New, tighter corner on revised Vietnam F1 track

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In the round-up: Vietnam’s Hanoi Street Circuit, the new addition to the 2020 F1 calendar, has undergone a track alternation.

Vietnam track changes

The penultimate corner on the 23-turn Hanoi Circuit has been modified (see image above, old configuration inset). The change has been made “after further consideration of the surrounding geographical conditions”, according to the race promoters. The revised corner will be 15 metres wide.

The track is described as “a unique hybrid design, fusing a street circuit’s characteristics with a permanent track layout.” It has been developed by Tilke Engineering in conjunction with Formula 1 Management.

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Comment of the day

@Stefmeister takes issue with Ross Brawn’s defence of Pirelli:

Brawn says teams didn’t like the aero effect but doesn’t say anything about the drivers who were also critical of them.

“Most of the one-make series I’m aware of, they’re always moaning about one set of tyres are better than another set of tyres. We never hear that in Formula 1.”

I disagree with that.

I can think of a few occasions where a driver has complained about one set of tyres feeling/acting different to another of the same compound. Charles Leclerc in Mexico for instance said that his second set of mediums felt completely different to the first set which was something his pace at the time showed.

And i’m not been critical of Pirelli with that as your always going to get these differences at times and it’s the same elsewhere. I just don’t think it’s right to suggest the Pirellis in F1 are fantastic and that tyres used elsewhere aren’t as good.

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17 comments on “New, tighter corner on revised Vietnam F1 track”

  1. That prank on Gasly – nice to see him at home with a team. :)

    Nice CotD, @stefmeister

  2. I think it is so weird that f1 keeps getting better every year technologically. The cars get faster, the engines make more power, the suspension gives more grip and the drivers get faster… but the tires don’t seem to improve in any way. For sure these modern cars are the most difficult ones to make tires for. Heavy weight, massive downforce levels, massive cornering forces, huge torque peaks, tracks that rely a lot on driving over kerbs all the time to gain lap time. And then you have fia with their specific requirements and drivers and teams who have no problem complaining about the tires.

    But at the same time one has to ask how can the allegedly improved offerings from pirelli for 2020 not be any better than the 2019 tires which everybody already dislikes? How is it possible that pirelli can not improve when literally everybody else in f1 can keep doing it every year. How can pirelli not improve when their actual product is deemed to be so poor on track? It is almost like it is year one every year for pirelli. Only thing they seem to be able to do is something different. Not something better.

    1. @socksolid perhaps the tyre behavior is so important that the slightest change would affect or even defeat years of development?

      I wouldn’t judge the 2020 tyres but maybe more the fact they change the spec for a single year before changing it again. I guess no team is willing to invest time for nailing the 2020 tyres while having to develop the 2021 cars.

      Isn’t all that generated by the (rather curious) contract that specified that the tyre supplier would have to make 13 inches tyres for a single year before going for 18 inches? I thought at the time it was tailor-made for Pirelli to exclude Michelin. Whether this is the case or not, I feel this 2020 tyre is an unneeded cost right before 2021, so I understand the reactions to it.

      1. I guess no team is willing to invest time for nailing the 2020 tyres while having to develop the 2021 cars.

        I think you are spot on there, @spoutnik.
        They should never have developed new tyres for 2020 or (if they wanted anyway) never have asked the teams.

      2. Yeah, I think that is exactly why the teams decided not to go with the new tyres @spoutnik.

        Sure, it would probably be a bit better for the drivers, possibly for the fans, but why would the teams voluntarily sign up to that if it costs them a lot of effort they’d rather put into 2021!

    2. @socksolid

      but the tires don’t seem to improve in any way.

      Without competition there’s no real incentive to do so, At least in terms of outright performance.

      Was the same the last few years of Bridgestone’s time in F1 when they became the sole supplier. They developed something that was super conservative in terms of wear & which offered a decent level of overall performance without really pushing the boundaries as they had been during the periods they had competition from Good Year (1997/98) & then Michelin (2001-2006).

      I remember when Bridgestone joined F1 in 1997 to compete with Good Year there was about a 2 second a lap improvement in lap time compared to 1996 with most of that been put down to the improvement in tyres. Would have been the same when Michelin entered in 2001 had the FIA not taken pre-emptive steps to counteract that by cutting some downforce via raising the front wings.

  3. The T6-T9 section looks slightly different, as well as T15/16.

    I agree with the COTD to some extent.

    Toro Rosso’s prank, though.

  4. Vietnam track doesnt look that inspiring, apart from the twisty bit. Long straights and super tight corners makes for very predictable racing, super boring passes, and makes the cars look slow and clumsy. I really hope I am wrong though.

    1. Tilke: Still hasn’t found the spline command in Autocad.

  5. Jelle van der Meer (@)
    12th December 2019, 9:31

    I guess Tilke wanted to get the World Record of corners on F1 circuit with the Vietnam circuit. Crazy certainly consider the fast majority of the lap is straight – many I wouldn’t classify as corners by the way.

    T2 and T3 are just 1 corner
    T4 and T5 are just 1 corner
    Fail to see T9 as a corner same applies for T10 and T12
    T14 and T15 aren’t corners, doubt the drivers even steer, from T13 they just line up for T16
    How is T17 a corner?

    So I consider the circuit to have 15 corners not 25

  6. Big long straights, little squiggly bit in the middle where you can’t follow, welcome to Mexico v2.0

  7. The Vietnam circuit is as cookie cutter as a lot of the other newer circuits. There’s not anything that really differentiates it from any of the other newer circuits because they all have the same (Or at least very similar) characteristics. Slow corner, Very long straight, Slow corner, A ‘stadium’ section & then a series of corners thrown together to try & copy Maggots/Becketts/Chapel from Silverstone.

    They lack the character of the classic circuits because they don’t follow the terrain, Have a natural flow or get located in a place that gives a natural ambiance as many of the classic circuits do. They look sterile & almost artificial in design & therefore more often than not just aren’t as fun to watch cars driving around & also don’t generate quite the same atmosphere as the older venues.

    1. @stefmeister You’re comparing a permanent circuit to a street circuit. If you want a better comparison to an old school track, use something like Adelaide which is partially permanent but mostly on streets just like this one.

      1. @retardedf1sh I could make the same argument with street circuits though as aside from Baku most of the newer street circuits like Singapore, Valencia, Sochi & this share similar characteristics to the permanent circuits.

        They no longer design circuits around the natural terrain or around creating a unique, interesting challenge like they once did. They design them around what they believe creates good racing & because of that they are all starting to look very samey. And you don’t even have some of the things that used to make street circuits extra challenging because there wider, Have more runoff & are for the most part almost as silky smooth as the permanent circuits now.

  8. While I do not know the details of the track layout change (there could be an underground river for all we know, as was the case with original Hungaroring), in terms of layout, it looks like we got “just two 90-ish degree corners to finish the lap because we could not design anything more imaginative” (think Sochi) instead of a fast flick and a tighter corner, something like Sepang T13-14.

    1. I guess they thought the turn as previously designed would mean they had to find room for runoff that wasn’t there at the last turn, so they made it into two 90° bends to make sure there will be hardly any momentum going onto the main straight @kaiie.

      Must say that I am not that excited about the track either, a lot of squiggly bits with a few long straights. Tilke. But who knows, maybe they surprise us this time?

  9. I like the esses, and those roundabouts are quite interesting thingies.

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