Toto Wolff: Mercedes boss has advocated for more ‘soulful’ old-school tracks like Imola and Bahrain in Formula 1.
Imola is known as the Autodromo Internazionale Enzo e Dino Ferrari ever since Enzo Ferrari’s death in 1988. The track has an old-school classic vibe and has proved to be fatal for four drivers in the past. But Toto Wolff is in awe of it and has called for the FIA to produce more such tracks.
“I really like racing in Imola and I really the tracks where you are actually really penalized when you make a mistake.”
Wolff calls the current crop of racing circuits “oversized supermarket parking lots”. Fair to him, the modern circuits are indeed quite broad and allows for much more comfortable racing. Whereas, yesterday at Imola qualifying, a number of drivers had their lap timings deleted for regularly going off the line.
“I’ve always been very vocal that I disagree with the direction we have taken with racing on oversized supermarket parking lots because it takes the factor of the driver and his skill away. “
Toto Wolff has also advocated for the use of gravel beds to ensure drivers ‘suffer’ when they rejoin from it. He concluded by asserting it is just a suggestion, and the final authority rests with the FIA and FOM.
“We need to bring gravel beds back to make sure that when you are flying off you can’t rejoin without any damage to your car. I think probably you can adapt most of the circuits to that kind of standard, but these classic historic racetracks will always have a soul. But again I am not a circuit designer, I’m just giving my feedback from what I’ve seen.”
Bahrain also has a soul: Toto Wolff
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Toto Wolff complimented Bahrain’s Sakhir International Circuit from the current crop of F1 circuits. He feels Bahrain has the ‘soul’, and that is what more circuit designs need to be re-focused towards.
“You can say that from the modern circuits, Bahrain also has a soul. We have been in Bahrain for a long time, but maybe we just need to adapt the circuits in exactly the way I’ve described.”