Foro Sol stadium section needs redesign to improve racing – Albon

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In the round-up: Alexander Albon says changes are needed to improve racing at Mexico City’s Formula 1 track.

In brief

Speed up final sector to aid passing – Albon

After yesterday’s Mexican Grand Prix, Albon said the Foro Sol stadium section at the Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez needs to be revised in order to aid overtaking at the track.

“I think the design of the last sector is not good for racing,” he said. “I actually think if they made it a bit quicker, we would be able to be much closer.

“The way that hairpin in the last corner is designed – to stay close with these cars, these big heavy cars, you need the front end and as soon as you’re in dirty air you lose all that speed through the low-speed corners. It’s so hard to stay within six, seven tenths of the car in front.”

Ferrari reveal trackday car based on WEC racer

Ferrari is offering a limited number of customers the opportunity to buy a track day car based on the 499P it is racing in Le Mans this year.

The 499P Modificata is closely based on the car which won this year’s Le Mans 24 Hours in the hands of Alessandro Pier Guidi, James Calado and Antonio Giovinazzi. Ferrari has added a push-to-pass system offering an extra 120kW power burst and revised suspension and electronics. Its four-wheel-drive mode is free to operate at speeds below 190kph, unlike its racing sibling.

As the car is not constrained by the WEC’s Balance of Performance regulations, its V6 hybrid power unit produces 640kW (870ps). The racing 499P was limited to 509kW at Le Mans and 505kW over the final two races of the season.

Perez’s sympathy for hurricane victims

Sergio Perez expressed his support for the victims of Hurricane Otis which struck Mexico’s Acapulco region on Wednesday.

“We cannot forget what has happened in Acapulco,” he said on Saturday. “A lot of people here are having a lot of fun, but we don’t forget what has happened there.

“We will try to do something together with our sponsors to try to raise some funds to help the cost. It’s really sad what has happened there.”

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Comment of the day

Could pit lane queueing problems be avoided by requiring drivers to leave room for others to pass by?

In some pit lanes I suspect it would be too narrow. But in principle I would like that idea; if you drive slowly in the pit lane you have to stay to the side allowing others to pass.

It all comes down to the fact that they all choose when to leave their garage, if they knew others have the right to pass them if they exit slowly they would probably behave very differently.

Happy birthday!

Happy birthday to L. Martins and Haseyachooli!

On this day in motorsport

  • 35 years ago today Ayrton Senna won his first championship at Suzuka


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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...

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18 comments on “Foro Sol stadium section needs redesign to improve racing – Albon”

  1. Gotta say this whole track is lame.
    Was interesting for the first few years after a long absence, but it more off already, it’s not a Interlagos quality circuit they can left untouched for 30 years.

    This track needs some changes.

    1. Billy Rae Flop
      30th October 2023, 2:27

      They already made changes before they arrived in 2015. And those changes made it worse, specifically to make the cars slower for spectators viewing.

      Turns one two and three became sharper corners, with one line, narrow and a “point” apex there’s little room for racing or different lines. Also I would be interested to know if any of these corners are off camber which doesnt help.

      The next complex is even worse, extremely slow and also narrow

      Going into the stadium the right hander could be opened up a bit to increase speed going into what could be a possible overtaking zone.
      Which needs modified, perhaps a wider entry on the inside for late moves or block pass.

      Would possibly need a revision to the outside exit also before the small kink which could be erased.

      Last corner I’m not sure but probably a faster apex would help if there is room on the inside as they sometimes leave.

      As albon says it probably isn’t helped by the heavier cars but it has always been a clunky circuit in its new form

    2. The final sector reminds me of Barcelona sector 3 until recent changes – a slow, awkward chicane into a grip limited curve, which together ensure it is very difficult for the following car to stay close enough to attempt a pass on the main straight. I’m not sure what modifications are possible in that stadium section as the cars probably need to be quite slow through there for safety reasons.

  2. Verstappen gets boo’d at COTA and the editor tries his hadest to write it off as a ‘no no, you see that wrong, they were boo’ing at someone handing out the trophy’, even though he got the same treatment during the Sprint and the qualifying for it. Meanwhile if Lerclerc gets a few boo’s in Mexico, it’s a big deal and Perez is pretty much asked to say sorry for the behaviour of his fans.

    Nice integrity

    1. Yep.

      I’ve never liked Red Bull but all this stuff has me rooting for Max. Hope he wins the rest of the races and every single one next year! Hope he gets boo’d while doing it too and just laughs it off with winners trophies and records in hand!

    2. Perez is pretty much asked to say sorry for the behaviour of his fans.

      He is the best person to address them, so that makes sense. Especially since his initial comments made it seem like he had just nearly pulled off the move of the year, rather than admitting straight off that he had bungled it all on his own. Besides, if F1 wants to sit on a high horse about changing societies in which they race, it’s fair to include its own fans in that. The extreme, bordering on aggressive, partisanship of some fans is not fun for anyone.

      On that note; Norris and his young supporter show a much better way to be a spectator and a fan. I’m sure most people were like that, both in Texas and Mexico, and had a great time regardless of who won.

    3. @duuxdeluxe Are you under the impression that ‘the editor’ – by which you presumably mean @keithcollantine – asked Perez to apologize? I mean, I know this site has grown tremendously over the tears, but I don’t think Keith has quite the clout yet to reach that far. Also, apostrophes are for possessives, not for plurals.

      1. Damn – over the *years* – really do wish we had an edit function here

  3. My alteration suggestion is to simply have a single full 90-degree corner with the turning point a bit earlier & after that an entirely straight-line stretch into the penultimate corner.
    A bit faster & thus more enjoyable, not to mention spectators would still have enough time for car viewing.
    Whether this would help overtaking into T1 wouldn’t necessarily be a given, though, given DRS is generally quite ineffective with air density impact.

    1. @jerejj That’s basically the layout Champcar ran when they ran through the Foro Sol.

      1. Can you imagine if the Tilkes had allowed the esses to remain a flowing section?

      2. That does seem better, perhaps without the wall to give some leeway for an attempted overtake – would be a cool place to do it in front of the crowds. Maybe a bit like Melbourne’s T4.

  4. “[an] opportunity to buy a track day car based on the 499P it is racing in Le Mans this year.”
    WOW! What a time to be a millionaire!

    The Mexico track used to be like a small, cooler version of Monza, with a similar arrangement of corners and a final parabolica turn. Now it’s just terrible.

  5. I’ll add another thumbs up for Albon’s suggestion. He ain’t wrong: it’s awful.

  6. While the Mexico City track is indeed quite poor – it’s one of the slowest tracks around, at just a fraction over 200 km/h in average speed in qualifying, meaning it’s ahead of only Singapore and Monaco – the problem Albon identifies is mostly with the cars. They’re too big and too heavy, and use deficient tyres that are pushed out of their operating temperature when a car starts to slide a bit when losing downforce behind a competitor. As a bonus, addressing issues with the cars will also make racing better everywhere else. This has been known for close to a decade though, so don’t expect much on that front.

    In general, racing on tracks suited to the strengths of a car is a good idea. Doesn’t matter if it’s go-karts or F1 cars. But racing on short, slow and twisty tracks in big, powerful and high-downforce cars is always going to be a bit awkward. These cars were made for tracks like Silverstone and Spa-Francorchamps.

  7. I still hate all of the changes that were made to the Mexico city track in 2015.

    It’s not just that they skip the Peraltada now as there’s not a single part of the track that is the same as it was outside of the straight and i think every corner is now worse than it was before.

    Every corner used to be more open & more flowing while now they are all tighter and more stop/start and clumsy in the case of the 1st sector.

    And you get to the esses which used to be a fantastic section where each corner was slightly faster than the previous while now there just not as flowing or as fun to watch.

    In its previous configuration it was up there as one of the best circuits in the world imo while now there’s just nothing at all about the layout that is that special.

  8. Agreeing with other commenters and Albon. I would go so far as to say that the current Mexico track is probably the worst in the calendar. It has maybe one or two “F1 worthy” corners, the rest are just horribly slow or awkward, or both. Combined with the high altitude and overheating cars, this makes usually for some very poor racing.

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