Alan Jones, Williams, Osterreichring, 1979

Part of Osterreichring could be restored

F1 Fanatic Round-up

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In the round-up: A section of the old Osterreichring which has been bypassed since the circuit was shortened 20 years ago could be reinstated.

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Comment of the day

@Bullmello tackles the complaints about F1 seeking to improve driver safety by introducing the Halo:

What is wrong with wanting to have more head protection for F1 drivers? How does it ruin the sport for you as a spectator/fan? Is it because there would be less possibility of a driver being injured or killed? Not trying to be rude, I really would like to know.

I’ve been watching F1 and IndyCar for over 50 years and was never attracted to the sport based on the possibility of a driver being struck on the head and killed. If that makes me a “holier than thou fan”, then so be it I guess. I didn’t feel too holy watching Justin Wilson being struck on the head during a race and losing his life last year.

There is technology available to help prevent this kind of incident. To me that is part of racing innovation that is just as important as going faster.

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On this day in F1

Michael Schumacher led team mate Felipe Massa in a one-two for Ferrari in the United States Grand Prix ten years ago today. However a first corner shunt spelled the end of Juan Pablo Montoya’s F1 career:

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  • 33 comments on “Part of Osterreichring could be restored”

    1. Lewis has lost his mojo. He’s realized that he can’t compete with Nico in the championship.

      The PU grid penalties are going to start to mount, and he realizes this.

      Its gotten into his head, and its affecting his driving. Which has shown what I’ve believed all along, that he is a spoiled brat of a driver and if he doesn’t get his way he throws his hands up and gives up. He’s been coddled by an adoring media, and believe his own hype.

      1. That’s a little harsh. Lost his Mojo is a good way of saying it, but I think that’s all we can go on for now.

        As for those Osterreichring restoration plans, hopefully they work out. This time. They tried it once before and nearly killed the track completely….

      2. Wow! I wonder what your comment would have been had it been more than 0.019 seconds in FP2?

        1. @luvinf1 – Wasn’t that Hamilton on a softer compound than Rosberg and also right at the end of the session when Rosberg set his time at the start of the session? Yeah…..

          1. Given that there was a heavy rain shower in between when Rosberg and Hamilton set their times, the track improvement would be fairly negligible – it might even have been the case that the track conditions were marginally less favourable at the end of the session, due to a reduced track temperature and some of the rubber on the racing line being washed away by the rain.

            In those circumstances, the fact that Rosberg set his best time at the beginning of the session and Hamilton set his time at the end is not really that meaningful due to the change in conditions in the middle of the session.

            That said, overall I’d expect Rosberg to edge out Hamilton for this race – this has been one of Rosberg’s stronger circuits for the past two years.

          2. I guess you didn’t see the rain in the middle of the session? Yeah…..

      3. Very harsh!! Guess you weren’t watching F1 in 2009 when he had an absolute dog of a car but battled all year and eventually ended up being a race winner in the 2nd half of the year?
        I think being only 0.019 sec behind his teammate and still feeling like he is miles off the pace shows just how much he cares.

        1. @eoin16 The McLaren improved significantly and was the best car at a lot of tracks at the latter half of 2009. Never in his career has Lewis had a car which wasn’t capable of winning

          1. Yes Masiat – his team mate did so well in it all year…

            1. Mashiat is correct, after the summer break the McLaren was a much better car and capable of outperforming the Red Bull and Brawn GP cars.

              Kovalainen was certainly not the benchmark.

      4. The first part is right then it gets a bit silly. It’s got in his head though and he looks like a driver who has given up at the moment. Nico is driving very well and Lewis doesn’t look like he has an answer.

      5. @sdbarry

        Over half a second when it matter.

        You must be feeling rather silly!

      6. I know you are only as good as your last race but did you not see what happened the race before that? He didnt exactly roll over in Baku either, he crashed because he was pushing to much and then had engine issues. For a guy who has given up he sure does like to try hard. Also since when was a 24 points gaps a sign to call the championship fight off.

    2. @Bullmello There is wrong with wanting more head protection for the drivers but the halo just looks stupid. F1 has all the money in the world (nearly) so they can afford to come up with a much better and more attractive feature, even if that means a complete redesign of the cars.

      1. *There is nothing wrong…

      2. @rob91 You’ve got to start from somewhere though. The drivers are pushing for more head protection RIGHT AWAY, they want it next year, not in 2018. So there’s that to put into consideration: time.

        F1 can develop another solution, there are a lot of clever guys around the pitlane, but it’ll come at a cost in terms of money and time too. At this point, the design of the 2017 car must be really underway for all the teams, and they probably can’t afford to add an aeroscreen, for instance. That’s a big wing in the middle of the car, and it probably means a redesign of all the car. Not sure the likes of Sauber, Manor and Force India can do it in such a short time, while ensuring their performance expectations for next year.

        1. @fer-no65, at the moment, the halo device is the only one which has actually performed as expected when crash tested – Red Bull’s aeroscreen might look better to some, but it failed the impact tests when tested and is therefore ineligible for use.

        2. @fer-no65 – I agree however, wasn’t DRS meant to be a temporary solution? I’m worried they’ll rush the halo in and then just stick with it.

    3. As much as it sounds nice to restore the old track, I actually hope they don’t. I really like the current layout, which by its own right has now got a little history. The lap time of the layout should not be seen as an issue, but as a unique characteristic of this circuit. It’s boring if every circuit has the same long length. Even if times go under 1 minute eventually, it will be exciting to mix it up.

      The layout itself presents its own challenges, corners, and height variations. A very simple but pleasant layout.

      1. @strontium that loop would not change much of the track anyway, just two very problematic spots: turn 1 and turn 2.

        I, for one, would love to see the next generation cars going around the loooong, loooong right hander that connects the old layout with the new one. And instead of a big braking zone for turn 2 you’d have an even bigger one before the current turn 3, which would be even more difficult since it’s downhill.

      2. And including the west loop won’t mean to restore the initial character of the old Österreichring as the high speed corner are very unlikely to be rebuild.

        I’d like to run the Bahrain GP on the outer circuit BTW

        1. Tommy Scragend
          2nd July 2016, 10:13

          I’d like to run the Bahrain GP on the Österreichring ;-)

    4. Wow. I really hope Red Bull restore that part of the track… it was one of the most spectacular parts of any GP track back in the day…

    5. Hope they restore parts of the old track. It was an amazing circuit.
      I really don’t like the Halo.

    6. Fully agree with COTD. I’m happy with risk, but not risk of death.

    7. At the end of the day head protection’s coming whether we like it or not. I would just like them to design something that flowed with the shape of the car (like RB and Mclaren concepts) rather than a bolt on item like the halo. The simple fact is uglier cars equals less viewers and that’s another thing F1 can’t afford. I’m sure we will see it developed over the year’s into something aesthetically more pleasing.

    8. Oh and great news about track extension. That will turn the event into a fan’s favourite for sure because it always looks an amazing weekend, just needs a little bit more character to the track layout itself.

    9. Those hoping that they would run the old part of the Osterreichring as it was/is will more than likely end up disappointed.

      They have already built a tight/slow chicane at the top of the 1st corner & at the 2nd corner where the old loop leaves/rejoins the new configuration & the long fast corner that remains of the old loop will be changed to slow it down as with the downforce/grip of modern cars (Especially with the 2017 changes) the cars are going to be flat over the entire loop minus the 2 chicanes.

      Here is the chicane they have built at the 1st corner-

      If you look at overhead shots of turn 2 over the weekend you will see where they have laid tarmac for the 2nd chicane where the old loop rejoins the new circuit.

      1. It’s weird how this is being ignored and we’re still talking about what they “might” do. Even Sky referred to it as a new “extended runoff” at turn 1. It’s not an extended runoff! It’s a new chicane!

    10. As much as I’d like to see parts of the old Österreichring back, it’s hard to see how it could actually happen. It will be Tilkefied: the old Dr Tiroch corner is just too fast, and the current T3 has too little run off if the cars approach at 350+ kph due to the extra straight. So there should be at least three chicanes installed, and that would just ruin the layout. And part of the appeal of the current circuit is it’s uniqueness: it’s short and simple, unlike majority of the tracks in the calendar that are the unfortunate standard of 20+ corners and 5.5 km.

      1. They had to modify the original layout of the circuit because of safety concerns – the original Vost-Hugel curve was changed into a chicane because of Donohue’s fatal accident in 1975, so there is already a precedent for that sort of change.

    11. I think the halo looks fine. It’s no different to the exposed roll hoop that used to adorn F1 and many other formulae.

      Don’t like the screen, makes the cars look old fashioned, like a throwback to the 50’s. Accept that the look might improve if they were designed into the car from the outset

      1. Remember 1996 with the side head protection. They looked awful in many cases, Ferrari and Bennetton were huge and cumbersome however even by 1997 the designs were refined and started to look good. Nowadays I think the side protection for the head is an appealing part of the design and old cars without it do not look as good in that section of the car. Same when wings 1st came out and looked like stick on parts but soon became refined and looked good. This Halo will be the same it will get better and better looking as the design is refined and eventually people will think cars without this protection look old….oh and it will increase safety from day 1 so a win win situation

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