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10 Aug 2014

Outrage has swept across social media over the last few days as fans witnessed images showing changes at Monza's Parabolica.  As usual a lack of information presented by the FIA or the circuit led to many deriding what is essentially a change made to aid safety.

Monza is one of the classic European tracks still visited by Formula One that most would say hasn't been neutered, with changes made to Spa in recent seasons bringing it inline with some of the 'Tilkedromes', providing tarmac run off area's rather than gravel.

As always the eternal optomist in me sees what is being done here, yes the purist in me still thinks that is a change really needed? but on the face of it, it won't actually change too much, providing a safer environment not only for F1 but other racing classes too.  Gravel is still retained on the periphery of the corner with only the first 20metres beyond the tracks limits resurfaced (below)

Gravel is something we are used to seeing at the more 'classic' venues but from a safety standpoint means that vehicles invariably dig in and can flip, furthermore 'beaching' means that removal of the vehicle must be done by the marshalls, prompting either a safety car or double waved yellows.  Running wide in Parabolica with the changes will not always end someones race now but on the same token it won't make for a faster lap time.  I know you all want to see drivers punished for their mistakes BUT we must consider the safety implications.

The only place that could have resulted in a lap time gain with the new layout is over stepping the track limits out of Parabolica onto the pit straight.  However take a look at the rumble strips in that area (above), that wouldn't be pleasurable to run over and would likely result in damage if done too often.  However that won't stop the drivers re-ascertaining the image in their mind of the limits throughout Free Practice though I'm sure.

I'd also suggest that the tarmac won't be left bare and a low grip paint will be applied, making a trip onto it entertaining for the drivers, slowing them down somewhat.

A selection of pictures (below) were taken by @ceredaemanuele detailing the reprofiling of Parabolica






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6 comments:

  1. I disagree completely. To paraphrase Stirling Moss, adding tarmac to the edge of a track is like climbing a mountain with a net ready to catch you when you fall: there's just no point to it. I want to see drivers pushing it right to the edge, forcing me to sit on the edge of my seat. This just isn't doing it for me.

    And RE safety, I agree that adding tarmac is generally safer for run-off areas, but I don't see why the entire corner needs to be surrounded by tarmac instead of grass or gravel. No one has died at the Parabolica for decades anyway (not just F1).

    Motorsport in general is really getting to the point that there is just no thrill to it at all, no satisfaction for getting through a corner with not an inch to spare. And that's what worries me.

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    1. I agree 100% with the comment above - where is the challenge in getting the corner right and pushing to the edge of the track, if you don't lose a significant amount of time when you get it wrong? Also that rumble strip 'deterrent' doesn't look any different to a standard kerb... http://www.formula1.com/wi/gi/597x478/XyYK/sutton/2013/dpl1327ju010.jpg

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    2. Spoken like a true person who has never climbed in their life.

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    3. Firstly like I said above the purist in me says why change it, when like you say there hasn't been significant incident there to warrant it. However we have to look at the bigger picture and say just because something has always been a certain way does that make it right?

      I've mentioned several incidents this season (on twitter) where drivers have had offs and run into tyre walls, the areas for me should have TecPro barriers, a much safer alternative and able to decellerate the car/driver in a much safer manner.

      Let's not look at things through rose tinted glasses, improvements in safety must be made on a constant basis, otherwise let's just line the place with straw bails again.

      The crux of the matter relies on whether these changes were actually made for Formula One (which I doubt) or were made ahead of running by World Superbikes etc at the circuit. No statement (that I have found) has been made to either point.

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  2. they should make a rule that if 4 tires go off the track beyond a certain point then you are DQ'd. It would be the same as if you beached the car and it still provides the safety. during practice and qualifying they could use the extra space to push as hard as possible without penalty, and in the race if you were pushed off track illegally you could still continue, but if you make a mistake and its the extra tarmac that saves you, then your race is over. Just a idea....

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  3. Totally agree with the first comment and adding:

    Too big tarmac safe area is provoking drivers to push gas pedal in attempt to rejoin track quickly, and these areas are not made as flat but could be bumpy and contain some ridiculous drain, sausage curb etc.

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