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F1 on an Oval? Why not?

That tracks have changed for safety reasons is unarguable; it had to happen, but I can’t get excited about so many of the circuits that are raced on these days. Then reading something the other day struck a chord with me.

It was a picture of Regga airborne in his 1974 Ferrari 312T at the ‘Ring and the caption mentioned F1 having outgrown the track. This got me thinking about whether that was right. Certainly it is true, but that doesn’t make it right.

In most logical arguments as to why we hear that it is aerodynamics that need billiard table smooth circuits to work properly. That is understandable, but my premise is that the designers should be required to produce cars that work on the circuits and not make circuits to fit the cars. Surely this will enhance the challenge? If the aerodynamics become less effective as a result then that brings the opportunity to improve overtaking without all of the nonsense of DRS and the like.

To have a greater variety of tracks to race on would be a good thing, especially if the level of competition is higher. The other week when the suggestion of a street race in Vegas was mooted I, slightly tongue in cheek, suggested that if F1 wanted to race there then they should run on the oval. Thinking about that further, why not? Oval racing is perfectly legitimate and throws up a different set of skills, so why not take F1 there? It has been done before; AVUS was a form of oval, Monza included the banking more than once and, although the F1 cars didn’t race there at the time, Indy was part of the World Championship for several seasons in the 1950s before F1 did run on the part oval, part road track there.

I know that this will never happen as the forces that have got us to where we are now are to entrenched to countenance a change, but perhaps the car manufacturer teams might like consider this. If I bought a Mercedes, Renault, Ferrari or Honda and found that I could only drive it on the motorway how might I feel?




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