Many racetracks use the winter break for renovation measures. In Miami, on the other hand, a whole new Grand Prix course is being built from scratch. We show you pictures of the most important major construction sites in the racing world.
Anyone who thinks that you only build a racetrack once and then have no more worries is wrong. You just have to ask the operators of the Circuit of the Americas. The Texas roller coaster, which opened in 2012, has been resurfaced several times since it opened. But the problem with the bumps was never properly resolved.
Last year the MotoGP stars jumped through the S-curves on their bikes. A few weeks later, their colleagues from Formula 1 also cursed over the mogul slope. And that despite the fact that the biggest "bumps" had just been milled away with special equipment. The cosmetics were not enough. But because the Grand Prix was sold out with more than 400,000 visitors, there is now enough money in the register to solve the problem in the long term.
Experts scanned the subsurface with radar and measured it with lasers to find the biggest waves. Special software then determines which sections are most urgently due for work. In the end, those responsible decided to completely resurface the track between turns 12 and 16. In curves 2 and 10, the concrete layer was reinforced.
More gravel beds in Spa-Francorchamps
In contrast to the track in Spa-Francorchamps, this is just a minor detail. The traditional course in the Ardennes will be completely renovated. They've been at Eau Rouge for a few months now. After the dramatic accidents in recent years, the legendary section is to be defused.
The combination of curves gets tighter and therefore slower. The outlet will be enlarged and filled with gravel beds. This should prevent cars from being thrown into the line of fire of following traffic after an accident. In order to create additional fall space, even the famous chalet had to be demolished, enthroned on the hill to the left above the Eau Rouge Passage.
Also in the fast double-links "Pouhon", the full-throttle bend "Blanchimont" and the subsequent target chicane (formerly "Bus-Stop-Chicane"), the asphalt surface was largely replaced by gravel beds. The run-off zones have also been redesigned in the La Source hairpin, as well as the Les Combes (T6), Malmedy (T7) and Bruxelles curve sections. The paddock will also be modernized.
Döttinger milled higher
In Barcelona there has also been a lot of hard work over the past few weeks, albeit not quite as extreme as in the Ardennes. The paddock drainage on the Catalan Grand Prix circuit has been renewed. Turn 4 now has a new track barrier on the outside. And on the long straight, the safety fence was renewed.
Although the Nürburgring is not part of the current Formula 1 calendar, the excavators roll in the Eifel every winter. Those responsible have chosen the Döttingerhöhe for the current break. An asphalt milling machine worked its way along the long Nordschleife straight through the Antoniusbuche, Tiergarten and Hohenrain chicane sections to the Grand Prix circuit.
The new asphalt should be in place by the end of February and the old patchwork carpet with some nasty bumps should be a thing of the past. The owners paid 2.5 million euros for the construction work. Those responsible promise that the route characteristics will not change as a result of the work.
First asphalt in Miami
In addition to the partial renovations, complete racetracks are also being rebuilt. In Miami, the newest Grand Prix course is being built around the Hard Rock Stadium, on which the premier class is scheduled to do its first laps at the beginning of May. Luckily for the builders, the Miami Dolphins' NFL season was over before the playoffs. This has allowed the work to pick up speed in the last few weeks.
In mid-January, the laying of the first layer of asphalt began in some sections. The first grandstands have already been set up for this purpose. Due to the huge enthusiasm for Formula 1 in the USA, the first Miami race has long been sold out - with prices starting at 600 euros for the weekend ticket. In the gallery we show you some impressions of the largest motorsport construction sites.