SEPTEMBER 26, 2008
The monster kerbs of Singapore
The general reaction in F1 to the new Singapore circuit has been good, but there are several drivers who are worried about Turn 10, the chicane at the end of the back straight, in front of the Old Supreme Court building. The kerbs in the chicane are spectacularly high and drivers fear that any mistake will result in serious damage to the cars.
"The kerbs are really high," said Sebastien Bourdais. "They had kerbs like that the first year we went to Monterrey in Champ Cars in 2003 and Lola was smiling all the way to the bank because chassis were getting broken all the time. This is not good for Formula 1 because the material we have here is supposed to be used in China and Japan and if we wreck too many cars that is going to be a big problem."
Bourdais's opinion was shared by Felipe Massa, who described the kerbs as "little tortoises". The Brazilian said that if a driver makes a mistake "you wreck the car". Mark Webber said that he was concerned about the kerbs and intends to have a chat with FIA Race Director Charlie Whiting about the situation while Fernando Alonso has joined the debate, saying that the solution is not the best possible.
"We worry that if you miss the chicane or miss the line then you have to go over the kerbs - and then perhaps you damage the chassis or damage the bottom. You can take the T-car. But if you damage two, you go home. This is a concern at the moment."
Bourdais has suggested that the best way to solve the problem is to add concrete between the kerbs and smooth them off so that it remains a deterrent for drivers but would not demolish cars.