The addition of a tarmac run-off area on the outside of Monza’s final corner (known to many by its name: the Parabolica) has now been extended to the corner’s exit, which may allow drivers to gain time by running off course heading onto the front straight.
The Autodromo Nazionale Monza, often referred to as Monza, is one of the most historic Formula One courses on the schedule, having hosted a Grand Prix every year since the series’ inception (barring 1980).
The 92-year-old circuit has withstood the test of time and has become a favorite amongst Formula One fans.
So, when it came to light on social media that the Parabolica was going to be modified, Twitter lit up:
At first, it may not seem like much. The actual racing surface of the corner is going to remain the same, and so the 180 degree turn should retain its same fast, ongoing, unforgiving, hard-to-hit-apex nature that it’s had in the past.
However, the removal of the gravel trap from the outside of the turn means drivers will not be penalized as much if they miss the apex and slide off course.
And don’t say it doesn’t happen …
The replacement of the gravel trap with a paved run-off area will make the corner safer for motorcycle riders who run off there, considering that the gravel can easily toss a rider off of his bike at such a fast turn. However, paved run-off areas have became under a lot of scrutiny in Formula 1 recently, partially due to the crashes they can lead to, such as demonstrated by Kimi Raikkonen on the opening lap of the 2014 British Grand Prix.
Initially, the turn’s saving grace seemed to be that it looked like just the entry where the gravel was being removed, meaning that drivers would not be able to take advantage of the run-off area by running wide on the exit.