Sky Sports sent Ted Kravitz to check up on the progress for the Formula One race at the Autódromo Hermanos Rodríguez in Mexico City, and brings some bad news: yes, they're chopping up the Peraltada to go into a thoroughly cheesy stadium section.
Granted, the Peraltada isn't the only turn that's being modified to meet modern F1 safety standards, but it's the most disappointing. Back in its day, the Peraltada showcased los huevos más grandes del mundo as a high-speed, put-up-or-shut-up corner. It was a fast 180-degree turn, and was one of the defining turns of the Mexican Grand Prix, bringing us moments like this:
Ayrton Senna didn't seem to have the best luck with the old Mexican Grand Prix. Senna (and others) famously ate the wall at 150 mph there:
Yes, that wall is too close for F1's comfort now, but...buy out the neighbors! Move the road! Add a chicane on the straight leading to the Peraltada or demolish the stands to move the whole turn up a bit, if you must! Do whatever you need to do to avoid having to rework that entire section.
Instead of going around Mexico City's most infamous turn, cars are now being routed through the worst seats in the house in a turn Ted Kravitz doesn't want to call "Mickey Mouse," per se, but is the absolute definition of a Mickey Mouse'd set of goofy flow-breaking turns for turns' sake. Here's a video that shows the full extent of the track's modifications:
I can't imagine what was going through the builders' head in repurposing the baseball staduim seats through the new non-Peraltada section. "Well, we can have the cars go really slow through this section of bleachers that faces each other, and that will be the only view those seats will have. That and a view of the stand across from them."
News flash: if you're no longer keeping a baseball stadium there, you don't need to keep the seats for the baseball stadium. Toss them out, and the whole track is better for it.
Good seats have views of multiple turns, not a slow section and another set of bleachers. I'd go General Admission before buying in that silly section.
Tilke often gets more hate than he deserves for being nailed to a set of extremely restrictive FIA regulations involving Formula-One-spec Grade 1 track design, but this is quite possibly the worst solution he could've come up with for slowing people down in the Peraltada. It looks as if the time and cost to demolish a set of stands that don't make sense for the Grand Prix took precedence over keeping Mexico's signature turn. Epic fail.