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Monday, May 27, 2024

F1 groups and Pirelli had no warning of “painted” Shanghai monitor floor

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With F1 groups having finished lots of pre-event work within the simulator primarily based on data from each Pirelli and the FIA, they had been caught out once they arrived on the circuit on Wednesday by the visibly totally different monitor floor.

Whereas drivers stated it regarded just like the monitor had been “painted”, it emerged that it was truly a liquid bitumen floor therapy that had been utilized final 12 months to assist cut back the degradation of the {old} asphalt.

With the circuit having been used since, components of this therapy had been worn away on the racing line – which has given the floor a two-tone look.

However past it trying totally different, the therapy has impacted grip ranges – particularly with there being a distinction between areas the place the bitumen stays in place and the place it has been worn away.

Whereas the FIA usually informs groups forward of race weekends of any materials adjustments to the circuit, no notification about this therapy was included in paperwork that had been despatched to groups and Pirelli.

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Moreover, Pirelli usually sends engineers prematurely of an F1 assembly to ship up-to-date knowledge on the monitor situations, however this was not finished this time as a result of the Italian firm had none of its F1 personnel free to do it.

It was solely when it arrived on the circuit on Wednesday with its engineers that the difficulty emerged – triggering some shock.

Photograph by: Mark Sutton / Motorsport Images

Requested about how a lot communication there had been with the FIA in regards to the therapy, F1 chief engineer Simone Berra stated: “We did not get any indication, so we had been shocked as properly.

“We seen it on Wednesday once we had been doing the same old monitor inspection, and it was fairly clear that this floor was fully totally different from the {old} one.”

Autosport understands that the shortage of warning over the floor was mentioned in Friday morning’s staff managers’ assembly with F1 race director Niels Wittich.

Sources counsel that whereas Wittich admitted to being conscious of the work having been finished, he didn’t think about it needed to tell the groups as a result of it was not a change that ought to have materially impacted the monitor’s efficiency stage, nor require any change of homologation.

Whereas the grip adjustments had been definitely not excessive sufficient to have a situation as dangerous at Turkey 2020, Berra added that sooner or later it was clear the circuits ought to make it extra apparent, particularly with the FIA, of the influence of any works finished at F1 venues.

Requested what had gone flawed with communication over the matter, Berra stated: “I believe you have to ask the FIA, but it surely’s not a monitor change that wants rehomologation, or a examine by the FIA.

“It was finished by Chinese language circuit administration, and so they may have finished this with out informing anyone.

“However I might say it is not the top of the world ultimately as a result of in FP1, as an instance, the grip stage improved after just a few laps, after which the drivers had been capable of full the session.

“I believe that, for the longer term, the FIA will attempt to work slightly bit nearer with the circuit to grasp this sort of data prematurely.”

The floor therapy concern will disappear for 2025 with Shanghai set to undertake an entire resurfacing this summer season previous to subsequent 12 months’s race.



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