Whiting advises Buenos Aires track owners on F1 upgrades

F1 Fanatic Round-up

Posted on

| Written by

In the round-up: FIA safety delegate Charlie Whiting has visited the Buenos Aires circuit in Argentina and given feedback on how it could be made F1-ready.

Social media

Notable posts from Twitter, Instagram and more:

Comment of the day

Nick believes F1 needs a bigger grid to accommodate more young talents:

With just 20 seats available any change at all is pretty momentous, sending reverberations from team to team all down the grid. With a few more places, F1 could afford a bit of experimentation with one driver or another for a season.

Imagine if we had a full grid of 13 teams and 26 seats available; there might have been a place for Frijns, maybe Di Resta would have retained his place, Almost certainly, Leclerc, Giovinazzi, Gasly – even Rowland and Aitken might be looking at a rosier future.

That apart, I think that some ‘senior’ drivers are definitely coming to their sell-by dates.

Happy birthday!

Happy birthday to Feline-Fan and Fotache Sergiu!

If you want a birthday shout-out tell us when yours is via the contact form or adding to the list here.

Author information

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...

Got a potential story, tip or enquiry? Find out more about RaceFans and contact us here.

30 comments on “Whiting advises Buenos Aires track owners on F1 upgrades”

  1. Michael Brown (@)
    16th August 2017, 0:05

    It won’t happen, but I would love the long configuration of the circuit with the long and fast right hander

    1. Who knows- maybe they could do an extension of the track using additional parts of the track. F1 cars were flat out for 45 seconds on that part of the track. The TC2000 series uses that part of the track without the infield section.

    2. I think that could be a really fun race with so much flat out running and that huge turn. That would be crazy high g loading on the drivers and fast as hell. I don’t see it happening even if they would go back bc they tend to dumb tracks down

    3. Biskit Boy (@sean-p-newmanlive-co-uk)
      16th August 2017, 13:27

      They should certainly go around the lake. It would be spectacular.

      Here’s my design


  2. Comment of the day is spot on. More teams will effectively allow for more opportunities for younger drivers, and possibly more places for drivers that didn’t reach the top but are worthy of a seat, such as Vergne.

    I did my own sort of design of the Buenos Aires circuit. The circuit got an incredible layout there is plenty of space so it could easily be renovated without butchering the layout, run off areas, etc. There isn’t a lot that would need to be done. I imagine turn one would need to be reprofiled, and they’ll want the tarmac everywhere (personally I’d keep the grass and gravel but that’s unlikely). The only problem is part of the ‘infield’ section may potentially need modifying if they want a bigger paddock. It would probably need more / bigger grandstands as it makes for a fantastic stadium layout (without having to design the track around the grandstands). I wholeheartedly agree with @mbr-9 that they should use the long layout around the lake. It would be incredible for Formula One and there’s enough space for it to be safe enough. It is wishful thinking though.

    I doubt the Grand Prix will return just yet though. Talks of new / returning races have always been common, however since liberty have taken over it seems there is at least one planned in basically every country! I’m not going to believe any of these unless they actually become a serious possibility.

    1. I find it really hard, the infrastructure is getting up to date (Fia grade 3) but if they build tarmac runoffs the circuit will become unsuitable for all the national series that pay the bills. Of course the big layouts n° 12, 14 and 15 are nice, 12 is very reminiscent of Monza. The fast right hander and the chicane after they lake are usually scene of shunts and brave overtakes.

  3. the size of a grid is like the size of a tv set, it’s never big enough, it’s effect is very short lived.

    1. @peartree I like that phrase “the size of a grid is like the size of a tv set, it’s never big enough”, very nice.
      But the FIA will licence up to 13 teams, the tracks are all approved to run 26 cars, to be honest anything less than a grid of that size feels like a bit of a failure – on someone’s part. Imagine if the NFL was prepared to award franchises to 32 teams, but only 27 were taken up. It would be a huge failure, wouldn’t it?
      @keithcollantine thanks for COTD. Came as a huge surprise.

      1. Great COTD @nickwyatt

      2. @nickwyatt Yes sure, replying to the cotd, I was just pointing out that we would eventually forget the extra cars and still think there’s some great talent out of f1.

        1. Or we would complain about the pay drivers making up the back 5-8 spots on the grid @peartree!

  4. Formula E has been the talk of the town in this summer break, and rightly so, I believe. It is the direction almost all countries’ regulations are taking, forcing manufacturers to follow and hence, racing fans and automotive consumers will have to follow suit (whether they like it or not).
    From a commercial stand point, getting into Formula E earlier is better for the manufacturers as it will allow them to control the rules and costs and may help them get better money (like Ferrari in Formula 1) from the organisers.

    Speaking of them, I wonder when Ferrari will announce their entry into FE

    1. Can you imagine the conversation-
      “Chase, this is Arrivabene. We’re going to enter FE.”
      “Okay . . . how much money do you want to reverse that decision?”

      1. Liberty own both so they’d have the most to gain from Ferrari going to FE. I don’t think Ferrari could leave F1 for FE but if they started a FE team like Merc Chase couldn’t hope to hide the size of his smile behind that tache.

        1. The biggest shareholder in Formula E is held by Liberty Global, the owner of television network Virgin Media and a shareholder in ITV.

          Liberty owns around a quarter of the company and is followed by the investment vehicle of Spanish tycoon Enrique Banuelos.

          From http://www.telegraph.co.uk/business/2017/07/02/formula-e-electric-motor-racing-series-skids-losses-29m/
          I didn’t realise that Liberty owned so much of Formula E Holdings.

        2. GtisBetter (@)
          16th August 2017, 13:40

          Ferrari already said they won’t do it with the Ferrari brand, but with another one of the group.

    2. Sumedh, back in March, Marchionne talked about the possibility of Ferrari entering Formula E in the longer term. However, he indicated that it would be unlikely for them to enter before 2022 given that the organisers are only slowly lifting the current development restrictions to try and keep costs as low as possible (Agag has mentioned that Formula E is still dependent on the manufacturers putting money into the series, as the limited advertising revenue it earns means that it would otherwise be running at a loss). https://www.motorsport.com/formula-e/news/ferrari-needs-formula-e-involvement-marchionne-888191/

      In more recent weeks, Marchionne has again hinted that Ferrari probably won’t be directly competing in Formula E just yet. However, he has indicated that one of the Fiat-Chrysler’s wider group may join the series – the expectation is that it will probably be Alfa Romeo or Maserati (the latter is due to launch an electric version of the Alfieri concept car in the future, so that might be the more likely candidate in the near future).

      That said, Marchionne did say that Ferrari would not be “directly” involved in Formula E in the near future, but didn’t rule all involvement out. He did therefore leave the door open to indirect involvement – perhaps by sponsoring Maserati, in the same way that Alfa Romeo sponsors Ferrari, or perhaps by offering a limited amount of cross group technical support in the same way that there has been some transfer of technology from Ferrari to Alfa Romeo and Maserati.

  5. Nothing guarantees that an extra 6 spots will be picked up by young talent.
    History tells us that it’s more likely that those places will be filled by ‘evergreys’ like Barichello, Sutil, etc or new pay drivers whose names we don’t even remember.

    And TBH I think 2017 F1 should be blessed with greats like Alonso, Vettel, Hamilton and talented youngsters like Verstappen, Sainz, Ocon, etc.

  6. I could do Charlie Whiting’s job at Buenos Aires. What need changing? “everyhting!”. I mean, it was pretty rough and ready in the mid 90s so it will require a lot of work to the circuit and facilities. I like rough and ready though, and wouldn’t want it to turn into a butchered Tilkedrome.

    The last circuit used from 95-98 was pretty slow. Long(ish) main straight then hairpin, hairpin, corner, long hairpin, short back straight, very quick corner, hairpin, slow esses, hairpin, chicane, hairpin! I wonder if the average lap speed was slower than Hungaroring in those years?

    1. Actually it was. Pole lap for Hungary was 191.30KM/h, whilst Argentina was 181.51KM/h.

      But Hungary is a very flowing track, and not many acute corners, so it’s understandable.

      1. Good research @ho3n3r , what year are those times from? That is news to me, I had always thought that Monaco and and then Hungaroring were the slowest tracks in the mid 90s so that’s blown that apart.

        I think Buenos Aires never had the same reputation as Hungaroring for being ‘Monaco without the walls’ because it was slightly better for overtaking because turn 1 was tighter and do offered a better passing spot than Hungaroring. Slightly.

        1. I calculated it from the Wikipedia articles.
          Here: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/1997_Argentine_Grand_Prix

          And here: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/1997_Hungarian_Grand_Prix

          The main straight was better than Monaco or Hungary for overtaking back then, under braking, but the short main straight meant that it was a mission to get your car alongside to begin with, in order to use the benefit of the slower T1.

  7. Are the tracks approved for 26 cars? I never read more than 24 in recent years… would be great to return to 26 car grid + with pre-qauly

  8. I hope a race in Buenos Aires doesn’t happen. It’s too reminiscent of the 1990s, when the country was melting yet we had “luxuries” as F1… There are enough problems already for organizations like F1 to suck money out of us. Im a huge F1 fanatic but I’m not dumb… I cant put my head in the ground to avoid seeing what needs to be seen.

    I guess it’s the way the government wants to show itself to the world, that everything is fine and look, we even get F1 like all the first world countries… Yeah, right…

    I’ll keep watching F1 on the telly, thank you very much. I’m a fanatic, not an idiot.

  9. If they do return to Argentina I hope it’s not on the layout used from 1995-1998 as I absolutely hate that layout & the racing on it was never especially good.

    I also recall that it wasn’t especially popular amongst the drivers at the time with moat disliking how relatively tight & fiddly much of the infield was with no realistic overtaking opportunities outside of turn 1 although the pretty large bumps in the braking zone of turn 1 made that more difficult than it could have been.

  10. According to reports from local press -not official statements- Whiting seems to have been favourably impressed with the general state of the Buenos Aires “Autódromo”, saying that in its present condition it would automatically qualify as a Grade 3 and that with very minor alterations could make Grade 2, something which might be undertaken before the end of the year. Grade 1 could be attained quite easily at a cost that the local media quote at aroind 40M U$. He seems to have -surprisingly?- spoken favourably about the “loop around the lake” layout which was used by F1 in the 1974/81 period.
    The obvious problem a possible F! comeback would face are the race fees. The new government is being moderately succesful in its efforts to turn over the economic crisis it inherited from the populist Kirchner administration but cash is still short and F! is not a priority on its spending list. Therefore, the cash would have to be put up by private investors but for the moment this seems to be a pipedream. Argetina doesn’t have a Carlos Slim!

  11. Lotus Elise is meant to be formula E? In the Mercedes quote

    1. I spotted that too, bit of a strange one!

    2. I was also a little bewildered, but it makes more sense when read in the article itself.

Comments are closed.