Regarding the recent critique of circuits which has appeared here:
Sakhir: This is the role model for Tilke's philosophy in track design. Straight, hairpin, straight, hairpin, short straight, a sequence of fast sweepers ending with a tight corner, short straight, hairpin, straight, etc.
Only later has he added multiple apex "corners" which look like cgi artifacts because the parts between the apexes are straights, modelled on Turn 8 from Istambul Park which now is not being used anymore, or is it?
Valencia Marina: Oh the anachronism of staging a street race in a town which does have a FIA Grade 1T rated permanent racetrack. When designing this one, Tilke believed you could overtake at the end of straights if they are not really straight but drivers would weave back and forth from one side of the road to the other. That turned out to be wrong. He also believed it would create exciting races if the track was so difficult to drive that drivers have to focus their full attention onto keeping their line so they are fast. Wrong. This way, they cannot focus on wrestling with their opponents because they constantly wrestle with the track. Hence: boredom. The comparison of Liuzzi at Monza in a Force 1ndia and Badoer at Valencia in a Ferrari proved that simple tracks level the playing field amongst drivers which results in more competition and excitement for competitors and spectators alike whilst on difficult tracks, the gap between drivers who are a bit rusty and those who are not, is much bigger. So basically, this shows simplicity in a racetrack creates better races. And eventually, the better drivers will win, no matter on what track.
The first time I saw the track was in qualifying to the first race that took place there. And it was so boring I decided to drive my mother to the supermarket. Surprisingly, we met my uncle there who has been the biggest F1 fan of the family, getting everybody into the sport ever since he almost accidentally watched Jean-Pierre Beltoise win the Monaco GP in the 70s. He also considered the Valencia GP not worth watching. I have watched it once, because of Luca Badoer. That shall remain the only time.
Singapore: the night race does look like they were racing through a parking garage but as a street track, it's very fine. I'm somewhat worried about the safety features in place though. Yet, I feel the racing would be better if it were not a night race. This is a type of track which was long absent from F1 and the series has benefitted greatly from the variety it adds to the calendar.
Yas Marina /Abu Dhabi: Tilke said straight, chicane, hairpin, straight, chicane, straight, hairpin, chicane, short straight, multiple apex corner of consisting straight pieces, short straight, and some awkward looking corners to tie them together in a way that there is still enough space for a huge hotel that will look very dated in a while.
Yet, the circuit has shown some good racing. I'd say it's the best middle eastern circuit F1 has been on or been mentioned in connection with. Kamui Kobayashi in his 2nd race for Toyota vs Jenson Button in the Brawn and Vitaly Petrov in the Renault vs Fernando Alonso in the Ferrari are the kind of battles which this track is famous for. And deservedly so. I wouldn't visit it, though.
New Hockenheim: Maybe better for DTM than the old one, but F1 is missing the one circuit where the compromise in car setup to accomodate both the motodrome and the long straights through the forest messed with the pecking order for once during a season. If I ever get to Hockenheim with my girlfriend, I'll take her for a walk around the path that leads to the old Ostkurve. I'm pretty certain she will like it there. But the Mercedes Arena has taken away a lot of the fascination people had with the Motodrome which is not the same ever since.
Texas: to be determined; on paper, it looks like a mixture of Buddh and Korea and Valencia, with an unnecessary mickey-mousey stadium section in the middle of it. I guess we will only find out how good it really is once IndyCar runs it.
Yeongam / Korea: Well, it's a partial street circuit through a town that's not there yet, through a town which Tilke planned but didn't materialize. Whereas Valencia Marina is known as the race next to the building site, Yeongam is known as the race through the middle of the building site. It's the stuff F1 Rejects dream of. HWNSNBM should take his two-seater for a spin there ASAP. I'm not sure I have seen a race there but if so, I don't think it was particularly interesting.
This may be harsh on Tilke but the one thing he achieved is that people now know better what does work in track design to create interesting events and what does not.
“Mexico City is a better place to hold the (Mexican GP) than Cancun,” said Ecclestone. “In more or less any city around the world you could ask people ‘where is Mexico City?’ and they would say ‘Mexico’.”