Like many modern tracks that
have hosted Formula 1, it was designed by Hermann Tilke and is highly regarded
for its high driving difficulty. Inaugurated in 1999, the track is 5.543 km
long, has 15 turns and eight straights and is a proving ground for both drivers
and cars, especially at certain times of the year when humidity and air
temperature are themselves a challenge.
Overtaking is easy because of
the width of the roadway. Its most defining feature is two long straights
connected by a sharp hairpin bend. The track design includes an exciting
variety of turns of different radii and counter slopes. Braking systems are put
under some stress, as are the tyres. This is mainly due to the high track
temperatures rather than the nature of the asphalt.