, height changes and compression and sweeping corners.

    Its a long way from what Formula 1 has introduced into the calendar in terms of track design in recent years and I think the Algarve track has the potential to be a modern classic.

    I suspect its not glitzy enough for F1, though I hope I’m wrong.

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