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Why is the trackside grass in Shanghai catching fire

Why is the trackside grass in Shanghai catching fire?

19/04/2024

The FIA is investigating why grass at the Shanghai International Circuit is igniting during F1 events.

A red flag was raised this morning in EL1, and SQ2 was delayed for the same reasons: fires starting in the grass on the edge of the track at the Shanghai International Circuit, hosting this weekend’s Chinese Grand Prix.

The FIA revealed this morning that these fires were caused by sparks from cars that flew and then landed in the grass, igniting a fire. However, obviously, this is not the only track with grass on the edge, and cars always produce sparks, without facing this type of consequence.

The FIA is thus investigating the reasons for this, to prevent this problem from recurring during the Sprint, qualification, or race. In both cases, the fire started near turn 7.

One theory is the presence of methane under the ground, as the circuit is built on a marsh. The emissions could be seeping through the soil and causing these fires, which spread quickly over small patches of grass. If this is the reason, it will be difficult to counteract it over the weekend.

Another theory suggests the presence of chemicals on the grass to make it appear greener or to have it grow faster. But all this remains surprising since the circuit was soaked by a downpour on Wednesday. Therefore, research continued throughout the evening in China to understand the origins of these fires.

Why is the trackside grass in Shanghai catching fire

Why is the trackside grass in Shanghai catching fire?. Why is the trackside grass in Shanghai catching fire?

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