F1 at Zandvoort: circuit with real leca and false leca
Formula 1 activity began at the Zandvoort circuit. This is a historic road course for the category which recently returned to the calendar and implemented an experimental solution by introducing “fake” gravel areas, which aims to reduce the risk of red flags.
The cover photo shows how the solution was incorporated into Turn 12, the second part of the Hans Ernst chicane.
WHY LECA FALSE?
The update follows problems at last year’s Grand Prix, where there were several red flags for the leca that dragged the single-seaters onto the track.
Zandvoort didn’t want to mount any asphalt runoff, so the organization created a special one-metre-wide area that runs close to the curb at Turn 12.
FACT: the leca has been covered with a resin type material. Its appearance continues to be leca, but in reality it is a completely solid surface.
This means that riders who drift a bit out of the turn won’t be running on a loose leash, which should help reduce dirt entering the trail considerably.
The solid area presents a slippery and uneven surface, which implies that it will offer paltry grip. This is to prevent runners from trying to gain an advantage by using that extra yard, as they won’t have grip and the real leca would be too close.
Behind this “false” leca is the normal gravel area, which will slow down cars going off the line.
Dutch GP sporting director Jan Lammers felt that if the idea worked, Zandvoort’s solution could be adopted at other circuits.
KEEP THE TRADITION
From the start, the organizers of the Dutch GP wanted to keep the traditional dirt sections of the circuit, instead of replacing them with asphalt tracks.
F1 CEO Stefano Domenicali believes leca areas are something the sport needs to maintain, as they help to better define track boundaries.
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