MATTERS OF MOMENT, July 1994

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MATTERS OF MOMENT

The way forward?

Hid this year’s British Grand Prix has Vtaken place, we won’t know how effective the latest modifications to Silverstone will prove to be. From what we have seen so far, however, we are encouraged, particularly in the light of what we have witnessed elsewhere.

The temporary chicane erected in Spain was a farce, but it was either that or no race; the edifice in Canada didn’t look quite so silly, and was a touch more practical, but it was hardly what you’d call an enhancement. Quite what will be done about Spa’s Eau Rouge this corning August remains to be seen, but it is already known that one of motor racing’s greatest challenges will be emaciated by a temporary chicane this year, until more suitable, permanent arrangements can be made to permit the increased run-off areas that will enable the existing circuit to remain unmolested.

No question, the upgrading of circuits to suit Fl cars is a thorny problem.

Recent events have given motor racing little choice but to implement drastic changes at a time when there is already one Hungaroring too many (and other circuits are in danger of becoming clones of Budapest’s tiresome labyrinth).

Silverstone’s response, however, offers us hope. On the surface, the changes will unquestionably have improved the standard of the existing safety installations, in line with recommendations. This has been achieved, however, without detracting from the circuit’s capacity to entertain. Indeed, those who have driven on it report that the revised layout offers greater overtaking opportunities than its predecessor. This, surely, has to be the way forward as the sport strives to regain credibility follow ing its bleak spring? S A

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