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Pirelli

Pirelli left 'unaware' of unusual Chinese GP 'resurfacing' work

Pirelli has revealed that the Chinese Grand Prix organisers did not inform the F1 tyre supplier of the changes made to the circuit ahead of this weekend.

Hamilton China FP1
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To news overview © XPBimages

Pirelli was not made aware of track surface changes made to the Shanghai International Circuit ahead of the Chinese Grand Prix return.

Drivers and teams have been greeted by a slippery surface in Shanghai on F1's first visit since 2019, caused by a fresh layer of bitumen, a common method of repaving roads, or tracks, in Asia and the Americas.

Track bosses believe the bitumen layer should be worn away after running, with the track rubbering up as it evolved in free practice, but the threat of rain led to fears that of a repeat of the 2020 Turkish Grand Prix, where rain sat on top of a freshly relaid surface and made conditions extremely tricky.

On Thursday, several drivers complained of the condition of the surface in Shanghai, whilst many were left stunned by the "paint" which had been used in places, with Pirelli apparently unaware.

"What's new is this layer of bitumen they put on top of the track, there was no resurface, no changes, a few changes to the kerbs but not to the track," Pirelli motorsport boss Mario Isola told media including RacingNews365.

"As usual, we measured the track roughness and the level of grip with our systems, we found some inconsistencies in the grip around the circuit.

"I believe that also the drivers highlighted this and the most important information is that I believe the track is going to change quite a lot during the weekend because this layer of bitumen is disappearing, especially on the racing line and not on the other lines.

"When they ran over this layer, the level of grip is good so I'm expecting that on the racing line, it will be a bit worse compared to the other parts of the track.

"But it's just an assumption because we were not informed of this work on the track, so we are trying to understand ourselves what is going to happen but a lot of track evolution is expected."

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