Monday, 23 July 2012

Hermann's Hockenheim

To me, one of the most iconic sights in Formula One is cars sweeping majestically through the trees on the old Hockenheim track. 

Sadly, due to the massacre of the track by circuit designer Hermann Tilke, fans are now deprived of the beautiful aerial shots of cars roaring flat out along the straight through the forest. 

At the old track, make a mistake and you would be in the trees, and although this often resulted in a large percentage of cars not finishing, it demonstrated driver skill, much like at Monaco.  As with most of the tracks Tilke has designed,  there are now huge run off areas meaning that drivers are given a cosy cushion to protect them if they put a foot wrong. 

Hermann Tilke changed the  track in order to facilitate more overtaking.  However, this year, following the incidents with Rosberg using the run off areas in Bahrain to make passes on Alonso and Hamilton, the rules have been changed to stop drivers doing just that.  Having four wheels leave the track and rejoining to gain an advantage has been ruled out.   

The overtaking manouvre on Button by Vettel, who made full use of the run off area, caused action to be taken by the stewards regarding this rule. 

Receiving a 20 second time penalty relegating him to fifth place from second must make all German fans wish there were no run off areas.   What good is overtaking if it is just going to be penalised, we might as well just have kept the old track and its beautiful forested straights.

Tilke and his cradling , supportive run offs have caused this rule to be imposed on the racing.  How much more clinical and conducive is it going to get?  It is time to find a radical new circuit designer with the vision that will give the drivers the opportunity to demonstrate their skill  and actually race each other properly.

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