60. Hermann Tilke

Hermann Tilke
Age 66
Occupation Director and Partner, Tilke GmbH
Nationality German
position Last Year 65

Hermann Tilke is a graduate engineer in civil engineering and is responsible for numerous major projects in Germany and abroad. Together with his partner, Peter Wahl, who joined the company in 1994, he helped to expand Tilke’s scope of work and expertise to meet the demands of the numerous international clients who wish to build groundbreaking projects.

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Hermann aims to design individual and state‐of‐the‐art race tracks including grandstands, pit buildings, team buildings and other infrastructure facilities whilst adhering to the permanently changing requirements on track layout and safety.

A unique balance between these requirements, an enormous engineering experience and competence as well as Hermann Tilke‘s individual racing driver career, makes the company a reliable and most valuable planning partner in the field of track design.

Hermann Tilke secured the contracts to design many high-profile new world circuits from scratch, mainly in Asia but also in eastern Europe. He designed Sepang International Circuit, Bahrain International Circuit, Shanghai International Circuit, Istanbul Park Racing Circuit, Valencia Street Circuit, Marina Bay Street Circuit, Yas Marina Circuit, Korea International Circuit and the Buddh International Circuit. Tilke also designed the new Circuit of the Americas in Austin, Texas, where F1 made its return to the United States in 2012. Tilke’s latest designs include Sochi Autodrom which hosted its first race in 2014 with the debut of Russia in F1, Kuwait Motor Town (Kuwait) which opened officially in 2019 and the Hanoi Street Circuit, which was set for April 2020 but cancelled due to COVID-19.

Tilke has designed every track with several other engineers from Tilke Engineering, as well as F1’s former commercial rights holder Bernie Ecclestone. After viewing the track site and “once factors such as topography, wind direction, infrastructure and soil quality are known” the design work can begin.

Tilke focuses on “conceiving dramatic architecture that reflects the host country, like Sepang’s lotus-leaf grandstands in Malaysia,” while also aiming for spectator comfort and clear viewing. He “build[s] corners that promise a fast and interesting race but avoid pulling the field apart.”

Hermann Tilke is also responsible for designing Jeddah Street Circuit, which will hold an inaugural Saudi Arabian Formula 1 Grand Prix in December this year.

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