Following multiple close calls at Turn 3 in recent years, the Red Bull Ring has revealed the new-chicane that will be used in all future MotoGP races.
On Wednesday morning, ahead of the Austrian Grand Prix in August, the Austrian venue revealed satellite photographs of the chicane, which is located in the center of the ultra-fast, curved Turn 2 that runs up to the sluggish Turn 3 right hander.
The new portion of the track consists of a slow extended chicane with a curved entry to the new Turn 2 right-hander, followed by a short run into the left-handed Turn 3, with the ensuing run up to the unmodified now Turn 4 now substantially slower than previous outings at the circuit.
Because the chicane runs parallel to the traditional curved portion, all car-based events will continue to use the old layout, with the chicane variant being used primarily for bike-based racing.
The Red Bull Ring’s new section of track was designed by renowned Formula 1 circuit designer Hermann Tilke, who went through 15 different concepts during the planning process due to the difficult “topography of the terrain.”
“Reduced speed was needed in MotoGP in this section of the track,” said Tilke. “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 Red Bull Ring started work on the new chicane in November of last year in order to be ready for the 2022 edition of the Austrian Grand Prix, after a terrifying crash involving Franco Morbidelli and Johann Zarco in the 2020 Austrian Grand Prix.
The unmanned bikes flew across the infield section on the inside of Turn 3 before crossing the track after the two collided on entry to the bend, the lack of a wall causing the cartwheeling bikes to narrowly miss Yamaha’s Maverick Vinales and Valentino Rossi as they navigated the bend, resulting in the race being red-flagged.
For the next weekend’s Styrian GP at the same site, a temporary wall was placed on the inside of the bend, though a more permanent alteration was planned in the months after to try to avoid any future difficulties at the bend.
The decision was made to slow the entry for motorcycles while keeping the traditional run into the corner for automobile racing, culminating in the construction of the new chicane.