Thesis: Circuits with new asphalt must be viewed more critically by the FIA

Thesis: Circuits with new asphalt must be viewed more critically by the FIA

01-05-2021 21:11

Due to the enormous speeds reached in Formula 1, grip is of vital importance, but track organisations don't seem to pay much attention to this anymore with new asphalt. Time for the FIA to pay more attention to it.

The FIA and Liberty Media had to improvise a lot last year. Due to the coronavirus many Grands Prix were cancelled and it was quite a challenge to fill up the racing calendar. Fortunately a number of classic circuits were available and received with great enthusiasm.

One of them is Portimao, but not all drivers were so happy with the circuit after the race weekend in Portugal. The organisation decided to lay a new layer of tarmac just before the Formula 1 arrived, which made grip hard to find. And that doesn't seem to have improved this year, which has led to a lot of criticism from Lewis Hamilton and Max Verstappen. The Dutchman even says he has not had a single lap that he has enjoyed.

Slippery conditions at other tracks

Portimao is certainly not the only circuit to have new tarmac in recent years that has a greatly reduced amount of grip compared to the old track. Hamilton and Verstappen, for example, are not looking forward to the Turkish Grand Prix, where there was no grip last year either. That was eventually only disguised by the chaotic rain race, which quickly changed the topic of the day.

It is now time for the FIA to take a more critical look at circuits that put down new asphalt for a Formula 1 race. According to Hamilton a lack of grip doesn't promote exciting races, because drivers are less able to follow each other. Something the FIA and Liberty Media are trying to solve with the new regulations which come into effect from next year. Putting circuits on the calendar that prevent this seems a strange decision in that case.

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