Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Tweeked Singapore Circuit in Hopes of more overtakings

The Marina Bay circuit, which plays host to Formula 1’s night race in Singapore, will undergo layout changes in a bid to boost overtaking ahead of its second grand prix later this year.
The sport’s inaugural floodlit race was widely hailed as a big success last September, but organisers have wanted to improve the racing spectacle for 2009 and have now announced track alterations following discussions between themselves, the teams and FIA.

These are headlined by minor changes to turns one, 13 and 14 to try and give drivers a better opportunity to attempt a passing move.
In addition the controversial pit lane entry, which used the exact same piece of track as cars on a flying lap and saw Nick Heidfeld and Rubens Barrichello penalised for an incident there in 2008, and exit will be revised, while improvements to the bumpy track surface will be made between turns five and seven.
“While the circuit and the event exceeded expectations around the world, as with any brand new event, there are always things which we now know we can do better,” said Singapore’s technical and race operations director, Michael McDonough.

“Minor modifications are proposed on the track, at Turns one, seven and 14 in order to improve overtaking opportunities whilst the main changes will be to the pit entry and pit exit to provide added margins of safety for cars entering and leaving the pit lane.”
Organisers say changes to the first corner will involve moving the corner apex and reducing the corner radius in a bid to reduce entry speeds and give drivers more of an opportunity to try an out-braking move into the turn.
And after drivers took advantage of a concrete verge to take a wide line into the corner last year, kerbing will also be installed on the entry so to force drivers to take a narrower line.

Changes at turn 13 will see the previously tight left-handed hairpin, the turn immediately after the iconic Anderson Bridge, altered to increase cornering speeds so cars carry more speed down the next straight into the braking zone at turn 14.
In addition the geometry of turn 14 will be altered to give more overtaking chances under braking.
Meanwhile, the pit lane entry and exit changes will see a dedicated approach lane created, with the vast run-off areas around the final turn reduced, while the exit will be extended past the first turn so drivers now feed back onto the circuit off the racing line at turn two.

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