The Red Bull Ring has revealed its newly completed chicane, which MotoGP will use for the first time in August’s Austrian Grand Prix.
The new left-right chicane has been built to increase the safety for the MotoGP bikes after the near-disaster of two years ago.
When MotoGP first went to the Red Bull Ring in 2016, the wall on the outside of the entry was deemed too close to the track, so it was pushed back.
Then, in 2020, the layout itself presented a danger when Franco Morbidelli’s Yamaha threaded itself between Valentino Rossi and Maverick Vinales narrowly missing both riders. Fortunately all involved were okay, but it became clear that a revision to the layout would be necessary to increase the safety of the circuit for MotoGP.
That revision has now been completed with the new chicane having been built. In the initial drawings from last year, it seemed that the chicane would be quite flowing; reducing the speed, but not dramatically.
However, in reality, a more abrupt approach has been taken, with a dead-stop right-left chicane punctuating turns one and two.
The project was undertaken with the cooperation of the FIM, Dorna, and the FIA, although Formula 1 will continue to use the now standard layout without the chicane.
However, it was F1 race track designer Hermann Tilke who played a lead role.
“Reduced speed was needed in MotoGP in this section of the track,” he explained.
“This was achieved through the compact right-left combination which refrains from impacting the rest of the track.
“The planning was a real challenge due to the topography of the terrain, above all.”
The design is “based on specific speed calculations, in which the dimensions of the run-off zones and the other safety facilities were accounted for,” according to the Red Bull Ring.
Whether the change of layout will shake up the pecking order at the Spielberg circuit remains to be seen, although neither Ducati nor KTM expected to take a big performance hit when asked.
The 2022 Austrian Grand Prix takes place on August 19-21.