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When is a street circuit not a street circuit?


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#1 Barry Boor

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Posted 24 June 2012 - 12:07

The European Grand Prix in Valencia is run on what is described as a 'street' circuit; so is the Canadian Grand Prix. However, I'm inclined to dispute that description.

Monaco, Pau etc etc etc, I accept as pure street tracks, of course, but Montreal was created on that artificial island while Valencia is rather odd. Look at the Marina area on Google Earth, the image is from 2007 and there is virtually no sign of the roads that are about to be used in today's race.

To me this circuit has been created entirely for Formula 1, so surely it can't really be described as a street track.

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#2 Alexey Rogachev

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Posted 24 June 2012 - 12:56

The same can be said about the 'street' (or 'park') circuit in Sochi.

#3 f1steveuk

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Posted 24 June 2012 - 13:41

The definition within FOM/FIA while I was there, was a circuit not used at other other time of the year for any other race. Monaco, of course, is used for the historic races, but is without doubt, a street circuit! Albert park would also "technically" qualify, the roads only used within the park when the was not in "race" use. In my mind, it should be a circuit based on public roads, closed to hold a race on!

#4 D-Type

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Posted 24 June 2012 - 17:43

I think there's a further subtlety - A 'street' circuit should also be [mainly] in a town run on what are normal streets for the rest of the year. This excludes the likes of Reims, Rouen and Spa which are 'road' circuits. In between there are 'park' circuits where the roads are not proper public highways although open to the public as part of the park for the rest of the year - Albert Park, Bremgarten, Monsanto, etc.

A complication occurs with our transatlantic cousins, who tend to use 'road circuit' for any circuit that is not an oval - Riverside, Watkins Glen, etc.

I agree with you, Barry, Valencia is a purpose built, Tilke-designed, circuit that just happens to have been built in a city. Even if the roads are used normally for the rest of the year, the fact it was purpose-built means it can't be considered a true street circuit.

I think the roads forming the Montreal circuit were there already and not pupose-built as a race track, which makes it a 'park' circuit.

#5 kayemod

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Posted 24 June 2012 - 18:01

I think there's a further subtlety - etc, etc.


Agree absolutely with every word of that, a good summing-up.


#6 Barry Boor

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Posted 24 June 2012 - 18:02

Hear, hear.

#7 Rob29

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Posted 24 June 2012 - 18:03

The same can be said about the 'street' (or 'park') circuit in Sochi.

sorry-my cyrillic is somewhat lacking-any chance of a translation? I think language is the problem here-street/road/park can mean the same thing. Originally all circuits other than ovals were on public roads.Britain along with some other places had a surplus of airfields after WW2 which were used. The concept of building a boring autodrome with acres of run-off area is more recent.

#8 Malcolm Schofield

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Posted 24 June 2012 - 18:48

The European Grand Prix in Valencia is run on what is described as a 'street' circuit; so is the Canadian Grand Prix. However, I'm inclined to dispute that description.

Monaco, Pau etc etc etc, I accept as pure street tracks, of course, but Montreal was created on that artificial island while Valencia is rather odd. Look at the Marina area on Google Earth, the image is from 2007 and there is virtually no sign of the roads that are about to be used in today's race.

To me this circuit has been created entirely for Formula 1, so surely it can't really be described as a street track.

I agree, its not even a Marina a Dock would be better. For a real Road/Steet it has to be the Isle of Man

#9 kayemod

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Posted 24 June 2012 - 18:57

...there are 'park' circuits where the roads are not proper public highways although open to the public as part of the park for the rest of the year - Albert Park, Bremgarten, Monsanto, etc.


I suppose that definition would encompass Monza, or would that be considered a purpose-built road course?


#10 Ralliart

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Posted 24 June 2012 - 19:02

This topic got me to thinking about Caesars Palace in '81 - the first F1 race in a parking lot? And weren't there sections of Zandvoort that had been a road built by the Germans during the war? That must be unique - what circuit contained a section(s) that were built by an occupying force?

#11 E1pix

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Posted 24 June 2012 - 19:10

Great topic, Barry, I've been pondering this very descriptor all weekend...

Per both Valencia and Yas Marina... "architectural circuits?" Per Spa, I guess we call it a "highway circuit" or "roadway circuit."

It's all Monaco's fault for taking road racing from the woods it grew up in. ;)

#12 Alexey Rogachev

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Posted 24 June 2012 - 19:55

sorry-my cyrillic is somewhat lacking-any chance of a translation? I think language is the problem here-street/road/park can mean the same thing. Originally all circuits other than ovals were on public roads.Britain along with some other places had a surplus of airfields after WW2 which were used. The concept of building a boring autodrome with acres of run-off area is more recent.

Well, I think the problem is not a language but my specific interpretation of these types of circuits, evolved from studuing history of motor racing in the Soviet Union with all its peculiarities :) A 'road circuit' is a circuit using public roads somewhere in the country, outside any large built-up areas. A 'street circuit' is situated within the city - almost the same from the point of view of racing itself but not the same regarding safety, organisation, and infrastructure questions. Finally, a 'park circuit' comprises park roads - as usual, narrower than ordinary public roads and without any possible run-off areas, and the circuit is shorter but more abundant in sharp bends than a 'road circuit'. Maybe it's difficult to understand what I mean - sorry for this, I have never thought that this question would need to be explained in details, so I haven't reflected seriously upon it :blush:

#13 Russell Burrows

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Posted 24 June 2012 - 21:08

Does this qualify?
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#14 Ray Bell

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Posted 24 June 2012 - 21:55

Nobody's mentioned 'airfield' circuits...

There was a plan to race on streets in an industrial area once, what would you call that? Or the motorcycle races that were held on an embryonic suburban street layout in Canberra (Macarthur) back in the seventies or eighties, the roads having been put down long before housing construction began.

#15 Michael Ferner

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Posted 24 June 2012 - 22:05

Imatra?


Yes, clearly Imatra, but that was a road course...

#16 Ray Bell

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Posted 24 June 2012 - 22:39

And I think there were a couple of Australian circuits in quarries...

Partially, Hume Weir fitted in there, Hal Moloney tells me there was one such at Rutherford near Newcastle while I think Oxley was another.

#17 Amphicar

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Posted 24 June 2012 - 22:55

Nobody's mentioned 'airfield' circuits...

There was a plan to race on streets in an industrial area once, what would you call that? Or the motorcycle races that were held on an embryonic suburban street layout in Canberra (Macarthur) back in the seventies or eighties, the roads having been put down long before housing construction began.

There were races for DTM and GT cars on a "street circuit" in an industrial/dock area of Helsinki in the late 1990s under the title "Helsinki Thunder". You can get an idea of the area from this clip of the 1996 DTM race: http://www.youtube.c...p;v=2Xe6NjhPIXQ

The abortive 1970 F2 "Grand Prix of Israel" was intended to be run on a circuit on the outskirts of Ashkelon, comprising the roads for a housing development, where no dwellings had yet been built. The race was to have been held on a Saturday but was called off following protests by religious groups (though an F Vee race took place at reduced speeds).

#18 LittleChris

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Posted 24 June 2012 - 22:56

In between there are 'park' circuits where the roads are not proper public highways although open to the public as part of the park for the rest of the year - Albert Park, Bremgarten, Monsanto, etc.


Surely the roads comprising Bremgarten and Monsanto ( even if the Cloverleaf section wasn't actually driveable in the same direction as raced ) were open all year round to the public and so are road circuits ?

Imatra definitely a road circuit since both versions that were used are the other side of the river from the main town and only really featured the odd house here and there rather like Spa


#19 Lee Nicolle

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Posted 24 June 2012 - 23:08

To be honest I feel Monaco is probably the only true road circuit these days. Plenty of circuits that use roads in part but they are still primarily a race circuit. That includes Adelaide and Melbourne both of which have had extensive work to make streets a race circuit. Especially Melbourne.
At lower levels there is a lot of so called street circuits that really are not either.
Bathurst tends to be a standalone but really is a racetrack used as a scenic drive these days
I cannot see what the fixation with 'street circuits' is. Lousy spectator facilitys, the whole safety thing has to be reomoved and relaced. And after that it is not safe!! If you build a standalone circuit it would not be passed with the multiple defincies of a street circuit. Making the whole scenario dumb, and dumber.

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#20 Barry Boor

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Posted 25 June 2012 - 05:47

Not only Monaco. Pau is still there and in fact, is almost certainly the longest (in time) un-mucked-about-with circuit in the world. It is unchanged from the days when Auto-Unions and Mercedes raced there before WW2. Not many circuits, of any type, can claim that (Indianapolis excepted).

#21 Barry Boor

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Posted 25 June 2012 - 06:34

I'm afraid I class Monza along with Monaco as a mucked-about-with circuit. Your use of the word ONLY when referring to chicanes is interesting because the 'ONLY' has changed much of the character of Monza, and not for the better, I feel.

#22 E1pix

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Posted 25 June 2012 - 06:44

Not only Monaco. Pau is still there and in fact, is almost certainly the longest (in time) un-mucked-about-with circuit in the world. It is unchanged from the days when Auto-Unions and Mercedes raced there before WW2. Not many circuits, of any type, can claim that (Indianapolis excepted).

Not a street circuit but the Milwaukee Mile, many believe, is the world's oldest circuit. It started in its same configuration as a dirt horse racing track in 1876, had its first motor race in 1903, and was paved in the early '50s.

136 years of continuous operation.

#23 Barry Boor

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Posted 25 June 2012 - 06:58

Yes, or from Towcester High Street.

#24 Amphicar

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Posted 25 June 2012 - 07:37

How about Avus - a purpose-built circuit that later became a street (well, an autobahn)?

#25 kayemod

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Posted 25 June 2012 - 07:42

How about Avus - a purpose-built circuit that later became a street (well, an autobahn)?


The AVUS has another distinction of course, an international border cutting it in two, did this happen to any others?


#26 Rob Semmeling

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Posted 25 June 2012 - 08:37

That's a myth - the Avus was located entirely within West-Berlin, the only border of any sorts was between the British and American sectors.

Once more I'd like to refer to my website http://www.wegcircuits.nl for anyone interested in the topic of race tracks. The Racing Circuits Factbook pdf-file has a section on Street Courses (pages 47-52).

I think also Monza have the same layout since it was built - 1922, if I am not wrong - only additions of chicanes here and there, but the same layout (...)


At Monza, the basic shape of the original circuit may be still intact, but there have been countless changes in addition to the chicanes. For example, the entire backstraight leading to Parabolica used to be in a different location, slightly more north. Parabolica itself, of course, wasn't part of the original circuit, and the Curva Grande and Lesmo curves have also been modified over the years.

#27 kayemod

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Posted 25 June 2012 - 08:52

That's a myth - the Avus was located entirely within West-Berlin, the only border of any sorts was between the British and American sectors.


No.

The original south loop at the Nikolassee end was in the Soviet sector after WW2. When racing resumed in 1954, it had a new unbanked south loop which reduced the lap to just over 5 miles

#28 D-Type

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Posted 25 June 2012 - 08:54

There's more about the "Was Avus shortened because of partition?" question on this old thread (and probably on some of the others as well). In summary, the original South Curve was in the Soviet Zone, but the South Curve used after the circuit was shortened immediately prior to WW2 was in the western zone (I can't recall whether it was the French, British or US zone). Hence the confusion.

#29 Rob Semmeling

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Posted 25 June 2012 - 09:11

Gentlemen, it's a myth: no part of the Avus was ever in the Soviet sector, East-Berlin or East-Germany. In addition, the Avus was already shortened before the war, and the first post-war race was in 1951...

#30 Catalina Park

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Posted 25 June 2012 - 09:43

Gentlemen, it's a myth: no part of the Avus was ever in the Soviet sector, East-Berlin or East-Germany. In addition, the Avus was already shortened before the war, and the first post-war race was in 1951...

I agree, you just need to look at Google maps to see where the Soviet border was and it was nowhere near the track.


#31 Barry Boor

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Posted 25 June 2012 - 09:55

I gather Auto Union never raced at Pau pre-WW2 but Mercedes did.

#32 Stephen W

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Posted 25 June 2012 - 10:24

Very interesting topic re questions that it poses!

So how does Aintree Grand Prix track fit into the scheme of things?

Parts of the circuit were built on existing roads within the horse racing track. It crosses a public road twice. Until recently it was like a park with public access to dog walkers and anglers. The Club Circuit now has a 9 hole golf course in the middle. Finally the orginal track is stil there admittedly with parts of it covered over.

:confused:

#33 AJB

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Posted 25 June 2012 - 11:19

How about St Petersburg (Florida)? Unfortunately I was there a few days before the GP but it looked like all the circuit would be on normal streets of the town.

#34 king_crud

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Posted 25 June 2012 - 11:25

Nobody's mentioned 'airfield' circuits...

There was a plan to race on streets in an industrial area once, what would you call that? Or the motorcycle races that were held on an embryonic suburban street layout in Canberra (Macarthur) back in the seventies or eighties, the roads having been put down long before housing construction began.


Indycars ran at that airport in Cleveland for years, are they still doing that race? I loved it. And I have vague memories of the DTM having a race on a runway back in the 90s, it just had a series of chicanes marked with tyres. Although my memory may be playing up on me.

So are these classed as street circuits? Or runway circuits?

#35 jtremlett

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Posted 25 June 2012 - 13:17

...while Valencia is rather odd. Look at the Marina area on Google Earth, the image is from 2007 and there is virtually no sign of the roads that are about to be used in today's race.

To me this circuit has been created entirely for Formula 1, so surely it can't really be described as a street track.

Having been to Valencia when the Grand Prix is not on I can confirm that the majority of the "roads" forming the track are neither accessible nor existant for the rest of the year, so given most of it doesn't use actual streets I agree it cannot really be accurately termed a street track.

Jonathan

#36 john aston

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Posted 25 June 2012 - 13:51

Valencia's status as a street circuit may be open to debate but its status as a crap circuit can't be open to question. Reminded me of Goole- if rather sunnier. Great race though

#37 kayemod

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Posted 25 June 2012 - 17:22

...the Avus was located entirely within West-Berlin, the only border of any sorts was between the British and American sectors.


So it seems I was right about the border but wrong about the Soviets. I've seen this 'fact' repeated so often, sometimes by well respected authors, that I thought it must be true, but to repeat my somewhat OT question, has any other track ever been divided by an international border?

#38 alansart

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Posted 25 June 2012 - 17:51

...but to repeat my somewhat OT question, has any other track ever been divided by an international border?


Slightly more off topic. The Silverstone GP Circuit is in 2 different Counties which I believe can affect Planning Permission, Public and Coroner Enquiries. The unused Donington Loop is also in a different County to the currently layout used which is maybe why it was never developed alongside the rest of the circuit.




#39 scheivlak

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Posted 25 June 2012 - 21:53

Indycars ran at that airport in Cleveland for years, are they still doing that race? I loved it. And I have vague memories of the DTM having a race on a runway back in the 90s, it just had a series of chicanes marked with tyres. Although my memory may be playing up on me.

There's a whole history of airfield F2/F3/touring car/whatever races in Germany and Austria e.g. this one http://www.formula2.net/F270_18.htm - and even a F1 GP in 1964 at Zeltweg!

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#40 scheivlak

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Posted 25 June 2012 - 22:08

So it seems I was right about the border but wrong about the Soviets. I've seen this 'fact' repeated so often, sometimes by well respected authors, that I thought it must be true, but to repeat my somewhat OT question, has any other track ever been divided by an international border?

The CERN track http://en.wikipedia....Hadron_Collider notorious for its collisions - as reported by Atlas.... http://atlas.ch/

(Sorry, couldn't help it) :blush:

#41 Stephen W

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Posted 26 June 2012 - 08:36

Slightly more off topic. The Silverstone GP Circuit is in 2 different Counties which I believe can affect Planning Permission, Public and Coroner Enquiries. The unused Donington Loop is also in a different County to the currently layout used which is maybe why it was never developed alongside the rest of the circuit.


One of British Aerospace's sites is similarly affected. Development has only taken place on one half as the council in charge of that part of the site are far more sympathetic to planning applications.

:wave:

#42 Allan Lupton

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Posted 26 June 2012 - 08:56

Slightly more off topic. The Silverstone GP Circuit is in 2 different Counties which I believe can affect Planning Permission, Public and Coroner Enquiries.

At one time, if not still, there was an agreement that for some purposes - police certainly and therefore perhaps coroner - Silverstone was in Northamptonshire no matter what the County boundary did.
Good but sad example was when Phil Scragg had his fatal accident on the approach to Stowe corner (Buckinghamshire) we stewards liaised with the Northants police.

#43 Amphicar

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Posted 26 June 2012 - 09:28

Slightly more off topic. The Silverstone GP Circuit is in 2 different Counties which I believe can affect Planning Permission, Public and Coroner Enquiries. The unused Donington Loop is also in a different County to the currently layout used which is maybe why it was never developed alongside the rest of the circuit.

Although the Silverstone circuit is covered by two local planning authorities (South Northamptonshire District Council and Aylesbury Vale District Council), the two authorities work together over the development of the circuit and have compatible policies in their local plans. Both councils have adopted the Silverstone Circuit Masterplan as supplementary planning guidance.

#44 BRG

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Posted 26 June 2012 - 19:29

Then of course there is beach racing and ice (frozen lake) racing. I suppose both count as non-permanent tracks.

#45 HeskethBoy

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Posted 03 July 2012 - 03:23

I cannot see what the fixation with 'street circuits' is. Lousy spectator facilitys, the whole safety thing has to be reomoved and relaced. And after that it is not safe!! If you build a standalone circuit it would not be passed with the multiple defincies of a street circuit. Making the whole scenario dumb, and dumber.


The huge appeal of 'street circuits' to entrepeneurial types is that they are close to a crowd (not necessarily enthusiasts) and are quite often paid for by a government or semi-government body.
The fact that such venues do nothing for motor "sport" has no bearing on either the promoter, nor to the vote seeking government-types who construct these venues.

I'll get off my soap-box now.

#46 Stephen W

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Posted 03 July 2012 - 08:21

The huge appeal of 'street circuits' to entrepeneurial types is that they are close to a crowd (not necessarily enthusiasts) and are quite often paid for by a government or semi-government body.
The fact that such venues do nothing for motor "sport" has no bearing on either the promoter, nor to the vote seeking government-types who construct these venues.

I'll get off my soap-box now.


I think the worst thing about the "street circuit" concept is that any profits from running such a venue tend in the main to go into private pockets rather than back into the sport. By that I mean that at venues such as Silverstone, Brands Hatch and Donington Park any profits would tend to get ploughed back into the circuits.

The only up-side to "street circuits" is that it does bring to the attention of locals the whole pageant of motor sport and may increase visitor numbers to permanent venues.

:wave:

#47 HeskethBoy

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Posted 04 July 2012 - 01:47

The only up-side to "street circuits" is that it does bring to the attention of locals the whole pageant of motor sport and may increase visitor numbers to permanent venues.

:wave:

Sadly, we don't see that happening in Australia - perhaps other places have more luck.

#48 Lee Nicolle

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Posted 04 July 2012 - 08:14

I think the worst thing about the "street circuit" concept is that any profits from running such a venue tend in the main to go into private pockets rather than back into the sport. By that I mean that at venues such as Silverstone, Brands Hatch and Donington Park any profits would tend to get ploughed back into the circuits.

The only up-side to "street circuits" is that it does bring to the attention of locals the whole pageant of motor sport and may increase visitor numbers to permanent venues.

:wave:

Doesnt happen. Just brings all the yobs and trendys who are more interested in partying and the after race concert.
It is a major drain on local motorsport, and really it does not matter where it is.

Some 'street' circuits can be excused, Bathurst is the stand out here in Oz. But still a lousy spectator venue. One of the reasons I have never been to the race, though I was an entrant one year in a support race.

#49 wenoopy

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Posted 04 July 2012 - 10:56

Monaco, Pau etc etc etc, I accept as pure street tracks, of course, but Montreal was created on that artificial island while Valencia is rather odd. Look at the Marina area on Google Earth, the image is from 2007 and there is virtually no sign of the roads that are about to be used in today's race.

To me this circuit has been created entirely for Formula 1, so surely it can't really be described as a street track.


Forgive me for playing "devil's advocate" here, but in the words(*) of Monaco founder Antony Noghes "Some of the obstacles seemed to be insuperable - the steps near the Bureau de Tabac, for example, had to be replaced by an inclined plane connecting the Quai des Etats Unis with the Quai Albert Premier."

This alteration was necessary in order to create the circuit, before the first Monaco G.P. in 1929. Does this rule it out as a genuine pure street track?

Stu

(*) The Monaco Grand Prix, David Hodges (Temple, 1964)

#50 ggnagy

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Posted 08 July 2012 - 01:57

The Schenley Park circuit for the Pittsburgh Vintage Grand Prix has never been modified to my knowledge, other than moving the paddock/SF. The only Chicane added is a haybale affair. It is located in a park, but at least two of the roads used are secondary arteries out of the city and out of the "higher learning" district. It is only closed for racing once a year, and all streets are open to vehicular traffic the rest of the year. You can "travel" the circuit with google street view.