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July 24, 2011

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Andrew

I am guessing its as you mentioned, they are using the touring car chicane as the escape road. While touring car faces the same problem, the rate of speed which the F1 car carries probably means that they need to have more of a safety margin....

DJL

I don't "know" the answer, but I suspect it has something to do with the following:

Every corner on F1 road courses has some sort of run off area; street courses are different, but even in most of those they try to provide a run-off area in most of the corners, especially the ones that cars will approach at high speed. F1 cars move at speeds that are significantly higher than touring cars, and they need some sort of run-off area, or gravel trap in each corner to stop them from hitting grass, and sliding head first into the metal barrier at what would literally be break-neck speeds.

Another reason for the run off areas has to do with road clearance, if a touring car goes off the track into the grass, it's not a big deal as long as the suspension doesn't get trashed. Going off the road in an F1 car can lead to significant underbody damage assuming it doesn't get completely stuck.

And finally, if two F1 cars trade paint going into a tight corner, the chances are pretty good one of them is going to end up with a damaged front wing, or a punctured tire, or some sort of damage that will put them in the pits long enough to move them to the back of the order if not completely out of the race. When two touring cars touch, unless one of them spins out, race ruining damage isn't nearly as likely.

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