With less than two months until the 2022 Formula 1 season begins, some key changes are being made to a number of circuits on the calendar.
Safety is obviously an important focus, and this is one of the reasons behind certain alterations due to be carried out. There is also an aim to improve racing, as well as increasing capacity for spectators to be able to watch the action.
These venues will look a little different in certain areas this year.
The Spa-Francorchamps circuit in Belgium will have a revamp before the F1 circus arrives in August. The iconic Eau Rouge/Raidillon section of the track is amongst the areas to be facing changes.
To improve safety, a larger run-off area will be created, and the safety barriers at the start of the curve will disappear. At several corners, the run-off lanes will be longer and the gravel traps larger.
Along with this, the track will provide better facilities for spectators, with new grandstands and more seats.
Melbourne Grand Prix Circuit
There have been several upgrades at the Australian venue of the Melbourne Grand Prix Circuit. Turn 1 and Turn 3 have been widened to allow for more racing and increased overtaking opportunities.
In addition, from Turn 6 onwards, the track will be much faster as the slower corners disappear, which should also make it easier to overtake. Turn 13 and Turn 15 are also set to have some small changes made.
The track had already made these alterations in time for F1's planned visit in 2021. Unfortunately, though, the Grand Prix was cancelled for a second year due to the coronavirus pandemic.
It still looks promising that the 2022 race - scheduled for April - will go ahead, with the Victorian state Government giving the Australian Grand Prix Corporation assurances of commitment to the event.
Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya
Another venue to undergo a renovation is the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya in Spain.
Turn 4 - the scene of Lewis Hamilton and Nico Rosberg's infamous collision at the 2016 Spanish Grand Prix - will be given a larger run-off area, with the aim being to improve safety for all racing classes.
There will also be safer barriers at all corners, and the paddock will be upgraded, too.
Circuit of the Americas
The Circuit of the Americas is facing repair work in an attempt to smoothen out the track surface. The tarmac has previously become very bumpy over time and, as such, workers will repave large sections of the circuit.
This work will include adding 10 inches of concrete to the bumpiest sections at Turns 2 and 10, as well as resurfacing between Turns 12 and 16.
The F1 circus will return to the track in October, with COTA being the second United States Grand Prix of the year following Miami's inclusion on the calendar.
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