Turn 10, Circuit de Catalunya, 2021

Catalunya’s new turn 10 has more gravel run-off and “historical” shape

2021 F1 season

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Revisions to turn 10 at the Circuit de Catalunya have made it similar in shape to the original version of the corner.

Turn 10 at the 30-year-old circuit was previously remodelled by Hermann Tilke in 2004 to create a tighter bend which was expected to provide a better overtaking opportunity. While F1 used the new corner, Moto GP continued to use the original, faster bend.

That changed in 2016, when Moto GP switched to the slower corner following the death of Moto 2 rider Luis Salom in a crash at the track. However the bend was not popular with Moto GP riders, notably Valentino Rossi, who described it as a “supermarket parking” corner.

A new version of the bend has been created ahead of this year’s Spanish Grand Prix, which is the fourth round on the 2021 F1 calendar. Both F1 and Moto GP will use the new curve, which is similar to the original bend, but has been brought inwards from the barrier to create more room for run-off.

In a further change, much of the asphalt run-off has been replaced with gravel, explained the circuit’s general manager José Luis Santamaría.

Turn 10, Circuit de Catalunya, 2021
Turn 10 was remodelled over the winter
“The new turn is similar to the historical one, turn 10 and turn 11,” he said. “It’s between the old turn 10/11 that we had last season and it’s just to improve the safety in this area.

“The braking point is different and we have extended the run-off area. We have the asphalt area in the first part. After that we have the gravel bed with a TecPro barrier for formula [racing] and touring cars.”

The changes allow the circuit to use a version of the corner which is similar to the original while offering a larger run-off area.

“If we compare the historical one with the new one we are getting [more] distance from the edge of the track,” Santamaría added. “It’s about 50 metres. And now it is safer, the turn, that the historical one. The riders didn’t like the turn 10 . The FIA and FIM decided to work together and have a new turn with the best safety for the drivers.”

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Turn 10, Circuit de Catalunya, 2021
Catalunya’s new turn 10

Original, revised and new turn 10, Circuit de Catalunya
Original, revised and new turn 10, Circuit de Catalunya

Video: Previous changes to the Circuit de Catalunya

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Keith Collantine
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23 comments on “Catalunya’s new turn 10 has more gravel run-off and “historical” shape”

  1. I prefer slighter turning angles in general, so I like this change, although the long-ish right of T12 will have a slightly tighter entry as a result. I wish F1 tried without the S3 chicane again.

  2. Stephen Higgins
    23rd February 2021, 13:59

    There’s still that abhorrent chicane at the end of the lap …

    1. Yeah, that looks so wrong.

    2. IMO the chicane shouldn’t be used for F1 racing any longer. It didn’t improve overtaking at all, and no terrible F1 accidents at Europcar happened at all (apart from when we lost Luis Salom)…

      1. I was under the impression that the purpose of that chicane was to reduce speeds into the final corner due to increased F1 speeds and a fairly small run-off area.

        1. Maybe you are right, but we should not mention that ;-)
          I thought it was for having an utterly usual stop-and-go section (everybody hates).
          The track was far better without the usual mimicry “out of the hat” chicane.
          There was a driver who suggested that, some days ago — Kando or Carlos, I believe

  3. This is how I think tarmac run offs should be designed. A strip of tarmac right ahead of the preceding straight, but then almost nothing alongisde the exit of the corner. There are plenty of corners in the calendar where you see the run off going aaaaaall along the kerbs on the exit of the corner. The last turn at Austria for example.

    Sad they didn’t restore the last sector of the track too, tho. The chicane is horrible.

    1. @fer-no65 I’m with you there, it annoys me so much when there is a car park of tarmac at the exit of a hairpin. Turn 1 at Austin I’m looking at you…

  4. I’ve never liked the tighter T10 introduced in 2004 so it’s nice to see them revert to something closer to the original layout. Just a shame they couldn’t just go back to using the original corner as it was.

    Just wish they could do something about that awful chicane a few corners later, Think that is one of the worst corners of the entire season. Totally ruins the flow of the track, Cars always look slow/clunky through it so It’s horrid to watch the cars drive through, It’s awful to drive on the games & worst of all it robs us of 2 fantastic corners.

    1. Let’s hope this trend of undoing the “Tilkeism” in the circuits keep spreading! Dropping that horrible chicane would be awesome.

    2. Isn’t the run from T10 to T12 uphill? And thus why the original layout couldn’t have more runoff space before the barrier, @stefmeister? So safety was the factor there, do you know what the rationale for the awful chicanes was?

      1. Mr Jack McMullan
        23rd February 2021, 22:13

        If you have to make a corner or whole circuit rubbish in order to make it safe then just don’t race there.

  5. Salom didn’t die at that corner. I get that motogp elected to try a safer version of the track but 2018’s first lap proved what bikes already know, no chicanes or hairpins.

  6. The track shouldn’t be on the F1 calendar at all. Before DRS it was even worse than Monaco for overtaking, and that says it all. Even after DRS, it’s still useless, and the changes now means nothing unless they get cambered.

  7. No one likes the chicane, MotoGP doesn’t use it, so why F1.

    1. F1 still uses the chicane due to the safety concerns; but at least the circuit management should have tried to alter or move the chicane a bit on the upper side in order to increase the speed on the last corner and improve the possibility of overtaking at the end of start/finish straight.

      1. Where’s the safety concern at the two corners? Compared with T5 Melbourne, T10 Hungary, or Piratella in Imola I don’t see any issues here.

        1. @zomtec the argument given was that the cornering speeds through the final corner were approaching the point where the available run off area was now becoming inadequate.

  8. This is like putting a bandaid on a cadaver…

    23rd February 2021, 22:47

    If turn 10 was a supermarket parking curve, what is the last chicane there? Simply ridiculous.

  10. So a c few years ago the gave tilke to fix the circuit to make overtaking opportunities. Instead he messed it up especially with that mickey mouse chicane. They didn’t wanna put tire chicanes on a circuit a few years ago for safety but they allowed that narrow piece of tarmac chicane that completely messed up over taking on that lovely long straight. There could’ve so much more imagination put into that final chicane. Any 12 year old child with a passion for track design could’ve made that. Instead we had to be put through years of watching a chicane mess up possible overtakings.

    Why can’t they give some other company a chance to give their ideas for track design. Or make it a process where 3 companies each submit their ideas and the best ideas gets used. Tilke is definitely not putting his all into his ideas.

  11. This circuit needs just 1 change: Ditch the last chicane and make the last turn a banked corner like in Zandvoort if, as they say, there is not enough runoff

  12. GUYS, nice !
    can we forward a petition to the FOM please ?
    concerning this last chicane

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