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Wolff laments "car park" circuits

NEWS STORY
26/05/2017

The Mille Miglia was an endurance race which took place on open roads in Italy, and as the name suggests ran for approximately 1,000 miles.

First run in 1927; between 1953 and 1957 it comprised a round of the World Sports Car Championship. Sadly however, two fatal accidents during the running of the 1957 event, one costing the lives of nine spectators - five of whom were children - saw the event banned.

In 1977 the event was revived, though essentially as a parade, limited to cars produced no later than 1957, which had attended or registered for the original event.

In the break between the Spanish and Monaco Grands Prix, Toto Wolff and Aldo Costa contested the event in a 1952 ex-Caracciola Mercedes-Benz 300 SL W 194 Prototype, the Mercedes team boss keeping fans updated on his progress via Twitter.

Back in the F1 paddock, Wolff has admitted that the thrill of driving the iconic car on open roads and through picturesque villages from Brescia to Rome and back, taking in the likes of Lake Garda, Padua and San Marino, left him lamenting some of the excuses for circuits that comprise the current calendar of the pinnacle of motorsport.

"The DNA of F1 was about the best technology, with the best drivers sitting on a bullet and trying to drive that bullet," he enthused.

"Somehow this became clear to me why I love this sport," he continued. "It is about doing something that nobody else dared to do, and with the passion for cars. Motor racing is life, and there is so much passion and so much emotion, throughout all the generation for cars and drivers.

"To drive these cars today you need courage, more on some tracks than others, and we don't want to race on tracks that are like supermarket car parks," he sighed. "When you missed a corner in the old days you were dead or hurt. Today, you miss a corner, you run wide and rejoin. But not in Monte Carlo, maybe not in Spa, maybe not in Monza, and maybe not in Suzuka.

"We need to go back to tracks where you realise who the best are," he declared. ""This (Monaco) is one of those tracks. This is where we need to go back."

Sadly however, despite the epiphany somewhere between Brescia and Rome, the Austrian appears to have subsequently lost the plot.

"It is not only about watching the Mille Miglia and seeing you can go quite fast in cities," he said.

"The success of Formula E is being in town," he continued. "The cars are not spectacular but they look fast in a city context, and you can see the attraction of Monte Carlo. So I think we should be moving away from the airport-like structures.

“It is not spectacular. I can sit in an F1 car (at tracks with run-off). Give me two weeks of training, I will spin the car 100 times, I will look at the data and maybe I will go quite fast because maybe there is no risk."

It was all going so well, and then he had to spoil it all. While FOM is dead keen to head into the cities, race fans are only too aware of the limitations of street tracks.

Next time Toto feels like heading down the yellow brick road and retracing a classic event, spare a thought for some of the classic, purpose built circuits we have lost over the years, circuits that probably fuelled his original love of the sport.

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READERS COMMENTS

 

1. Posted by Superbird70, 26/05/2017 19:42

"Is Montreal a street circuit? If so it seems to work.

Anyone remember Long Beach, Detroit, Dallas? Not so much."

Rating: Positive (1)     Rate comment: Positive | NegativeReport this comment

2. Posted by Paul C, 26/05/2017 16:42

"How about this for a Toto approved F1 race: Run the 2018 French GP on the full Le Mans circuit."

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3. Posted by nonickname, 26/05/2017 16:19

"Imagine MotoGp run like F1, Neck braces,halo's rollover bars,bullet proof monocoques,as opposed to pure racing with only the balls of the rider keeping it together. Not going to happen. It as ridiculous as bull fighting with the bulls having rubber hors and the matador a plastic sword.
There used to be 2 forms of sport motor raring and bull fighting, there still are, motoGp and bull fighting."

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4. Posted by Editor, 26/05/2017 15:40

"@ edlorca

You agree with Toto... yet he is suggesting city and street tracks."

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5. Posted by edllorca, 26/05/2017 15:33

"I agree with Toto. Cities are not racetracks and neither are the latest sanitized tilketracks. Sinuous undulating tracks with non violent consequences to mistakes will bring the F1 ethos back again."

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