Carlos Sainz Jnr, Renault, Paul Ricard, 2018

Paul Ricard’s new asphalt patches are “like sandpaper” – Sainz

2018 French Grand Prix

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Carlos Sainz Jnr is surprised by how much grip he found on sections of the Paul Ricard circuit which have been patched up.

Although the entire circuit was resurfaced during the off-season, newer patches of asphalt have subsequently been added at some points on the track. Sainz said these small sections are “like sandpaper” and offer very high grip.

“It’s like they stuck some sandpaper on the track to avoid it coming up and dragging up stones,” he explained. “I cannot imagine you would do a track just with that, it would be quite interesting because the grip we get on those patches is quite high.”

“It’s a strange feeling because there was a lot of sliding going on today and suddenly you reach those patches and the car behaves completely different,” he explained. “You are trying to anticipate a bit your driving style, anticipate your braking to that kind of changing grip because it’s quite heavy.

“The patches are mid-corner – you go into a corner not knowing what’s going to happen until you hit them.”

However Sainz doubts the variation in grip levels will help promote overtaking this weekend. “No, we’re Formula 1 drivers and by race day we know where the fastest line is,” he said.

Paul Ricard’s kerbs present an additional hazard, Sainz noted. “We have three different kinds of kerbs for the track. Some you can run them perfectly, [on] some pick-up is a bit harsher and some others you cannot touch.”

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4 comments on “Paul Ricard’s new asphalt patches are “like sandpaper” – Sainz”

  1. Because there is sooo much tarmac, is he not confusing the track for the abrasive run-off. When you are racing around a painted car park I can imagine it could get confusing at some point….lol

  2. Ben Rowe (@thegianthogweed)
    22nd June 2018, 20:14

    Like sand paper? At least will smooth off any sharp bits on your tyres then Carlos!

  3. Do they run Moto GP and other bike races here? If yes, are these blue/red stripes a better alternative than gravel?

    1. They run smaller motorcycle events, but I really couldn’t tell you whether or not the stripes are better than gravel for bikes. I would assume so, since all of the tarmac runoff nowadays is generally for motorcycles. However, whether or not it is better than standard tarmac is up in the air.

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