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F1 Drivers Face Uncertainty Shanghai Resurfacing Stirs Debate

F1 Drivers Face Uncertainty: Shanghai Resurfacing Stirs Debate

18/04/2024

F1 drivers gear up for the Chinese Grand Prix amidst uncertainties surrounding the resurfaced Shanghai track, stirring a debate among them about the potential implications.

Many uncertainties surround the Chinese Grand Prix this weekend. F1 has not returned to the Shanghai track since 2019; moreover, the track has been completely resurfaced, and the organizers have added a type of surface tar spray, like paint!

It appears that the track has not just been repainted (as the photos might suggest), but actually treated with a dedicated bitumen. The observed color differences are simply due to the different uses that have taken place.

And to top it all off, the weekend will be in sprint format, with just one hour of free practice.

This mix could lead to an explosive weekend, full of surprises… which does not necessarily please the drivers.

Will they go as far as to criticize the lack of preparation for this weekend, or a certain frivolity on the part of FOM, which has placed the first sprint weekend on a Grand Prix that hasn’t been raced in 5 years?

“It will be hard to predict,” says Charles Leclerc.

“I think it also depends a lot on the type of tar paint they used, which could cause different problems or not cause any at all – I hope it’s the latter.”

“But for now, it’s very hard to predict. I’ve only seen photos; I haven’t yet toured the track. I don’t think it’s the same everywhere, which isn’t necessarily a good thing. But before adding more comments, I think we just need to drive and see how we feel.”

The resurfacing also concerns McLaren F1 driver Lando Norris.

“I have no idea, I think we need to wait and see. It’s something new that I don’t think we’ve seen before, so it’s hard to predict exactly what will happen.”

Rain expected this Sunday…

The icing on an already rich cake, it might also rain during the race in Shanghai! At least, this could give Esteban Ocon and Alpine a chance to shine…

“I haven’t been on-site; I’ve just seen photos so far! It could be slippery when wet, or we might also have a lot of grip – we really can’t say until we’ve actually tried.”

“A long time ago, in the days of karting, we would put paint on the tracks and add rubber. And we kept a lot in the corners that had a lot of grip. I don’t expect it to be the case, but it could have many different effects.”

Haas F1 driver Nico Hülkenberg is also concerned about grip…

“I don’t know if the track will be grippy or not. If it’s wet, it will be a big unknown. But you can see that on the sections where cars have driven during testing days or otherwise, the black has faded.”

“It looks more like an old circuit because it doesn’t seem to have been redone. It just looks like it’s been painted over.”

“I’m sure this circuit won’t be super slippery, but it might behave a bit differently from what we’re used to.”

Former Shanghai winner, Daniel Ricciardo, might arrive here more confidently. How does the RB F1 driver perceive things?

“It looks like they’ve painted the circuit or done something to the surface.”

“Apparently, they just painted it or something, so I don’t know how the track will change, whether it will stay the same or be super slippery.”

“Maybe it will change the way the tires behave, which could lead to overtaking or strategies.”

F1 Drivers Face Uncertainty: Shanghai Resurfacing Stirs Debate. F1 Drivers Face Uncertainty: Shanghai Resurfacing Stirs Debate

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