Argentinean Grand Prix: the circuit in Mar del Plata

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    Fer no.65

    As you know, I’m Argentinean, and most of the news coming from the goverment don’t appear in international media. I’ll try to get all the news I can.

    First off: the circuit, which looks horrid in my view. Next to this, the Yas Marina looks interesting. It has 18 corners, amaizingly, and its 5 km long. It’s between 12 and 16 metres wide.

    Acording to simulations, the laptime would be 1 minute 33 seconds, and the average speed would be 193 km/h. At the end of the main straight, the cars would speed up to 320 km/h.

    Map: http://www.canchallena.com/1456801-mar-del-plata-ya-suena-con-su-circuito-callejero-para-la-f1
    Another source, which describes the lap: http://www.corsaonline.com.ar/2012/03/15/N-8105-asi-seria-el-circuito.php

    They now say that they’ve been working for a year now, and that the proyect really started after Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner showed interest in it. Ecclestona has been in talks, and the FIA has “worked with the promoters” to design a racetrack appropiate for F1 (odd, really).

    They’ll soon have a date to sign the contract with Ecclestone http://www.ultimavuelta.com.ar/noticias.php?t=noticias_internacionales&id=5788


    This would be awesome


    I don’t actually hate it, although it isn’t particularly varied other than the terrible roundabout bit, at least there could be a lot of overtaking.

    Not sure where they counted 18 corners though.


    I’m sure the FIA would love a track like that – it’d give them an opportunity to put in four DRS zones.

    It doesn’t look particularly exciting, and the roundabout bit looks downright awful, but at least it would be something different. There’d probably be some great places to sit, with views of two straights (going in different directions) and and the ocean in the background.


    @renner indeed it would. I know it’s not F1 standard, but if they invested all the time and money that went into the Mar del Plata track, it could very well be (in theory).

    I think there’s three turns that are currently too dangerous for F1: 2, 19 and 21. From what I can tell from satellite images, 2 and 21 have nothing in the way to add extra runoff, but 19 doesn’t, because it faces the lake. What they can do there is make it two turns, like they did with Degner.

    Then there’s the matter of facilities. The pits can be expanded, but there isn’t much room for stands, because of the many houses alongside the track. But given the length of the track, I recon they could place 80000 people alongside it.

    A final upgrade would be an expansion of the San Luis airport. It would be costly, but there is plenty of room and it could provide an economic boost to the city and even the entire region.

    A final hurdle is the remoteness of the place, but if you look at how far people in the US will travel to go to the Austin GP, I feel that the warmblooded South Americans wouldn’t mind the travel either. Another bonus is that it’s only 400km away from the 5.5 million people in the Chilean capital.

    I can’t blame the organizers for taking the easy route of connecting a few hairpins around a pier and a golfcourse in a city closer to Buenos Aires, but choosing for Potrero de los Funes would have been so much cooler. And if the FIA wants to experiment with many DRS zones, they could do three: before turns 4, 9 and 22.

    We’re allowed to dream, aren’t we?

    Prisoner Monkeys


    There’s no way that’s the circuit. For one, half the streets are single lanes. Secondly, there is no room for run-off at most of the corners. And finally, there is no access for safety vehicles and crews on the pier. What if someone had an accident like Webber’s backflip, or Kubica’s Montreal shunt along the pier? The FIA wouldn’t give this a Grade-3 licence, much less a Grade-1.

    I think this is a much more reasonable and much more feasible route (run anti-clockwise, with the main straight on Av. Colon and pit lane along Almirante Brown). It might need some work along the waterfront, but at least it’s manageable.

    Of course, that’s just how I’d do it if I were designing it.

    @renner, @necrodethmortem

    Potrero isn’t going to happen. The circuit is only FIA Grade-2, and needs serious upgrades to pit, paddock and spectator facitilies before it cane even be considered for Grade-1. Worse, the local airports probably cannot handle the arrival of Formula 1. It has been explained to me that there isn’t an airport within 500km that could take the cars. And while you could always expand an airport, that is perhaps the most expensive civil engineering project I can think of.

    I also have this sneaking suspicion that if ever Formula 1 went to Potrero de los Funes, it would produce incredibly boring racing, moreso than Valencia. And then everyone would whinge about it.

    Fer no.65

    @prisoner-monkeys they’ve been saying they will race round Playa Grande, and the description is THAT circuit. I think it’s ridiculous even if it fulfills Grade-1 requirements, because the track is uninteresting and very very boring that way. Just a bunch of harpins and straights…

    As of Potrero, it’s not going to happen for political reasons first. Nevermind the airport or the circuit.


    @prisoner-monkeys You may be right about the dull racing, but on the other hand, the three straights could be just the right length for DRS to make overtaking possible, without making it easy. I’m actually against DRS — more for ground effect or simply less downforce — but since it’s here, might as well make the most of it. I expect you’re probably right though, the braking distance is insufficient and the awkward camber of the corners makes there’s only one good line into them.

    Fer no.65

    There’s a new more detailed picture. It IS the official map of the circuit and it’s been designed with the FIA.


    James Brickles

    No no no, I don’t like that track at all! Would rather have it back at Buenos Aires 1998 than that shocking shape.

    Fer no.65

    Honestly, it’s hideous. Just a bunch of straights, harpins and chicanes. None of the corners seems to really push the car to its limits.

    Abu Dhabi looks great compared to this one…


    Hmmmm…. that new picture looks a whole lot better! And I must say that the roundabout part looks interesting…. It´d be much like karting!
    I likes!!


    Is it a Tilke design?
    hairpin, hairpin, hairpin, chicane, fast chicane, 90 degree, bit more than 90 degree, chicane, 90 degree, chicane, hairpin
    It would be cool if the roundabout was banked (Anderstop style)


    I actually didn’t mind it before, but now that I see how tight they’ve made that chicane and that those first 2 corners exist, they’ve managed to take away any unique character that I thought it might have.

    Fer no.65

    It is Tilke design… who else? It was designed back in 2009 and proposed again now that the country wants a race again.

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