After seven years of hosting Formula 1, Shanghai may miss out on the massive racing event this year if organizers can’t solve the problem of “subsidence”.
Subsidence, which is a type of damage to the track surface, is due to the downwards movement of the ground, the local race organizers said. It was found that on three of the race track’s turns – 1, 8 and 14 (for those in the know) – the cars jolted during the race.
The renovation plans had been approved by the FIA, Formula One’s governing body, and the works are planned to start just after the Spring Festival holiday.
The event is planned to take place from April 15 to 17 at the circuit in Jiading District but it was later announced that the date is “subject to the homologation of the circuit” after the subsidence problem was noticed, according to the FIA’s official website.
Work is expected to be finished by the end of March and the circuit will be examined by officials of the FIA before the race, said Yang Yibin, manager of race promoter Juss Event. “There should be no problem,” he said. “We’ve communicated well with the FIA, our plan has been approved and the Grand Prix will be on time.”
The Shanghai International Circuit was built in 2003 on former swampland. “Subsidence is normal because of the soft soil in Shanghai, which the circuit was built above,” Yang said. The circuit has hosted seven F1 grand prix and other racing events of high intensity.
Sun Liang, manager of the circuit’s engineering section, said that the problem is not a difficult one to fix. “What we do is repave the asphalt on the three corners and we don’t have to repave the whole circuit at all.”