Wolff: New venues shows F1 error in using ‘supermarket car park' tracks

Toto Wolff feels the success of traditional tracks in 2020 proves Formula 1 has taken the wrong direction with many of its new circuits, calling them "oversized supermarket car parks"

Wolff: New venues shows F1 error in using ‘supermarket car park' tracks

F1 was forced to heavily revise its 2020 calendar as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic that forced 13 of its planned 22 races to be cancelled.

The series worked to secure a number of new European venues on the calendar, making use of previously unused tracks such as Portimao and Mugello, as well as visiting former hosts in Imola and the Nurburgring.

This weekend's Turkish Grand Prix will mark the return of Istanbul Park to the calendar after a nine-year absence, with the track being popular among drivers and teams.

Fans have called for many of the new tracks to become permanent fixtures on the F1 calendar after providing exciting racing and being challenging for the drivers.

Mercedes F1 team principal Wolff said the way classic tracks punished drivers for mistakes proved how the wrong approach has been taken towards circuit design in recent years.

"I've been always very vocal about that I disagree with the direction that we have taken with racing on oversized supermarket car parks," Wolff said.

"It takes the factor of the driver and his skill away.

"I really like racing at Imola, and I really like racing in Mugello and the tracks where you actually are really penalised if you make a mistake.

PLUS: How Turkey was established as Tilke's F1 gold standard

"We need to bring gravel traps back to make sure when you're flying off, you can't rejoin without any damage to your car.

"You can adapt most of the circuits to that kind of standard, but these classic and historic race tracks will always have soul."

Wolff felt some of the newer tracks on the calendar had gained their own reputation and identity over the years, but may need adjusting to be more challenging for drivers.

"You can say that from the modern circuits, Bahrain has a soul also, because we have been in Bahrain for a long time, and we have these guys who have been loyal partners for a long time," Wolff said.

"Maybe we just need to adapt these circuits in exactly the way I've described.

"Again, I'm not a circuit designer, I'm just giving you my feedback from an ex-racing driver and based on the TV pictures that I've seen from Mugello, Portimao and Imola."

shares
comments
Leclerc: "I'm a stronger driver" after difficult F1 season

Previous article

Leclerc: "I'm a stronger driver" after difficult F1 season

Next article

Stroll refusing to dwell on recent "rough patch" of F1 form

Stroll refusing to dwell on recent "rough patch" of F1 form
Load comments

About this article

Series Formula 1
Drivers Susie Wolff
Author Luke Smith
The defining traits that set F1’s best apart Plus

The defining traits that set F1’s best apart

What makes the very best drivers in Formula 1 stand out among what is already a highly elite bunch? ANDREW BENSON takes a closer look at those with the special blend of skill, judgment, feel 
and attitude that sets only a select 
few apart from the rest.

How an unlikely F1 outsider gained acceptance Plus

How an unlikely F1 outsider gained acceptance

Channel 4's decision to pick Steve Jones as presenter of its Formula 1 coverage in 2016 raised eyebrows, and his presenting style grated with many fans at first. But, says BEN EDWARDS, Jones has developed into a presenter ripe for modern F1's direction

Formula 1
Mar 6, 2021
The updates Williams hopes will lead to a points-scoring return Plus

The updates Williams hopes will lead to a points-scoring return

After producing a car which demonstrated progress but lacked the points to prove it last year, Williams starts its new era of team ownership with the FW43B, its bid to continue the climb up the Formula 1 grid in 2021

Formula 1
Mar 5, 2021
How Ferrari plans to recover from its 2020 F1 nightmare Plus

How Ferrari plans to recover from its 2020 F1 nightmare

The 2020 Formula 1 season was Ferrari's worst for 40 years as it slumped to sixth in the standings. A repeat performance will not be acceptable for the proud Italian team, which has adopted a notably pragmatic approach to forging its path back to the top

Formula 1
Mar 4, 2021
Why Aston Martin’s arrival is more than just new green livery Plus

Why Aston Martin’s arrival is more than just new green livery

In the most eagerly anticipated Formula 1 team launch of the season, the rebranded Aston Martin squad’s changes go much further than the striking paint job. But rather than a restart, the team hopes to build on top of solid foundations.

Formula 1
Mar 3, 2021
The car Aston Martin begins its new F1 journey with Plus

The car Aston Martin begins its new F1 journey with

The team formerly known as Racing Point gambled successfully on a Mercedes look-alike in 2020 as it mounted a strong challenge for third in the constructors' race and won the Sakhir GP. Now clothed in British racing green, Aston Martin's first Formula 1 challenger since 1960 provides the clearest indicator yet of what to expect from the new-for-2021 regulations

Formula 1
Mar 3, 2021
The driver problems facing Mercedes in 2021 Plus

The driver problems facing Mercedes in 2021

Ahead of the new Formula 1 season, reigning world champions Mercedes will take on challenges both old and new. This also can be said for its driver conundrum which could become key to sustaining its ongoing success

Formula 1
Mar 2, 2021
How Alpine's cure to 2021 F1 rules starts at the front Plus

How Alpine's cure to 2021 F1 rules starts at the front

A new name, new faces and new colours pulls the rebranded Alpine Formula 1 team into a new era while carrying over core elements of its 2020 car. But under the surface there's more than meets the eye with the A521 which hints at how the team will tackle 2021

Formula 1
Mar 2, 2021