My latest track build was Imola and I'm very happy with how it turned out. Imola is the other F1 track in Italy and has hosted a number of grand prix under the name of the San Marino grand prix. San Marino being a small nation in central Italy near the track. Huge thanks to the San Marino group for giving me a great reason to build this track.
My usual process starts with lots of research...
Here's my notes (pdf) after watching these videos and more, reading notes online, and finding speed and braking notes for each corner.
I went into the build thinking most corners would have racing lines with only one decent path through each corner. I also felt like this was generally a tight track that was hard to pass on... except Tosa -- which I would give multiple paths through to create the action we would sometimes see there and that I would try to exaggerate for game balance.
Here's my initial sketch of the corners for each track.
This initial plan worked out really well and I was just about to wrap up development when I noticed that the track was a LOT longer than I had planned. Somewhere along the line, I lost track of my planned space count and made the straights a lot longer. I had to cut them back a lot.
As a result I got pretty creative with some of the corners... effectively taking spaces away from some corners to add spaces back to some of the straights. I think the end result is a technical track that drivers will have to pay attention to or risk taking a corner wrong because they assumed they knew how it would work.
As you can see, this is not a "normal" looking CFR corner and combines a lot of tricks I've used before.
Having the racing line in the middle lane means that in some cases, a car can under-cut that ideal line if they have the braking and/or wear to pull it off. Allowing a car to accelerate 40 mph from the first inside 40 space into the following 80 space can make that particularly effective if they hit that apex just right.
The two 100 spaces outside provides another avenue through the corner which can be effective if you hit it just right. Leaving the speed off of the last space of that path also means cars can accelerate quickly from that lane. Lining up the last two spaces of the middle and outside lane provides cars with ways to avoid congestion in case of slow traffic ahead.
I'm excited to see how the track works when raced in anger for the first time and pleased that that will occur at the San Marino game convention to boot.