I've not been able to watch live any of the free practices or the qualy but from a few onboards I've seen... T19 is indeed one of the better corners, it's a very simple type of corner that has been underused in recent track designs, mid-speed kink linking two straights.
However I am slightly disappointed about two things... first of all the turns 8/9 S is too slow and too close together to the previous quick corners complex. I see it is challenging no doubt but ruins the flow a bit there. The other issue I have is much to my surprise the four-apex turn 16/17/18 seems flat!! At least in the pole lap it was. I never expected it to be as good as Turkey's Turn 8 as the run down to it is very short but nevertheless that's a bit underwhelming, presumably during the race it'll be more challenging.
Overall it's still a good circuit no doubt but I felt a slightly better vibe before actually watching the onboards. The good part is too intense and too crammed together, whereas the rest of the lap is nothing particularly special despite a couple decent features in the four-apex, the T19 kink and the overrated uphill run to T1.
I take back some comments as I was again pleased after watching the actual race.
T1 is no massive challenge but makes for some spectacular TV images particularly when the field is close together and goes through it. The passes into T1 then completed into T2 were lovely to watch. I think for all the complaining the track is too wide, that strip of tarmac from the exit from T1 to T2 narrows A LOT suddenly, and that adds to the excitement when the fields goes through it on the first lap.
T3-T9 albeit I still think 8/9 should be slightly more open, look great on TV during the race.
The slow corners complex T12/T15, which we've criticized a lot and did look rather pointless during hotlaps, were brilliant for racing allowing for divebomb late breaking passes, and passing and re-passing back-and-forth battles. I was up for straightlining that complex before, after watching the race I think it's just fine as it is.
I still maintain that the four-apex is a little underwhelming in terms of challenge but the surprising following T19 makes up for it.
Class track, fantastic TV shots, great atmosphere, great race. Perhaps in future years it won't be as eventful when the track surface isn't as green but this event was a big success from my point of view. Like someone said here recently, this venue definitely shits all over Korea, India, Abu Dhabi and the other recent tracks, even if I already had thought Korea and India were a step up over previous awful designs and a move in the right direction.
Edited by noikeee, 19 November 2012 - 09:41.