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GP Week : Issue 14
THE state of the track surface at the Circuit Gilles Villeneuve came under a barrage of criticism from Formula 1 drivers over the Canadian Grand Prix weekend. By the end of qualifying, turns 2, 7 and 10 had fallen into such disrepair that race organisers had to resurface, or repair, them overnight. With high temperatures and minimally downforced cars sliding around over the loose tarmac, pieces had started to come away and the drivers made their dissatisfaction clear. Kimi Raikkonen described the track as a “joke,” while Lewis Hamilton confirmed that he thought the conditions had been “dangerous.” F1 supremo Bernie Ecclestone, however, remained unmoved by the criticisms. “They have resurfaced the track,” he told GPWeek in the Montreal paddock. “The problems have been very simple, and it’s the not knowing. The cars have changed so much and this is not the weather normally for this time of year. “They probably know now what they need to do. How to fix it.” Indeed, come Sunday the combination of still drying asphalt and resin ‘coating’ held up to the 70-lap F1 race remarkably well and provided none of the fears which had played so heavily on the drivers’ minds on Saturday. Race organisers spent $5.5million on upgrading paddock facilities for this year’s race, but the overall consensus is that if such a figure is made available for the 2009 event, it might be better spent on resurfacing the entire track, rather than simply patching up the broken parts. Crumbling track holds out When good sur faces go bad: T he hairpin needed a r esurface overnight. 30