Monza could build new chicane for 2017

2017 F1 season

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Monza could bypass the historic Curva Grande corner by building a new section of track including an additional chicane in 2017.

La Gazzetta dello Sport reported the changes are being considered for motorbike races at the home of the Formula One Italian Grand Prix.

Track revisions are always problematic at the 94-year-old facility as it is situated in a public park lined with trees which the circuit operator cannot cut down. The proposed change would involve reviving an old section of track which was built in 1938 for tyre testing. It is not part of the banked oval circuit which also lies within the facility.

Nonetheless the alteration would cost around €4 million (£3.03m) at a time when Monza is also negotiating a new deal with Bernie Ecclestone to host the Italian Grand Prix beyond the end of this year.

The last significant change to Monza’s track layout was in 2000 when a new chicane was built to replace the double chicane at Rettifilio, the first braking point on the track. In 2014 some drivers objected when a substantial section of the gravel run-off at the Parabolica turn was replaced with asphalt.

Thanks to @Zantkiller for the tip.

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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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78 comments on “Monza could build new chicane for 2017”

  1. No. Just no.

    1. no please, pretty please no

      1. ColdFly F1 (@)
        24th January 2016, 14:24

        the changes are being considered for motorbike races

        Why are we now all getting upset about Motorbike races???

        1. @coldfly, sadly, it seems to be a reflexive action for most posters here to instinctively complain first and then actually read what is written later (if they even bother to do that) – it’s quite clear that a lot of people haven’t bothered to read anything beyond the headline before reeling off the utterly predictable complaints of “How dare they change Monza?”.

          The problem, I suspect, is compounded in this case by the fact that the article in question is in Italian. That language barrier therefore means that most people don’t understand the reason for the changes, and that lack of understanding therefore means that people jump to conclusions, with others then rushing in to reinforce those claims given that it fits with the narrative they want to create.

          If you read the original article, the explanation is much clearer – the circuit owners are trying to secure the contract for the World Superbike Championship, but FIM, the motorcycle governing body, is currently refusing to provide a homologation certificate for the circuit (which is why Monza is still listed on the official WSB calendar as “Subject to homologation”).
          Furthermore, it is also widely known that Monza considers the World Superbike event as just a stepping stone to their real goal, which would be to lure MotoGP back to Monza – but, again, FIM is refusing to homologate the circuit for the MotoGP series.

          Part of the reason why FIM are refusing to provide the correct certification is that they think that the Curva Grande is unsafe, so the circuit owners have decided that the only way to secure the certification is to bypass that section of the track entirely.

          Now, because Charlie Whiting is a designated Technical Delegate for the FIA, part of his duties outside of F1 involve assessing the safety classification of a circuit, which is why the plans have been passed onto Whiting for him to rule on – he has currently given that layout a Grade 2 classification, which is OK for GT racing and for LMP cars, but below the required rating for F1.

          All the references to this project refer solely to motorcycle racing – even the official name of the modification appears to be “Project Superbike”, which makes it fairly clear what the reason for the change is – so the whole reaction to the changes currently reads like a hysterical overreaction.

          1. Even if it is just for the bikes it still neuters the challenge for them. Wouldn’t the majority of motorcycle riders want to experience those “Yee-Haw! Chuck E. Yeager in a rocket plane!” moments that would make them grow a third testicle? Or just another boring sequence of slow-chicane/straight/slow-chicane/short-straight?

            And who’s to say some “bright mind” in the FIA won’t decide “Monza’s not boring and sanitized enough. Let’s bypass curve-grande!” in the near future?

          2. Though you are quite right that its deemed unsafe for bikes & certainly as its stands MotoGP wouldnt touch it.

            But there is alot less safe points on the track where the barriers are so close if 2 bikes touched it would be a disaster if one hit the barriers.

            Saying that it has rarely happened in the many years that WSBK has been going there. Some of the races have been classics.

          3. So Curva Grande is unacceptable, but Stoner Corner at Phillip Island is fine?

            I hope I haven’t spelled the end for my favourite race track right there!

          4. Daniel (@mechanicalgrip22)
            24th January 2016, 21:43


          5. I may be ignorant, but wasn’t Monza already hosting World Superbike races? Or have I missed a large chunk of something…

        2. @coldfly Remember what happened with Silverstone – the last circuit changes were made to accommodate Moto GP at a time when the F1 race contract was held by Donington Park. At present Monza does not have an F1 race contract for 2017.

          1. Craig Alderson
            25th January 2016, 9:20

            Wasn’t the Asphalt addition to Parabolica also for attracting motorbikes?

  2. ILuvSoundtracks (@)
    24th January 2016, 12:15

    Don’t let it happen ever.

    1. We can stop calling it the temple of speed if this happens.

      This track already has 3 chicanes (Ascari is a high speed one but still), that’s enough.

      1. Good thing the new chicane isn’t certified for F1 then. Of course, having read the article, you know that already.

  3. If they can’t remove any of the trees, there’s not going to be a lot of run-off area at the new chicane, should they use it for F1 cars.

  4. I don’t really watch motorcycle racing but if it makes absolutely zero difference to the existing corner for the F1 Grand Prix, I don’t care what they do.

    1. Yeah, I’m pretty much with you on that one.

  5. why not build one between lesmo 2/ascari & ascari/parabolica while they are at it. Ruin it properly!

    1. Good thing the new chicane isn’t certified for F1 then. Of course, having read the article, you know that already.

  6. No! Leave this track alone! You’ve already ruined the first chicane!

    1. I respectfully disagree with you on the first chicane. The old format was very difficult to overtake at because it was higher speed and only had one line. I think the changes the FIA and the circuit made is one of the very few examples where an historic track was changed for the better.
      Drivers can now overtake into it or force another driver into a defensive line into the first part of the chicane compromising their exit and set up a pass into the 2nd chicane.

    2. Jethro Janison
      20th November 2020, 3:01

      Track is already pretty mediocre BECAUSE of the chicanes being so lazily slapped on so…

  7. NO NO NO…. Curve Grande is one of the most spectacular sections on the calendar and key to overtaking opportunities at Monza…. insert a chicane and Monza will become processional.

    1. Good thing the new chicane isn’t certified for F1 then. Of course, having read the article, you know that already.

  8. They could happily reprofile the Rettifilio chicane, and to be honest Curva Grande is just a straight now (although it still has a visual impact).

    1. I’ve only now looked at the map: hmm, not sure of that.

      1. He means F1 cars take it easy flat, which is the case.

  9. “it is situated in a public park lined with trees which the circuit operator cannot cut down”

    And then you see a huge golf course right next to the track…

    Btw: Leave the track alone. Don’t ruin one of the last ‘old school’ racing tracks on the calendar. The asphalt runoff at Parabolica was already enough!

    1. The golf course is an original feature much like the circuit itself, it was built between the 30’s and the 50’s, you can be sure no tree-cutting has been going on there for quire some time.

    2. Zantkiller (@)
      24th January 2016, 19:01

      The park land is a serious issue.

      Back in 1978 the lease for the land the circuit was built on was going to run out and there was serious pressure to rip down the whole circuit and restore the parkland.

      This was such a serious claim that a ‘Monza 2’ or ‘Monza Substitute’ circuit was proposed and designed.
      This circuit would have been built a short distance away from the current location.

      As you can see from the circuit design it would have kept the speed and most of the design of the current circuit but also brought back in the crossover.

      Personally I find this really interesting and wish somebody would make this for a sim racing game just to experience this track.

      More pictures and text (in Italian)

      1. That’s an amazing bit of history. I had no idea about this “Monza 2” track. It looks fantastic. Thanks for this…super interesting stuff!

        1. Robert (@skylab007)
          24th May 2016, 21:40

          Motor racing needs more crossovers!

  10. Ofc. Curva Grande is one of the last turns with high speed entry, To comply with FIAs safty goals they can only race on straights with chicanes and hairpins so this must first be destroyed and then removed.

    It really makes me wonder why anyone are pushing for improved aero in 2017/18 when there is gonna be no high speed turns anyway.

    1. Relax dude. The article clearly sates MotoGP only.

  11. Can understand for motorbike races as Curva Grande is quite a dangerous corner on motorbikes as this video shows: but not for F1 in my opinion

    1. All the riders were okay, so I don’t see your point.

      1. Several drivers crashed into Tamburello corner and were okay…

        1. Exactly, there was no need to change Imola either.

          1. Mmmmmmk

    2. It’s not really Curva Grande that’s the problem, it’s that the approach speed for Variante della Roggia is too high, given what (comparatively) little run-off exists. It’s enough for cars with their crash structures and safety cells, but not for bikes.

  12. Could motorbikes then skip the first chicane like the LMP1s do for Le Mans testing? Pretty please.

    1. Not a chance, given they’re not going to be cutting down very many trees — you would need an insane amount of runoff at that right-hander which they obviously can’t do.

  13. As I read if F1 cars will not use this new part of the track luckily.
    But I gotta say, out of all the chicanes they could have added this is definitely not a bad one. They basically will revive another historic part of the circuit which in itself sounds great! The chicane itself doesn’t look bad either, especially if you compare it to the first one…

  14. That’s great for the GT racing, not for F1.

    1. Forgot half of my comment. There are already too little proper fast corners on the F1 calender.

    2. Good thing the new chicane isn’t certified for F1 then. Of course, having read the article, you know that already.

  15. So they’ve ruined Hockenheim and Silverstone and now they want to mess with Monza? Great.

    1. What’s left? Spa, Monaco and Suzuka. We’ll see how that unfolds. This is not stupidity contest or the worst nightmare of a F1 fan. I hope it isn’t.

    2. Good thing the new chicane isn’t certified for F1 then. Of course, having read the article, you know that already.

    1. Good thing the new chicane isn’t certified for F1 then. Of course, having read the article, you know that already.

  16. I suppose it’s okay if it’s JUST for motorbike racing, and they don’t change any of the rest of the track.

    However, if any of the rest of the circuit or runoff gets changed, or god forbid it gets used for Formula 1, then I will be out. I’m already nearing the end of my tether with F1 as it is.

    1. I’m fully with you on this one, already getting sick and tired of this nonsense and with each passing year I have less motive to spend hours watching terrible racing on terrible circuits, the destruction of another classic circuit will be the final straw

    2. god forbid it gets used for Formula 1

      It’s not certified for F1. Of course, having read the article, you know that already.

  17. I would rather see a ford added to the track. A stream and a watersplash crossing would be a great addition to the ‘park setting’.

  18. Did anyone read the article as well as the headline? The change is being considered for motorbike races and not F1… there’s zero reason why the circuit owners would force F1 to follow the change.

    1. Exept the asphalt has already affected F1 and F1 got rid of a similar turn in Mexico last year, you dont need to be clairvoyant to see where this will end up.

      1. The Peraltada had no space for run-off though, making it totally unfeasible for a modern day single seater series to race on whilst the Curva Grande has a very sizeable gravel trap.

    2. Did anyone read the article as well as the headline?

      It’s never been easier to tell who’s read the article and who hasn’t. Just look for the people complaining and vowing to quit watching F1; they’re the ones who didn’t read the article.

  19. “…considered for motorbike races at the home of the Formula One Italian Grand Prix.”
    If this does then translate to the F1 races all the people getting paid the big bucks to answer the question as to why F1’s popularity is falling need to realise the answer is in the mirror.

  20. Da Hell!

    Chicanes, the worst kind of corners. Why not make some giant S, to promote more downforce?

    1. Bikes generate downforce now?

  21. I couldn’t care less if they use the new section for motorbikes… Just Please Not F1!

  22. How’s that supposed to help make the first chicane safer? I’ve read that is what Superbike officials dislike of the current configuration. Would that extra chicane allow for the Variante del Rettifilo to be skipped?

  23. If it ain’t broke don’t fix it

  24. Let’s hope there’s a very rare species of bird living in that forest…

    Also, doesn’t MotoGP already have Mugello AND Misano? Why does logic have no currency in motorsport…

  25. If it’s only for Superbike then I couldn’t care less. However, if F1 will decide to use it as well then that’s the death of Monza for me and I really hope the Italian GP moves to Imola in that case. Imola has removed the awful chicane at the end of the lap. So Imola>Monza with a rubbish chicane in place of Curva Grande any day

  26. As long as it doesn’t affect F1, I couldn’t care less.

  27. The changes make sense for motorcycles but I don’t think Curva Grande is the most dangerous place on the track for motorcycles:

    1) The first chicane is insanely dangerous. They sped it up relative to the F1 corner, which was a good move, but it’s still insane on the first lap. Maybe they could start the races away from the pitstraight.

    2) The straight from the Lesmos down to Ascari is very dodgy. The armco is very close (far closer than the FIM likes it) and the kink on the straight feels especially dodgy. If something went wrong there… it would not be pretty.

    3) The exit to Ascari doesn’t have much runoff and riders have often hit the wall after falling off here.

    4) There’s not that much runoff at Parabolica either.

    All in all, I don’t think Monza is suitable for top-level motorcycle racing without changes they clearly are unable to make, and I think Curva Grande is the least of its problems.

  28. “the changes are being considered for motorbike races”

    Headline different from story when published on an F1 website, and few people willing to read the detail.

    Slow news day…

    1. It’s not like the headline is incorrect; they are considering building a chicane to be used in 2017. The issue is too many people read the headline as

      Monza could build new chicane for 2017 F1 Italian GP

      and overreact; had they read the article, they would know that F1 cannot use the new chicane, as it is certified Grade 2, which means F1 cars cannot use it at all.

  29. The only way I could see this ever being used in F1 is if they nixed the Rettifilo chicane on the main straight. And that’s assuming this proposal even goes through, and if F1 is still there to have to decide on what layout to use for the Italian GP at Monza anyway.

  30. #1 this change is been done for the bikes, F1 won’t use it.

    #2 Its not been put their because they think Curve Grande is too dangerous, Its been done because they believe the bikes are approaching the Variante della Roggia chicane & that the riders don’t feel like there is enough runoff to cope with the approach speed.

  31. So it’s only for the bikes and F1 can continue as is…I accept bikes have different safety requirements I always think how safe Motorbike tracks are what with the TT and NorthWest 200. I know the TT is not goverened by the FIM but used to be part of the championship guess there is no chance that will change if the Curva Grande is considered unsafe.

    1. Good thing it’s… y’know what? I’ve posted that same post at least six times on this one article. I’m not posting it again. Just read the article already.

  32. No, no, no….

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