Motor racing: F1 circuits upgraded to cope with faster cars

Fri Jan 13, 2017 12:07pm EST
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By Alan Baldwin

BIRMINGHAM, England (Reuters) - Formula One's governing body is writing to every circuit on the calendar to advise them of specific measures that need to be carried out for safety's sake due to faster cars and higher cornering speeds.

The 2017 specification cars are expected to be three to four seconds a lap quicker than last year's with more corners taken flat out following regulation changes that include much bigger tires.

"Every single team has been asked to provide simulations for their 2017 cars," said Laurent Mekies, safety director for the governing International Automobile Federation (FIA), delivering the annual Watkins lecture at the Autosport International Show on Friday.

The lecture is named after the late Formula One doctor Professor Sid Watkins.

"We've used these simulations to feed our simulation software, we therefore simulated every single track with the 2017 cars, so much higher cornering speeds -- up to 40 kph faster in high speed corners.

"Every single track is receiving from the FIA a requested upgrade based on that work... that process is ongoing. We are doing it in the order of the championship and therefore not all the tracks have received it yet."

Mekies said Melbourne, which hosts the season-opening Australian Grand Prix on March 26, had done what was required by putting up additional safety barriers at turn 12 in place of tire walls.

Turns one, six and 14 will have the existing tire walls doubled in depth. The season has 20 races, ending in Abu Dhabi on Nov. 26.   Continued...

Formula One - F1 - Abu Dhabi Grand Prix - Yas Marina Circuit, Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates - 27/11/2016 - Mercedes' Formula One driver Lewis Hamilton of Britain drives during the race. REUTERS/Hamad I Mohammed -