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A Honda Integra Type R “jumps” over the curbs of the start / finish chicane of the Nevers
Magny-Cours racetrack

As Curb or curbs (US spelling) or curbs (British spelling) refers to the curbs on a race track , the road from the grass verge or the run-off areas separate. The term is mostly used in the plural and is derived from the English verb to curb (to restrict or rein). Curbs have their origin in normal road traffic, where curbs or curbs partly fulfill similar functions, but there they separate the roadway from the edge by their height and their more pronounced angles far more strictly and more immediately than curbs on racetracks. Curbs are often made of concrete and painted with two-tone stripes so that the racing driver can see the edge of the road from a distance.


As a rule, curbs are inclined and only slightly inclined in order to slow the vehicle down a little so that it does not get out of lane and take dirt onto the track or even carry it over the road and become uncontrollable. The ideal line on a racetrack can, however, include the curbs if they are flat enough not to destabilize the vehicle. In some sections of the route, such as B. in chicanes , where short cuts are undesirable, the curbs are arranged so steeply that they can hardly be driven over and the driver therefore has to keep the car on the asphalt or jump over the curbs.

Curbs are also placed in front of a bend on many routes to make it easier for the driver to find the optimal braking point . Since the curbs are usually higher than the road or even in a wave or sawtooth shape, the driver can feel whether he is already at the edge of the track. In some cases, instead of curbs, so-called “chatter stones” are worked into the edge of the route. On the Nürburgring- Nordschleife there are examples of both, as well as very steep curbs in the normal course without chicanes. During the renovation in 1970, curbs were installed there for the first time as part of the safety measures required by Formula 1 . Before that, curbs in their current form were largely unknown on racetracks. For homologated racetracks, the World Automobile Federation FIA has specified precise rules for planning and building curbs. For example, they must - directly next to the obligatory white stripe to delimit the route - lie outside the actual lane and may protrude from it at the highest point by a maximum of 10 centimeters.


Missing curbs sometimes led to serious accidents and injuries. At the French Formula 1 Grand Prix in July 1972 at the Circuit de Charade , pebbles were thrown up from the edge of the track by “cutting” the bends, which led to ten punctures and the one-sided blindness of the racing driver Helmut Marko .


Different color combinations are selected for the painting of the curbs to make them stand out from the road: often red-white or blue-white, in Spain also yellow-red based on the national colors. However, the paintwork generally reduces the coefficient of friction of the curbs, especially when it is wet, so that driving over them can result in loss of traction and undesirable vehicle movements.

Mobile curbs

Mobile curbs were the subject of controversy at the 2008 Singapore Grand Prix . Such curbs are intended to prevent cutting / driving over.
Matthias Ekström passed a Ludwig plate here in Oschersleben in 2011, the round curbs are also equipped with a deflector.

For non-permanent racetracks, mobile curbs (nailed into the asphalt) are also used to delimit the lane and show the course of the route. Here, sometimes painted concrete components are used, but often solid-colored (mostly red and white) plastic curbs are also used.

These mobile curbs are now also found on permanent race tracks. In modern racetracks, only relatively flat stationary curbs are usually installed so that formula vehicles (such as Formula 1 ) can drive them easily. In touring car races, however, these flat curbs are run over completely, which throws dirt onto the track. In the past, attempts were made to prevent this with stacks of tires at the apex of the curve. However, this often led to accidents, as the drivers unintentionally touched the tire wall with their cars. In the DTM , mobile, steeper curbs were therefore installed on permanent race tracks for the first time. The initiator of these curbs, known in specialist circles as Ludwig-Curbs, was the three-time German touring car champion Klaus Ludwig . Later these were further developed into plate-shaped plates, accordingly these are called Ludwig plates because of their shape .

With the help of such mobile curbs, various route variants are now being implemented. At the German race tracks in Oschersleben and on the Eurospeedway , the starting curves were modified in this way in 2007. The advantages are low conversion costs and faster assembly and disassembly of the respective route variant.

Other meanings

The term curb is also used outside of motorsport. In skateboarding jargon, edges, in particular of curbs that the board can slide along, are called curbs .

Web links

Commons : Racetrack curbs  - collection of images, videos and audio files
Wiktionary: curb  - explanations of meanings, word origins, synonyms, translations

Individual evidence

  1. DMSB-Handbuch 2010 page 173 - International Sports Law of the FIA ​​- Driving regulations for circuit races (PDF file, accessed on February 10, 2010; 22.3 MB)
  2. encyclopaedia entry notch at ( Memento of 13 October 2009 at the Internet Archive ) (undated, found on 10 February 2010)
  3. FIA specifications for the planning of race tracks from August 28, 2009 (PDF file; 204 kB)
  4. Route history on the official homepage of the route ( Memento from February 12, 2013 in the Internet Archive ) (French, undated, found on February 10, 2010)
  5. Light, waves, tanks & exits - article on (accessed on February 10, 2010)
  6. Season report 2007 of the Eurospeedway Lausitz ( Memento from 23 September 2010 in the Internet Archive )
  7. Green must fit , from May 16, 2009, accessed on May 10, 2012.
  8. Hop bunny, hop! The Ludwig plates in Lusatia provided some jumping inserts. ,, accessed on May 10, 2012.
  9. Description of the Münster-Gievenbeck skateboard facility  ( page no longer available , search in web archives ) (skateboard online magazine, undated, found on February 13, 2010)@1@ 2Template: Dead Link /