New ‘soft wall’ installed at Interlagos The infamous concrete wall on the outside of Interlagos’ Subida dos Boxes, the circuit’s final corner, has been modified ahead of next weekend’s penultimate round of the 2010 season, with a new ‘soft wall’ installed in order to help cushion any impacts.
Formula 1 last witnessed an accident at the corner in 2006, when Nico Rosberg’s Williams having crashed heavily after losing its front wing in a first-lap collision with team-mate Mark Webber. However, it is the Australian’s own crash which is most remembered - along with Fernando Alonso’s just moments later - in the 2003 race.
The flat-out, left-hand kink preceding the pit straight became a scene of tragedy in a 2007 Brazilian stock car race when Rafael Sperafico hit the wall before spinning back across the track, being t-boned by a rival’s car and immediately losing his life.
Ahead of the 2010 Formula 1 event, the modified wall of steel and foam is currently being assembled at the venue; 225 meters long, the structure is not dissimilar to the SAFER barriers seen on many American ovals and consists of hollow galvanized steel columns, with the foam being pressed up against these in order to act in a spring-like fashion in the event of an impact.
Not only will the added feature soften the blow in the event of the wall being hit, but also move slightly in order to drag a car along the wall as opposed to it deflecting back across the circuit and risking an impact with another competitor.
Furthermore, the lines delimiting the track have now been coated with an anti-skid paint in order to improve adhesion, especially for wet conditions.
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