Exclusive: Tilke answers his critics – and explains how to build an F1 track

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Tomorrow the City of Miami Commission will vote on whether to pursue a place on the 2019 F1 calendar with a new street circuit.

Temporary venues in city centres are a key part of Liberty Media’s plan to expand the championship into new markets. But do they make economic sense and are they good for the sport in the long-term?

Hermann Tilke has worked on the majority of tracks F1 races at. In an exclusive interview for RaceFans he sheds light on the challenges of building temporary and permanent tracks, and answers some of the most frequent criticisms of his designs.

One of the most eagerly-awaited races of the opening ‘fly-away’ rounds was the Azerbaijan Grand Prix. Last year the Baku City Circuit was adjudged to be the race of the year by many, not least RaceFans readers, and Daniel Ricciardo’s triple overtake was named the pass of the season. There were thrills, spills and controversies galore, and this year’s edition was widely anticipated.

The race delivered, so much so that as this is written the FIA is embroiled in considering a request from Williams to review no fewer than five stewards’ decisions, several handed down long after the race had finished. There’s a long way to go still in 2018, but Baku has again set the bar high when it comes to spectacle.

All this suggests that street circuits are the answer to Liberty Media’s quest to bring racing to the fans by combining city festivals with Formula 1’s ‘engineered insanity’. Suddenly the buzzword in F1 circles is ‘streets’, with downtown venues in Miami, Hanoi, Berlin and London (again) all being punted as prospective grand prix hosts.

Bernie Ecclestone, Bahrain, 2018
How Ecclestone’s parting shot to Liberty added to their F1 calendar woes
Cape Town, too, regularly enters the frame, as do Los Angeles (Long Beach) and Copenhagen. That is eight incoming venues being proposed – or around 40 per cent of the current calendar – all on street circuit, with no talk of new races on permanent circuits. However, this sudden enthusiasm for street circuits potentially holds dire consequences for motorsport as whole, even if F1 profits in the short term.

During Liberty’s F1 reign – the NASDAQ-listed company acquired the sport’s commercial rights in January 2017 – the streets of Baku have twice hosted a grand prix and twice delivered in terms of thrills-per-second. Thus one could almost forgive F1’s owners for believing that the answer to their share price conundrum (FWONK’s current trade of $31,90 is around 25 per cent off its October high) lies in blotted-over pedestrian crossings.

However, those with longer memories will recall the likes of Valencia. If ever a venue delivered non-stop borefests it was the Circuito Urbano de Valencia, which wound its way through the city’s America’s Cup harbour. It was an uninspiring venue which produced uninspiring races as sparsely populated grandstands – and yacht basin – testified. The final year aside, about the only overtaking seen on Sundays was by spectators rushing to escape the malaise.

Lewis Hamilton, Sebastian Vettel, Baku City Circuit, 2017
Baku’s second race provided more drama than the first
Equally the inaugural Baku race – known as the European Grand Prix for political reasons – was deemed by the RaceFans community to be the worst of the 2016 season with a score of 4.7 out of 10. For the record, Valencia features twice among the bottom four races: its 2011 race scored 3.8 and the inaugural 2008 event was rated 3.9.

Now, here’s a thing: both layouts were designed by Tilke Engineers & Architects, the eponymous company headed by Hermann Tilke – the German circuit architect whose pencil has drawn curves for virtually every circuit to join the calendar since 1999 (Malaysia).

In addition, he has helped venues such as the ‘Newburgring’ – as the short version adapted from the original 14-mile monster circuit should by rights be known – and Hockenheim remodel their layouts in order to foster overtaking, plus designed test venues for Porsche. The 64-year-old architect is the go-to guy when it comes to circuit design.

Hermann, who raced at German national level in the eighties with some success, has come in for much flak over the years. The term “Tilkered” has found its way into F1-speak to describe any circuit fans takes exception to, sometimes even for venues Tilke has had no hand in. But seldom is he praised for delivering venues where overtaking is not only anticipated, but has become the norm.

We have known each other for many years and met in Baku ahead of qualifying for the race to discuss his methodology. Hermann is utterly relaxed; confident the track will deliver on Sunday, as it did last year.

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Given this sudden enthusiasm for street circuits, what, I ask him, is the difference in cost between commissioning a street circuit and constructing a permanent circuit, both to full FIA Grade 1 (F1) license standards?

“You cannot say,” he says after a pause for thought. “Because a street circuit has two types of costs: One is the first time, where you have to buy the walls, the fences, pit building and everything, and maybe new asphalt and so on. And then the annual [erection] costs… you cannot [quantify] the difference. But of course [a street circuit] is more expensive.”

One of the downsides of street circuits is that they leave no motorsport legacy. Once the event is over, there is no patch of asphalt for club or national racing. Thus, the costs of annually building street tracks invariably exceeds the cost of constructing permanent circuits, which would in turn foster other types of motorsport in a region – a crucial factor in emerging motorsport markets.

“For sure it is like this,” he agrees before pointing out that “street circuits have other advantages: events coming to the people, coming to the city, the atmosphere is unique in a city… we [F1] have now three street circuits. We have Singapore, we have Monaco, and here [Baku].”

F1 also has, of course, semi-street circuits such as Melbourne’s Albert Park and Montreal’s Gilles Villeneuve Circuits, making it five temporary venues on this year’s calendar. If Miami does point the way forward for F1 and just 50 per cent of the number of mooted venues make it onto the calendar, F1 could be looking at half the world championship being contested on non-permanent tracks.

Given that Tilke would likely be granted the contracts, how does he go about designing such venues?

Paddock, Baku, 2018
Baku has a sizeable paddock by street track standards
“In the beginning we look very carefully at the city and where it could happen,” he explains. “Mostly the promoter has rough ideas of where it could be. One of the starting points is where to position the paddock, because for a paddock you need space. The TV compound, the paddock, and all the infrastructure.

“That is not easy to find in a city. Here [in Baku] we were lucky because we have this big square.”

The track layout, of course, requires using existing roads. “You have to find streets that are wide enough, especially when it goes to high speed. If it’s very narrow, you make it slow. Then you have a look at what is possible, what is not possible, and here we had really positive discussions with the FIA, with Charlie Whiting, to make it possible.

“With a street circuit you also need to think about people inside the circuit, living, what they’re doing. Businesses, whatever. What if you are inside the circuit and somebody gets a heart attack? You have to bring them out. How to do it, these all the things you have to think about, a lot of organisational things, and, and, and… And the traffic of course.”

What sort of time frame is required to stage a street circuit once all formalities are in place? If Miami has a street festival in October and Liberty gets the warm feelings it hopes for, could they run a race the following year?

“Usually it’s possible to do it in eight, nine months, maybe one year. If you have the route. And all the legal things are solved. For the first year it needs about nine months. You have to produce the pit buildings and all the technical [infrastructure] and so on. You need some time to order…”

So according to Hermann, a street race could conceivably happen in Miami in 2019.

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We turn to the economics of building a circuit. How much, I ask bluntly. 500 million, 300 million in whatever currency?

“Let’s say a good example is Bahrain. Now it would be a little bit more, but at the time (2001-4) it was 180 million dollars.”

Excluding the land?

Sepang, 1999
Sepang was Tilke’s first clean-sheet design for F1
“Yeah, without the land of course. The land is different, a different story. Sometimes it’s cheap, sometimes it costs nothing; sometimes it’s expensive. The really expensive [part] is the infrastructure for spectators: grandstands, toilets, parking, and infrastructures like the pit building, it’s more expensive than the Tarmac, the actual track itself.

“You can calculate, you have one third, one third, one third. One third is the track itself, with everything, the asphalt and the run-offs and the guard rails and the fences, and, and and… Also the drainage. One should never forget the drainage and this kind of thing. One third is the building infrastructure needing for Formula One. And one third is the spectator infrastructure.

So, if we’re talking a 250 million dollar circuit, it’s about 80, 80, 80 each way?

“Yes, but it’s also possible to make it cheaper than 250, of course, why not? Everything is basic, but could be nice. By the way, the cheapest one was the Red Bull Ring.”

Because there was an existing facility before Tilke’s team moved in?

“No, there were nothing left from the existing track [in 1997, when it was called the A1 Ring]. It’s a short track, and everything’s done in a very effective way. And it’s very compact.” That upgrade cost around 60 million Euros in the current economics, and its 2011 renovation as the Red Bull Ring cost a similar amount.

In closing I pose questions I’ve stored for many years in anticipation of a sit-down: Can he counter perceptions that overtaking is impossible on ‘Tilkedromes’?

I note the weary look on Hermann’s face as he replies slowly: “First of all, it’s not true. Look to the Shanghai race this year, look to the Bahrain race this year. What happened? Overtaking. Also with these cars, [with] which it is really very difficult to overtake. Look to Austin” (for which he can take partial credit).

“Always overtaking, and always wheel-to-wheel fighting. So this is just not true. Of course you have some races which are boring. But you have also football games which are boring. And if the fastest is in front of the less fast car, nothing happens. So what then? Then the fastest is going and the second fastest is behind. Nothing happens.

“The only thing we [as circuit architects] can influence is that a good race is possible. It’s not necessarily guaranteed, but it’s possible. We do not disturb a good race.”

Circuit of the Americas, 2017
Too much run-off for F1?
Question two: Why these trademark wide run-off areas, which fans (and many F1 drivers) don’t like?

“You see here you can also do something very narrow [through the Old Town]. But it’s like this: When you make a permanent circuit, and we have this [phenomenon] only at permanent circuits; look at Singapore, look here, it’s another case.

“If you do something purely for Formula One, only for Formula One, then you can do a lot of things. When you make a permanent circuit, the owner of the circuit, or the investor, wants to have everything. They want to have motorcycles, they want to have private people, launches, they want to have track days, and Formula One. And so everything has another demand. For example, motorcycles need a lot of run-off, because if they hit the guard rail at 60kph…” His voice trails off.

“Dead?” I ask.

“Not dead, but hurt. And at least for him the season is over. The same accident with a car at 60, nothing. We have Formula One cars, highly professional, we have motorcycles, also highly professional, but with other demands… and you see, you have on the same circuits, people say it’s wide, we have very interesting motorcycle races. Then you have the private people, and you have the other, track days, launches.

“Nobody wants to hurt themselves, to demolish their car. They feel better with long run-offs. Ask people who do car launches, Porsche racing days or whatever, they don’t go to circuits which are very narrow because it costs money. They go into the guard rail and hit the guard rail and it costs minimum €5,000.

Establishing the primary purpose of a circuit is “really, really important”, Tilke stresses. “What is the demand of the circuit? What does the owner want? I totally understand the motorcycle people, totally understand.”

So, the main thing when designing a circuit is to enable the money to make money, to make it sustainable. Without that no permanent F1 circuit could exist?

“Yes, they want to have [all categories].”

In closing I put to Hermann that after the sleepy Sunday that was the season opener in Melbourne, some Liberty folk suggested that the circuits themselves should be changed…

“Look, a circuit is a building. And a building is at least for 50 years. You can make some small changes, but you have it there and then it’s a reality. For 50 years.

“And you cannot change with every new generation of cars. The can make the regulations like this, that they can better overtake. Look at Formula Two. They can do it. Moto GP, they can do it. Also other series. Look to GT cars, GT3, very interesting, side-by-side, everything. They have downforce, but they can do it.”

Follow Dieter on Twitter: @RacingLines

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Hermann Tilke, Baku City Circuit, 2018
Hermann Tilke, Baku City Circuit, 2018

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Dieter Rencken
Dieter Rencken has held full FIA Formula 1 media accreditation since 2000, during which period he has reported from over 300 grands prix, plus...

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  • 36 comments on “Exclusive: Tilke answers his critics – and explains how to build an F1 track”

    1. Who is taking lessons on creating circuits from the man who designed Abu Dhabi and Sochi circuits?

      Every year a few Tilke tracks pop up around the world, each as bland as the last, it leaves me thinking why would anyone with the money to build a circuit go to Tilke to get it done? I know, he’s supposedly the complete package, the safe bet who can arrange everything perfectly, but it’s a huge shame thinking about all the talented and enthusiastic designers in the world who would kill for just one opportunity like this. Do they even consider other designers? Or do they go straight to Tilke, the man who designed Losail circuit in Qatar, possibly the worst circuit on the planet. It’s okay to race around tracks like Spa, Monaco, Singapore, and Baku because they’re old or a street circuit, but anything new and permanent has to be nearly flat, 5.5km long, 15m wide, acres of tarmac runoff. It is an interesting point he made that permanent circuits have to fit the owners’ needs, not just F1’s, but people are happy to do laps around the old Nürburgring and Spa, Tilke’s runoff areas are excessive, and that doesn’t excuse the layout.

      There are so many classic tracks around the world, many of which are struggling financially, yet here we are witnessing Tilkedromes pop up everywhere. I understand that’s business and politics but if there have to be new tracks at least make them unique, exciting, and challenging, rather than to comply with the demands of a modern race car.

      His solution to everything is a wide entry to a sharp corner, which creates generally boring and predictable passes. 1.5km long straights separated by hairpins, which separates the cars. Most of what he makes is either a perfect straight line or a sharp corner, often with multiple apexes (it worked well once at Istanbul so he decided every track needed to have the same feature). He designed a few good corners here and there, most of which are copies of other tracks, these are needles in haystacks. Tilke is under some illusion that off-camber corners are good for racing. They’re not.

      You can’t judge old circuits until you’ve seen them. Tilke’s circuits, on the other hand, you can tell exactly what they are just from looking on Wikipedia’s circuit map. I guess that’s why we call them cookie cutters. They’re designed to create an interesting shape on the map, not an interesting track.

      He ruined parts of Hockenheim, Mexico City, and I pray he keeps his hands well away from Buenos Aires. I’m very relieved Donnington went bankrupt just as he was about to ruin it.

      Tilke has this obsession with making every corner about passing. Classic tracks like Suzuka, Spa, Imola, and Interlagos weren’t designed to have overtaking at every corner. Classic tracks are often great because overtaking is exciting and sometimes challenging, not easy and abundant, and not non-existent. Make a good, challenging track with a layout that flows and a few good overtakes will happen. We know that the cars at the moment don’t really allow for good overtaking, that’s the same everywhere, but they’re changing that.

      Anyway, I am happy that new circuits will be street circuits and not permenant Tilke tracks

      1. digitalrurouni
        9th May 2018, 13:12

        Very well written. You mentioned Istanbul. One of my favorite tracks. They really should clone that track and build it elsewhere in a country with less problems. Another track I enjoyed for its short tenure in F1 was the Buddh circuit.

      2. @strontium Did you read the article? This looks like a knee-jerk reaction to Tilke’s name.

        1. @jimg yes, I did, although I admit my comment only focuses on a small part of the article.

          1. @strontium, and in doing so arguably takes something of an overly narrow focus on the challenges of designing a circuit.

            In the cases of venues such as Sochi and Abu Dhabi, in those cases Tilke was effectively instructed on how the owners wanted the track layout to be and was extremely heavily constrained in terms of the layout that he could fit around the existing venues – any circuit designer would have faced the same restrictions. Similarly, I can recall how some have complained about Singapore in the past, but the rival proposal put forward by Apex had a very similar layout because the local authorities placed restrictions on what roads they were prepared to make available for that race, effectively dictating large chunks of the layout.

            As an aside, when you bring up Imola amongst your list of classic venues, when you say it wasn’t “designed to have overtaking at every corner”, I can remember how there was constant criticism in the past that the venue was terrible for overtaking, even right back into the 1980’s and 1990’s, and how people complained that the races were boring processions.

            Similarly, when you read contemporary comments from drivers about what Hockenheim was like, or the reports written by people on the ground there, you get the impression that a lot of them were not fond of the old Hockenheimring and more than a few individuals thought it was a terrible circuit that tended to string the cars out so far apart that the races were usually pretty awful – James Hunt famously had a go at the circuit live on air for producing “Noah’s Ark” races, whilst other reports used tag lines such as “dull as ditch-water”, “fast but dull”, “unspectacular”, “Mickey Mouse” and “easy to forget”.

            Some venues that are spoken about in more fond terms now were not always thought of quite so highly when we were there – indeed, some were thought of in fairly negative terms at the time because they weren’t that good for racing, but we seem to have forgotten most of the duller races that took place.

            1. Well, old Hockenheim had a point: you needed to find a way to make works a car Superfast in the Motordrome. And it was one in the year were a monster engine could won against better cars producing some surprise. Berger was great there.
              So is not having great tracks, you need also different kind of them, so the result could differ from the usual

      3. Good comment Strontium. I would add that the solution for the huge paved run-off areas is a three meter grass strip between the track and the run-off; exceed the track limits and there are consequences but not crashes. The huge pavement areas are also ugly, please give us some green. I would also like to point out that Tilke takes credit for Austin but the reality is the track was NOT designed by him; he was hired to build it. Thank God he wasn’t in charge of the Silverstone modification………

      4. Correlation does not imply causation. Just because there’s not been great racing since a lot of Tilke tracks have been on the calendar, does not mean Tilke tracks are inherently bad.

        He doesn’t really say anything here we don’t know, he’s been forced to use the land he’s been given for the purposes specified, with safety in mind as a primary concern. I’m sure he would love to be given an unlimited budget with a blank slate for all sorts of elevation features and challenging corners to make a perfect circuit like many designers…

        Until he’s given the opportunity, it’s really unfair to judge him so harshly.

      5. Gavin Campbell
        9th May 2018, 17:30

        As far as I can tell Hermann Tilke didn’t design Losail – its not on his website and nowhere lists the designer at all.

        He has a patchy relationship with the 2 wheeled world as well as the 4. I think his early F1 designs were pretty decent (Sepang, Bahrain, Shanghai, Istanbul) but a lot of the later ones got very samey/always seemed to contain some odd corner combinations (along with his facination of creating off-camber corners all the time).

        Abu-Dhabi is still one of the most head scratching designs – Hairpin -> Straight -> Slowish Chicane -> Straight that narrows -> 90 degree left.

      6. He had nothing to do with Losail and the layout of Yas Marina was already done before he was hired.
        Also Bernie requested a few key features for any new track to be build such as long straight into hairpin.

      7. I keep this from the article: Not every F1 race has to be exciting. There *can* be some boring ones!! That’s how sports work, almost every sport in the world, have the occasional boring match. I watch F1 since 1996 and I have seen MANY boring as hell races in “classic” tracks like Monza or Spa. We cannot expect all races to be a nail-biting event and that doesn’t have to do with the track or the cars. Especially when the cars line up in the grid with an order of fastest to slowest, what do you expect to happen?

        For me, the biggest blow to enjoyment was DRS. Nothing beats DRS in creating boring, impossible to defend overtakes. It has also made strategy boring, since there is no point in taking an alternative strategy and try to keep a faster car behind, since it will just press a button and blast through in a few lap’s time.

        But since everyone seems to obsessed with the number of overtakes, I guess nothing will change soon, Tilkedrome or not…

    2. Hermann is an architect who designs according to brief. He does not decide where to place a circuit, nor does he flatten land on a whim – he is given a patch of land and commissioned to design a track to the owner’s specification. If he refused, another architect would do the job and the land would be just as flat. The fact of the matter is that the land that is designated is usually not fit for other commercial purposes, and hence they build a track there.

      As for Hockenheim – the owner, the local council, needed to shorten the circuit for various reasons, including safety and the costs of maintaining a 6,8km circuit that had cars passing the main stands only 45 times in a two-hour race. So he was given the brief – it is no as though he decided unanimously to carve up Hockenheim.

      Many circuit designers have been asked to ‘pitch” for circuits in the past – usually by way of tender given that public money is usually involved – and there has to be a reason why Tilke comes up trumps so often.

      1. Tilke designs safe tracks which are feasible for short term investors. He doesn’t design tracks for F1 sport. As you say, he gets the job done.

        1. But he’s not designing them for Formula One the sport, he’s designing them for business. He’d been seen as a terrible designer if he didn’t cater for the client.

          Sure, as fans, we’d love a great circuit, but he wouldn’t be asked to make too many more tracks if they weren’t suitable for the client’s needs and ignored the brief!

      2. Yeah, I am pretty sure selling the enormous part of forrest that was not used anymore helped the local council a lot too, apart from safetyissues (not even noticing something had happened somewhere out there), increadible amount of marshalls for a the track and upkeep of the whole section in Hockenheim @dieterrencken.

        For Abu Dhabi there was little that could make a piece of reclaimed land exciting – although I think it was Tilke who convinced them to at least give it a 6 m “hill” for some undulation, wasn’t it? Sochi is another example – Tilke had to work with the infrastructure that was already largely layed out and planned for the Olympics (he did do Sochi, right?), I doubt there was much chance to do something exciting there either.

        I think that overall he has given us tracks like Sepang, Istanbul, Bahrain and China (that reclaimed marshland, another example of hard to make any undulation) that are all good tracks.

    3. Loved this interview.

      But just one thing, why do people continue to call Melbourne a ‘semi-street circuit’? How is it any different to Monaco or Singapore? For 350 days of the year the entire track is public roads and carparks used by thousands of commuters per day including me.

      1. Gavin Campbell
        10th May 2018, 10:41

        I believe like Montreal its in a park so the design is a bit freer – you can change the layout and increase run off in places etc. On a street circuit you need to use public roads (a race track can be used as public roads) and you cannot change too much because of buildings etc. You’re only option is different routes already in place and barrier technology.

        Furthermore because of the park setting you get faster corners, run offs etc. so the style is much more akin to a normal race track rather than a monaco/baku/singapore which are lined with barriers everywhere and often provide minimal run off or escape roads.

    4. Regardless of who designs the circuit, the danger I see with too many city street races on the F1 calendar is the fact that almost by default, these tend to be relatively slow…and the fundamental idea of racing is (or should be) to have the cars go fast. Baku is a bit of exception with that monster straight and decent elevation change…but how many cities can really offer something similar? Singapore is just a collection of similarly short straights connected by similarly angled corners. The really fast circuits are mostly gone, Monza is the last one out there. Sure, Spa or Suzuka and few others can be pretty fast, but for the next four city tracks, I would love to see another circuit similar to the old Österreichring…nicely flowing and fast! And by the way: In a recent interview with Slovak TV commentator Števo Eisele, Chase Carey stated that LM are not necessarily looking at expanding the calendar now…their first priority allegedly is to improve the existing tracks and races.

      1. One big positive to street circuits though is they do definitely ‘feel’ faster. With barriers closer, there’s less room for error, and the scenery is much closer to you, giving you the illusion of breakneck speed.

        They definitely have their advantages, especially now we’re using the safest Formula One cars we’ve ever seen.

    5. i like the old airfield design myself like Silverstone (the access road around WW2 era RAF runways). They make fast and exciting tracks.

      The solution to the perceived Tilkedromes is to use other designers, it´s not healthy to have one company taking all of the work, it stinks of nepotism.

      1. Well, competition is always great for business. Then again, I may be a tiny bit biased… :)

      2. +100 Chicanes & 90 degree turns.

    6. First of all, this article was great.

      I am kind of tired of lazy criticism on Tilke. The kind were everyone is hating on a circuit before they’ve even see what the racing will look like. I partially agree that some of Tilke’s designs have been painfully unimaginative and boring (Sochi, Valencia), but I would argue that most of the processional races in the calendar were not designed by Tilke, namely: Melbourne, Monaco, Hungary, Spain, and Suzuka. Again, I’m not defending Tilke completely. His designs have been very ‘cookie-cutter’ with a couple of notable exceptions, COTA, Malaysia, and Abu Dhabi. But I wish we stopped whining and scapegoating Tilke and instead focusing on what really improves racing like reducing aero turbulence.

      1. Abu Dhabi would make a good cookie cutter, but ok COTA and Sepang are decent. I don’t agree that we should stop whining though… monopolies are not good.

        1. @John-h I agree that monopolies are not good, which is why the whining should be about that, not scapegoating bad racing on Tilke. I most definitely agree that there should be more than one circuit designer.

    7. Yeah, we’d like an explanation

    8. I don’t understand why they don’t use different people,’Variety is the spice of life’.I’m sure it’s not that simple but I totally agree with Matt.

    9. Great interview, superb article. My beef with Tilke is the overuse of constant radii corners and straight straights. You could call it cookie cutter, but it’s also much like building a circuit with scalextric. The Tilke office has forgotten how to use the Bezier curves toolbar.

    10. Notice how he didn’t mention Abu Dhabi… Shangai, Baku, Bahrain they are all good tracks, but some of the tracks he designed are horrible, specially Abu Dhabi which was the most expensive one and also the one where he had a totally clean sheet to design whatever he wanted.

      1. @fer-no65, on the contrary, rather than having a “totally clean sheet”, Abu Dhabi was a venue where he was very heavily constrained because the developers dictated the infrastructure that would surround the track first and then told Tilke to fit the circuit in around the spaces they’d left around the buildings.

        When you look at the site in plan, the area that was allocated to Tilke is a fairly narrow triangular peninsular on Yas Island, and part of the layout was already fixed before he could do anything – people moan about the final sector, but the outline of that sector was forced on Tilke by the requirement to fit the circuit around the hotel and marina complex that was being built there.

        Most of the efforts by people here who proclaim themselves to be better than Tilke usually aren’t any better, because most of the time they find that they run into the same problems. I mean, a lot of the time you see people throw out their ideas of a circuit layout, but rarely have I ever seen them give any consideration to how any of the supporting infrastructure is meant to fit in (assuming that they’ve even given any thought to where, for example, the garages are meant to go).

      2. I think that the area was pretty much defined in Abu Dhabi – the Hotel, Marina etc all were already decided upon. And they probably had some demands, Bernie had some and that is what gave us this bling bling but utterly boring track.

    11. There’s an instagram account, f1fansforever – which often features fan submitted circuit designs (presumably sent in by youngsters, because thats all I ever did with a blank piece of paper too!). The sad and worrying thing now, is that the younger generation today see a Tilke style circuit as the norm, and happily dream up their fantasy circuits with long straits, hairpins, and 90° turns. Granted, modern circuits need to consider motorcycles, track days, bottom lines etc, but paint the asphalt runoff ‘grass green’, give me radillon, give me the corkscrew, give me something to get excited about!

      1. Try RaceTrackDesigns on Reddit. Better than f1fansforever

    12. Sounds reasonable. Seems like Herr Tilke bear the brunt of criticisms that should be better directed at deficiencies in the formula itself. Wonder of that is/ws encouraged by people who should know better for non-altruistic reasons if you catch my drift

    13. I understand the need for run off for bikes and amateurs. I didn’t make it through all the comments here, but didn’t see anybody ask the obvious question…

      Temporary barriers?

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