Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez aerial map, 2015

Button sorry to see the Peraltada go from Mexico’s F1 track

2015 Mexican Grand Prix

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Jenson Button is disappointed the Mexican Grand Prix circuit no longer features the famous Peraltada corner.

The 180-degree final corner at the Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez is being bypassed on the new version of the track which will host the country’s first race for 23 years this weekend.

“The circuit itself looks really interesting,” said Button, “I remember as a kid watching some incredible battles there and the drivers hanging onto their cars around Peraltada, which looked mega, if a bit scary.”

“It’s a shame that corner hasn’t been included in the new layout, but from what I’ve seen of the track and heard from others that have visited, it looks like it’ll be a fun challenge.”

As there is no room to add extra run-off on the outside of the corner, and a baseball field on the inside of it prevents it from being moved inwards, a combination of slower bends will be used instead. The new track rejoins the old halfway around the Peraltada, and the new corner has been renamed the Nigel Mansell turn in honour of his famous pass on the old corner in 1990.

The circuit owners have said there was “no way” to keep the track’s signature corner for F1 racing.

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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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53 comments on “Button sorry to see the Peraltada go from Mexico’s F1 track”

  1. I have to say i don’t really get why you can’t saferbarrier that thing indy-style and be done with it. Seems a bit random what can and can’t be done on safety grounds

    1. From what I’ve read it’s more a problem of visibility than a problem of safety … The combination of it being a rather flat corner + the grandstand in the middle implies that (opposite to any well-designed oval track) if a car spins or stops somewhere at the end of the corner, the incoming drivers will have no way to see it before it’s way too late …

      1. So same problem as the top of Eau Rouge which is unsighted. It was not impossible to keep this corner if money was no object but it was an object so it was not economical as to keep the corner would have cost a fortune.

        1. Eau Rouge isn’t hemmed in by walls on either side; in fact, the outside of Raidillon has a fair bit of run-off, and that’s usually where the wrecks end up if they don’t stop in front of the grandstand (which is also run-off).

          1. exactly this. Combination of no room for extra runoff, a banked corner and no visibility if a car would hit the barrier and slide back down.

      2. there are loads of blind corners in Monaco, but that doesn’t seem to be a problem

        1. Are you really comparing Monaco to that Indy-like corner?

        2. Monaco features much slower corners, Peraltada would be a 170-180mph+ corner in a modern F1 car.

          Also remember that peraltada is slightly banked so as we see on ovals a car that hits the wall is much more likely to come back onto the track than somewhere like the Monaco tunnel where any car that crashes tends to stay up against the wall.

          Closest example of what could happen there is what happened with Dario Franchitti’s INdycar crash on the Houston street circuit.
          https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mJ3vw79o6n4

          The place he crashed was about as narrow & as blind as Peraltada now is & while the initial accident didn’t have anything to do with those 2 factors, EJ Viso driving into the crashed car afterwards because he couldn’t see the crashed cars (And others behind nearly getting involved as well) had a lot to do with how narrow & blind the corner was. And again consider that they would be going through Peraltada at much higher speeds.

          If the baseball stadium wasn’t on the inside & the drivers had good visibility through the corner then they would more than likely be more willing to run through it. But given how the baseball stadium is still used for baseball & is as far as i’m aware publicly owned knocking it down wasn’t an option.

        3. Because a crash at 50mph is totally comparable to one at 180mph…

      3. Looks like there’s not much of a view up the inside of “Noige” (the new corner) either – I’m expecting at least one collision or near-miss there. There’ll be lots going on in the race: pit entry, crucial exit onto the main straight, cars bunching up as they trundle across the rounders pitch. Safety-car restarts could be messy.

    2. 100% agree. A wall (well, a “SAFER wall” like in Nascar/Indycar) is even sometimes much better for safety than runoff (where a car has space to roll over, or take an even worse angle): Grosjean’s crash in Sochi would have been less dangerous with a wall right along the track.

      I can’t see why F1 could run at Indianapolis (using turn 1 of oval), but not on Peraltada. Ok, they would arrive a bit faster, but still…

      It’s time for FIA to see that fans care about tracks: they are part of F1 too, like cars, teams, and drivers.

      1. (100% agree with @MrBoerns, I meant)
        :-)

      2. Even if you don’t think the FIA care, which is, lets face it, not always apparent, I think it’s fair to say that the guys at the Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez would deeply care about their track. I think when they say there was “no way”, I really think they meant it. I can’t imagine them cutting such a famous and special corner out unless they absolutely had no other choice.

      3. I can’t see why F1 could run at Indianapolis (using turn 1 of oval), but not on Peraltada.

        Easy: the inside of Indy turn 1 doesn’t have a stadium inside it.

        1. Sochi t3 is blind and fast too @raceprouk

          1. And where do the wrecks end up? On the apron on the outside.

      4. @bebilou, in the case of Indianapolis, there were a couple of mitigating factors.

        Firstly, following Ralf Schumacher’s crash, the crash protection measures along that wall were beefed up to reduce the impact load, a situation that would not be possible here due to the lack of a secure wall to fix the barriers to.

        Secondly, in the event that the corner was blocked by debris due to a crash – as happened when Ralf Schumacher crashed back in 2004 – the drivers could still circulate around the track by being diverted through the pit lane. In the case of the Peraltada, if a driver crashed and the debris from his car blocked the circuit, there is nowhere for the following drivers to go – you create a situation where it is not only difficult to recover the crashed car, it is also very difficult to then divert the following cars around the crash site in order for the marshals to safely recover the car.

      5. I’m not quite sure what makes you think Grosjean’s crash would’ve been less dangerous. He’d be approaching the wall (if it were closer) at greater force. There’s a strong probability he would’ve bounced off the other wall as well, or ended up on the other side. With greater force, the greater impact I daresay would’ve been enough to damage both barriers, necessitating a longer SC period.

        Grosjean would’ve hit the barrier nose-first instead of the rear, which isn’t safer.

        1. I see your point, but I still disagree:
          1) Grosjean’s car would have slid along the wall instead of bouncing into tecpro.
          2) The few meters of runoff allowed his car to spin and take more angle (wich is always a bad thing).

      6. @bebilou Without run-off, Grosjean’s crash would just have been mad pinball action and with a crashed car on the racing line, it’s just calling for more mayhem.

  2. Are there any classes of racing that still use the original corner?

    1. @nickwyatt In NASCAR Mexico they run it in the opposite direction on the one-mile oval:

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZUJb_-bDzs8

      1. Thank you, Keith.
        So if they run clockwise, the track access points (to get cars off and/or marshals on) must be the other way round. And I suppose the teams have spotters in the back of the infield grandstand to keep the drivers informed about the traffic around the Peraltada wall as they go round. Hmm. Bit scary, I would have thought.

      2. The Nascar Busch series used the original layout in 2007. Though being stock cars, they only reached about 95mph on the Peraltada and 175mph at the end of the front straight.

  3. As has been covered many times, as interesting as it would have been to see them use that corner safety wise it just wasn’t a good idea. Visibility, run off, etc etc. However, it’s clear to see it’s a popular corner design so why not incorporate something similar into a new track design, where there isn’t the restriction of view and run off? Tilke, get your pencil out and include something similar in your next track!

    1. I like this idea. Tilke should design a circuit with forgotten great corners like Peraltada.

      I can’t think of any others off the top of my head but I’m sure between you guys you could come up with a great track layout.

      1. How about the next track in the middle east can be a complete replica of a classic European track that cannot afford to host a race.

      2. @alilane4 @weeniebeenie Let’s go further with this idea. Why not recreate it on another part of the same track? Instead of that mickey mouse back section for instance?

        Tilke could have designed many great corners in many places. Instead most of the time he designs the same 2-3 gear monstrosities…

    2. Woah woah woah there @weeniebeenie

      So you’re suggersting F1 should listen to it’s fans? Of course, whilst Bernie is still alive, that’s never going to happen.

      Now, perhaps if it’s what Rolex or Mercedes want….

      1. Well it’s roughly a half circle, maybe they could design it to look like half a Rolex watch face.

        1. Don’t give them ideas. -.-

        2. Lewisham Milton
          27th October 2015, 18:05

          Don’t worry, there’ll be half a Rolex ad on it during the race. You’ll see it when the camera takes a long, lingering look while the digital advertising fails again.

    3. Turn 3 at Sochi is kind of similar in terms of radius.

      It doesn’t have the banking Peraltada used to have, But neither does Peraltada which is a lot flatter than it was last time F1 used it.

      1. Indeed, it would need the light/mid banking to make it interesting.

        Not that it would ever happen mind you, but yeah, it certainly would be an interesting idea I think. I mean Tilke borrowed a lot of corner ideas in Austin and that worked, why not a few more?

        I’ve always been fond on the opening part of Rouen Les Essarts, the downhill part into the hairpin. Create a new track with run off on the curves and not so tight a hairpin, should be great.

      2. Turn 3 at Sochi start with a break zone, in a place where cars need to reduce their speed to be inside of the corner but on Peraltada cars come from a long straight in a high speed and with a line of wall to each side of the track with on possibilities of runoff

  4. I like to drive this circuit (F1 2015 PS4), and hopefully it will provide close racing in real life as well.

  5. Why couldn’t they have done this:
    https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B7j_XoWgS949S09qTHF0VFpkR00/view?usp=sharing

    The run off can be achieved just by making the corner slightly tighter. Of course, in Tilke’s spreadsheet the ‘cumulative time for eyes in stands viewing a F1 car’ is not ‘optimised’, but who cares? Who wants to watch F1 cars reduced to a silly point and squirt section when you can have a challenging sweeping right hander instead… I’d hazard a guess… NOBODY!

    1. @john-h er, because there is stadium right there, it’s called Foro Sol. Your track goes right through one of the stands! They couldn’t have removed it.

      1. Ah, good point @weeniebeenie. I thought they could have been demolished seen as presumably the baseball ground (or whatever it is) is no not in use. From a sustainably point of view its always best to reuse rather than replace.

        Still, i’d like to have a go designing a better section through that gap, or at least lop a bit off the front of the stand.

      2. @weeniebeenie @bebilou @gt-racer

        How about this?:
        https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B7j_XoWgS949Zm1HUENYczRvLTg/view?usp=sharing

        Ok this is madness and completely impracticable, but how cool would it be.

    2. So they can remove a part of the track, but not the stadium ?
      John H is right: it’s a question of money and willingness. They chose the easiest and cheapest way.

      1. The stadium is publicly owned & used by the local community (As other facilities within the circuit are) as well as for bigger baseball games so knocking it down was never an option.

      2. Well, the stadium is still used. They can’t move that. Had the stadium not been there, I think the corner could have stayed because they could move it some 20ish metres inwards and then keep visibility high and run-off decent. A new Parabolica, sort of. The problem is, as stated, the stadium is where it is and cannot be moved.

      3. Also they haven’t removed part of the track, Peraltada is still there & still used as part of the oval configuration.

        That part of the track was changed in the mid 90’s, The runoff was removed, the banking reduced, the corner narrowed & the stadium were all built back then & they haven’t really changed it in the recent re-design.

        Here’s an in-car from the champcar race held there in 2002 where they also ran through the stadium.
        https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-aRmexvizMg

        1. I think that was a fantastic video to post.

          I think it’s notable that the F1 track has that extra kink. But I can’t work out why it’s there. I do not see how it would create any overtaking opportunity. Unless it’s there to further reduce speed into Peraltada, but I think the difference between 60 and 80 at the exit wouldn’t really change much, so I doubt that. Unless it’s just for the crowd in the stadium to see more, in which case it would do so well. But I’m not sure.

          I think the turn that leads into the stadium, has the potential to cause a nasty crash, as it’s relatively fast, coming from a long straight. If a car dives up the inside it could be pretty nasty.

  6. With the money they could have kept the stadium and the corner, simply sink the road the other side of the road 10 meters and build the run off over the top of the road, easy to do not easy to pay for.

    1. That would have been awesome, and maybe not that expensive.

      1. Running through the stadium also gives the opportunity to sell a few thousand tickets more. While Peraltada is great to watch on TV, there are no grandstands around it.

    2. markp, I think you have rather underestimated how many lanes of traffic you would have to divert – you would have to divert two roads in order to do that, one of which is a major six lane highway. The only project that I can think of that might be comparable would be the proposal to replace the Hammersmith flyover in the UK with an underground tunnel, the lower end cost estimate for which is in the order of £220 million.

      Furthermore, that does not take into account the notoriously bad ground conditions in Mexico City, which would make diverting that road into a tunnel extremely challenging. It would be a much more arduous and expensive task to divert that road into a tunnel than you think, and realistically it would be nowhere near worth the cost, time and disruption to do so.

    3. If you are able to do that, citizens will be agains you. It is not a simply road, you’re talking about of one of the mayor avenues that exist in Mexico City.
      You cannot change a main avenue just to get runoff for Peraltada because actual traffic will increase and it will be a completely nightmare.
      The main problem for the Peraltada was the construction of the Foro Sol, that has become an icon for massive events, if you try to knock it down citizens will be agains you as well.
      Unfortunately due to the lack of F1 races Peraltada is now underrated, the city can live without it but cannot live without the main avenue or without the space thst provides Foro Sol for events

  7. All that work and the circuit is still going to be single file. Mark my words, this track will make Sochi seem well designed.

  8. I understand that the baseball stadium prevents the Peraltada from being used since it restricts visibility, but what about pushing the corner away from the stadium?

    1. The reason it has no run-off is because there are roads & city streets behind the wall, If you can’t move the wall to add run-off they obviously can’t move the corner outwards.

      Much of the infield & area outside of the circuit are publicly owned with parks & public/community facilities & this prevents the circuit owners from been able to make some of the alterations they would probably like to.

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