Autodrome Hermanos Rodríguez

Thu, 09/01/2016 - 16:38

Formula 1 racing has returned to Mexico and the refurbished Autodrome Hermanos Rodríguez. Inaugurated in 1959, the racetrack has hosted local racing legends like Pedro and Ricardo Rodríguez and international stars such as Jim Clark, John Surtees, Graham Hill, Emerson Fittipaldi, Nelson Piquet, Alain Prost, Ayrton Senna, Nigel Mansell and Michael Schumacher. The track hosted the Mexican Grand Prix from 1986 to 1992 and last year Formula 1 made a triumphant comeback on a fully renovated site.

For the 2015 Grand Prix, the racetrack and drainage system at the autodrome were remodeled. The track was completely redesigned and underwent an asphalting process to comply with safety measurements and assure extremely flat surfaces. The foundation posed an engineering challenge. It required the use of geotextile materials as filler and a concrete structure to prevent subsidence. The magnitude of the project required an asphalt plant to be built inside the compound or the remodeling of the track, the run-off areas and paddocks would not have been finished on time. The introduction of an S-shaped chicane kept cars in sight of the main stage for longer.

The racetrack has a total length of 4.305km with a main straight of 1.302km and a width that ranges between 12- 17m. There are 17 corners: seven left turns and 10 right turns. Curves four, five and six allow crowds to keep drivers in sight for a long period of time. The venue can hold 28,000 spectators.

Two straights of over 500m each give drivers the room to accelerate up to 328km per hour. To withstand the friction of the constant passing of cars at high speeds, the racetrack was coated with three layers of asphalt. The base coat has a thichness of five centimeters, the binder is a coat of two centimeters and the wearing layer consists of three-centimeters. It has 30 pits for teams and an additional three pits for the International Automobile Federation (FIA).

The Autodrome was designed to provide a superb spectacle for both drivers and audiences. The racetrack has 300 surrounding speakers that, combined with 24 LED screens of 675m2, give fans all the details they need. At 3,000m2, the Media Center can hold up to 470 journalists and the VIP section can accommodate 5,000 guests.