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Grooves in the home straight: Are the first 12 starting positions bad?

Grooves in the home straight
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Are the first twelve starting positions an advantage or a handicap? The home stretch at Spa presents a mixed picture this year. On the section of the first twelve starting places, grooves run diagonally across the road. The rest of the home stretch looks the same as always.

S ebastian Vettel already had the opportunity to inspect the section more closely on his route visit. 'On the grooves you probably have a small disadvantage when accelerating. The tire is on less surface.'

Grooves ensure better drainage

auto motor und sport has at FIA race director Charlie Whiting asked what the grooves were all about and why they were only milled into the asphalt over a limited section. The answer is simple. 'In this section the water runs over the piste when it rains. The grooves ensure better drainage.'

'We have had very good experiences with this trick in Brazil. There are four places on the route, next year a second passage will be added between curves 11 and 12 in Spa. There, too, there are often problems with poorly draining water when it rains. '

When it rains, the first starting places are better

Those responsible do not believe that the first twelve starting places are severely disadvantaged. If the FIA ​​had been concerned that the field would jam at La Source, it would not have given its approval for the asphalt corrections.

The approach to the first bend is relatively short at 265 meters anyway. Some teams have already complained about possible disadvantages at the start. You might think differently about it on Sunday. When it is wet, the grooved asphalt offers better grip. Because the water flows off better there.

No starting exercises on the home straight

The FIA ​​will also no longer allow the teams to start exercises on the home straight. This has been the case in the past because the home stretch in Spa is uphill. But in Abu Dhabi 2012, you had bad experiences with training starts on the home straight.

In an effort to optimize the start-up procedures, the engineers have done too much of a good thing in some cases. And then the shot backfired. 'We almost had a bad start-up accident,' says Whiting. That’s why it’s the same in Spa: If you want to practice starts, you have to do itdo the pit exit.


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