Track Data & Statistics
Lap Distance - 3.641 miles
Race Laps - 53
Fastest Lap - 1:27.623
1st Split - 21.9 - 22.3
2nd Split - 45.7 - 46.3
3rd Split - 1:05.7 - 1:06.4
The most prominent feature of this track surely is the overcrossing layout which makes it unique in F1, but other than that, it also offers a lot of fast and densely packed curves along with two slow and difficult combinations which make this a very challenging F1-track indeed.
Swoop right onto the start-straight as you accelerate hard in order to cross the starting line in 6th gear at almost 300 km/h (187 mph) and keep accelerating in a half-left lane so that you don't have to make any further corrections when the road gets narrower towards the end. Forget about the thousands of onlookers on the tribunes on the left - you'll be back in less than 90 seconds anyway and then you'll have time enough to celebrate.
The track starts with a difficult combination of two curves which is typical for this circuit - the First Curve is very fast but the second one that follows it closely is rather slow so that you need to find a good transition between them. Brake shortly to a speed of approximately 260 km/h (163 mph) just before the blue armco on the right touches the screen border and shift down the gears 5 and 4. The car will go wide and automatically be in a good position for the upcoming slow right-hander. Let the car regain it's stability as you let it roll freely in 3rd gear and watch the speed drop gradually from 240 km/h (150 mph) to 200+ km/h (131 mph). [ A few well-timed short bursts of throttle can't harm here ] Concentrate on the apex of the slow right-hander and when you think that the moment is right, step into the brakes and use the strong rearward brake bias to induce a strong oversteer that will let you swing closely past the inner curbs at 170+ km/h (106 mph). [ This is not an easy manoeuvre and may need some practice before it works out well. ] Hit the throttle again upon exiting the curve and drive over the curbs before pulling back on the road again.
Accelerate in 4th, steer left into the first of the twisty S Curves and then turn right while still driving flat-out. Accelerate deep into the curve but let go of the throttle shortly in order to stay on the track upon exiting. [ Usually releasing the throttle once is already enough to make it through safely ] The minimum speed should well be above 240 km/h (150 mph).
Step on it and rev up the engine in 4th gear as you accelerate to 265+ km/h (166+ mph) at the limit of your grip envelope. Still gassing, turn left and prepare yourself for an early brake manoeuvre. Step into the brakes just as the road straightens out and shift down to 3rd gear at 175 km/h (109 mph) while turning right into the last of the S curves. It is very important that you kill almost all of the sidewards motion before turning into this curve because there are no curbs that you could use to broaden the track and the only way to accelerate early here is to brake early. [ In my opinion this is the most important curve of the track. ] Wait until the car points the right way before applying throttle again and dive into the small depression before shooting upward through the Dunlop curve, a long, impressive left-handed sweep.
Rev up the gears 3, 4 and 5 before leaving this long curve behind you and shift to the 6th as you come onto the short straight that will lead you to the Degner curve. Pass beneath the white overhead placard at 300 km/h (188 mph) and enter the first part of the right-handed curve with your foot planted firmly on the gas at 309 km/h (193 mph). Aim for the broad and flat curbs on the outer side in order to have more room to maneuver when having to steer and brake for the difficult part of this combination. Put the car completely on these curbs and drive down them almost to the end before stepping into the brakes and shifting back to the third gear while steering to the right at 180-200 km/h. Stay free of the inner curbs on the right and step on the gas as you are about to leave the curve.
Pass beneath Crossover and accelerate towards the Hairpin curve as you shift up to 4th and finally 5th gear. Move over to the right side of the track and drive at 280 km/h (175 mph) within a hand's breath of the track boundary.
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