Forced Errors :

F1 is about entertainment and engaging the fans with the skill and bravery of wheel-to-wheel racing, touch-and-go passing and cars on the absolute edge. 

One way the FIA and track designers can maintain the entertainment value is to force errors by building “mistake generators” into the track designs. The most recent example is the Miami track where Clive Bowen, the founder and director of Apex Circuit Design, the team behind the Miami Grand Prix track, explained how they intend to challenge drivers throughout the 5.4-kilometre lap.

“We had to ensure that we had a race track that had enough of a ‘Jekyll and Hyde’ personality,” said Bowen. This included “sections with [gradient] change and a lot of traction which require a soft set-up on a car, then some super high-speed sections where you want to have a stiff setup to get the best from aero performance and therefore lateral grip through the corners.

”The positioning of some barriers has been configured to provoke mistakes from drivers, he added. “The sequence from turn 13 through to 16 is where we thread the needle under the turnpike overpasses,” said Bowen. “Going into turn 14, you don’t see the apex of turn 15 until you’re on the apex of turn 14. It’s what we call a ‘mistake generator’ so the opportunity for drivers to gain position because somebody in front overdrives is quite high.”


Andrew Burden

The author Kiwi F1 Fan

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