It seems that circuit designer Hermann Tilke might actually be listening to the complaints of motorsport fans over some of the anaemic and uninspiring races that have occurred on some of his recent ‘Tilkedromes’.
The German has responded by promising future track designs will be more on the “edge” to promote more on-track action.
With a plethora of countries – such as Korea, India, United States and Russia – set to make their debut or return appearances on the F1 calendar, Tilke revealed that F1 supremo Bernie Ecclestone had given him the go-ahead to adopt a more adventurous approach in future circuit designs.
With his design for the new Austin circuit being unveiled last week, Tilke admitted: “A lot of good ideas come from Bernie Ecclestone.
The more aggressive design of the proposed Austin circuit layout has been generally praised in F1 circles, with its dramatic elevation changes and its mix of high- and low-speed corners.
“He has a good view on it. Now, we are going much more to the edge than we have some years before – in terms of elevation and the types of corner we have,” Tilke added.
It is true that Tilke has borne the brunt of criticism from racing fans over some of his less-inspiring designs – and we have profiled some of handiwork in great detail on this site – he called for understanding with the limitations he sometimes faced in creating modern autodromes.
“It is hard to tell the people what we had in mind, what restrictions we had and what tools we had,” he told AUTOSPORT.
“For example, nowadays you need the run-off areas. The FIA will not accept tracks without the run-off. Having wide run-offs is not ideal for the view – and is very different from the old tracks where the guardrail was right by the edge of the track. It used to be completely different, but in our times it is not possible to do that any more.
“Then, remember, most track owners and investors want to have motorcycles too. And motorcycles have to have even more run-off, and different types. And some corners where for F1 or cars you do not need any run off, for motorcycles you need it. Then people criticise it and say, ‘it is stupid to have this run off!
“You cannot please everybody. The new A1-Ring was always spectacular for racing – not just for F1 but also DTM and everything. But at the beginning, when we built it, everyone was saying, ‘what have you done? It is a terrible track!’ and so on. But then after a while, everyone changed their opinion and even the drivers liked it.”
What Tilke fails to acknowledge in this interview piece is that – run-off areas notwithstanding, and we won’t argue that point here – some of the circuit designs, despite his best intentions, are utterly dull and do not promote good racing.
[Original image via AUTOSPORT]