Turn 10, Circuit de Catalunya, 2021

“Weird” new turn 10 at Catalunya may make passing harder, warns Norris

2021 Spanish Grand Prix

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Lando Norris is concerned changes to the Circuit de Catalunya for this weekend’s race may make overtaking even more difficult.

The home of the Spanish Grand Prix is regarded as one of the most difficult tracks to pass at.

Changes have been made to turn 10 at the circuit for this year’s race. The left-hander, which was previously one of the tightest corners on the track, has been opened up into a more flowing bend with a higher apex speed.

Norris said that may compromise one of the track’s few overtaking opportunities.

“I don’t know what that new turn is like,” he said. “I’m not so confident on that.

“It looks a bit of a weird corner. Turn 10 was probably the only overtaking opportunity apart from turn one and there’s not as much of a big braking zone now.”

Original, revised and new turn 10, Circuit de Catalunya
Report: Catalunya’s new turn 10 has more gravel run-off and “historical” shape
George Russell recently told RaceFans that F1 should revert to using the previous configuration of the final two corners at the circuit, bypassing the chicane which was installed in 2007 for safety reasons. However Norris is not convinced that would make passing easier either.

“I don’t know how much better or worse it would make the racing,” he said. “I’m sure they won’t be very easy corners to follow in Formula 1 cars.”

Pierre Gasly said he would prefer to drive the track without the chicane, partly because his AlphaTauri is less competitive in low-speed corners.

“I think it’s better with the high speed, always. Especially with these cars. Especially with this car.

“You feel more at the limit, you get more adrenaline and it would be nice thing to change a bit this last, low speed corner.”

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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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19 comments on ““Weird” new turn 10 at Catalunya may make passing harder, warns Norris”

  1. Probably won’t make overtaking easier, but it’s a far better corner.

    Ditto with bypassing the chicane.

    Too much discussion around circuit layouts is about overtaking. Yet Suzuka’s two longest straights end in flat or near-flat turns (130R and turn 1).

    Put interesting corners at key points on the lap, and the racing will take care of itself.

    1. Yet Suzuka’s two longest straights end in flat or near-flat turns (130R and turn 1)

      Silverstone as well. It has 3-4 good overtaking spots (Stowe, Brooklands, Copse, Village) and only the last is a hairpin, the other 3 are medium fast/fast/flat-out corners and still it’s one of the most overtaking friendly circuits.
      Hell, i hardly remember anyone passing in Catalunya’s old “overtaking friendly” turn 10, but i sure do remember great passes at Silverstone’s flat-out “no way someone is gonna pass here” Maggotts & Becketts…

      1. @black Silverstone is much wider than Catalunya which makes overtaking easier.

        1. @qeki Which prooves exactly that this obsession with Tilke-fying the tracks with: slow corner → long straight → tight hairpin, doesn’t necessarily work. If Barcelona changes Turn 10 slightly, it won’t make any significant difference in the overtaking as long as:
          a) the cars can’t follow easily in the dirty air
          b) it would still be a narrow track with one narrow optimal racing line

          Off the top of my head the 3 widest and most flowing tracks i can recall are Silverstone, Sepang and maybe Portimao, all 3 of them enable close racing almost to their entire layout, no matter if they have very fast corners before long straights.
          Narrow tracks almost never work well in overtaking no matter how the corner looks like.

      2. Silverstone’s another great example.

        My big contrast in the other direction is Bahrain, because it’s a circuit with several interesting corners, but they’re largely placed in irrelevant places. The turn 5/6/7 ess section is a good little sequence, but it comes after one hairpin and before another one, so it has no importance. It’s just “bung an interesting corner in with the little remaining space we have.

        It’s not just about fast corners, either, it’s also the question of *interesting* corners, including tight ones. Look at Bahrain’s turn 9/10,basically a curved braking zone into a hairpin, a very well-liked and challenging corner, but it lacks a sufficient straight beforehand to actually turn the challenging braking zone into an overtaking opportunity, either there or on the longer straight after. Imagine that corner at the end of a proper straight, and with another straight after it, it’d be great.

    2. Turn 1 at Suzuka is genius. Quite tricky as you’re braking and turning in at the same time. Means more chance of lockups and of losing a place. Also getting this right and carrying the speed through helps set up the following sequence which comes thick and fast. I really wish more tracks were designed in such a way. This and Eau Rouge are just legendary up against newer circuits which at times feel like they’re assembled from a limited number of rather dull predictable pieces.

      1. The designer was the same as the one who made Zandvoort? That made it really oldschool which i reall love.

  2. I watched the ELMS & Le Mans cup races from the circuit a few weeks ago & while I know aero etc… is totally different compared to F1 there was a lot more racing/overtaking into Turns 10 & 11 than was the case with the previous layout. I also think it’s now a much better corner which better fits the flow of the rest of the circuit.

    The racing was more like what you used to see with the pre-2004 T10 configuration in that T10 now appears to have 2 possible lines so if you pull alongside in the braking zone you are able to hold on around the outside & then be on the inside into T11.

    And again I know they are completely different cars compared to F1 but for other categories it looks like it could be a positive change & with the new F1 regulations next year it could be good for F1 in the future also.

    1. Agree with you there. Can’t see how the two braking zones on the old T10 helped anyone on the outside to overtake. The new configuration does provide someone with a higher entry speed and better grip to take the inside on T11.

  3. I’m just glad they’re getting rid of the left-hand kink after it – can’t tell you how many times I’ve spun out after clipping that apex kerb on the F1 game!

    1. Haha, yes! You were not the only one

    2. Scotty (@rockonscotty)
      5th May 2021, 23:24

      I was just thinking the same thing looking at the new corner! 🤣

  4. Maybe not easier for overtaking, but definitely nicer driving-wise with a slighter steering angle. Getting rid of the chicane, I agree with Norris that following wouldn’t probably be any easier, but equally nicer to drive with better overall lap flow.

  5. They should return to the older corner as it seems to have a similar profile.

    1. Not enough run-off

      1. @ecwdanselby The runoff was enough pre-2004.

        1. Exactly! Point being, that’s a long time ago.

          Also, my understanding is they’re trying to provide something which works equally well for 4 wheels and 2 wheels, so it’s a bit of a balancing act.

  6. I’ve been watching at least half F1 races since 1996. Mont Melo is ta race that I usually skip. It will hardly be worse than now… But I’m not holding my breath. Just hope that the effect of new turn in tires will make race a bit decent.

  7. What would be the point of opening up this corner? To get car closer into the last chicane?

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