Fernando Alonso, McLaren, Silverstone, 2018

Silverstone plans another resurfacing before British GP

2019 F1 season

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Silverstone plans to lay a new surface ahead of Formula 1’s British Grand Prix for the second time in as many years, in a move related the cancellation of last year’s Moto GP round at the track.

The Northamptonshire track was resurfaced before the beginning of the 2018 season. However Silverstone’s round of the Moto GP championship in August was cancelled after persistent heavy rain throughout race day. Track drainage problems related to the new surface were blamed by some for the decision not to go ahead with the race.

RaceFans understands the track owners are determined to resurface the track ahead of Moto GP’s return this year. Silverstone’s managing director Stuart Pringle told RaceFans he “hopes” the job will be completed before the F1 weekend begins on July 12th.

Silverstone has received a pay-out from its insurer for reimbursing Moto GP fans for their tickets. The question of who will pay for laying another new surface rests on the ongoing investigation into the cancellation of the Moto GP race.

“We are still awaiting the final outcome of the investigation,” said Pringle. “We are closer to the end than the beginning.”

F1 drivers gave a mixed response to the track surface during last year’s grand prix weekend. Lewis Hamilton was among those who criticised the changes, saying “the people they hired did the worst job ever”, but Fernando Alonso claimed the track was “definitely much better than last year”.

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Jorge Lorenzo, Ducati, Silverstone, Moto GP, 2018
Moto GP’s British round was cancelled last year.

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Dieter Rencken
Dieter Rencken has held full FIA Formula 1 media accreditation since 2000, during which period he has reported from over 300 grands prix, plus...
Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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  • 15 comments on “Silverstone plans another resurfacing before British GP”

    1. Sorry, I dont get the article, what is the reason they need to resurface again? Was it carried out badly? Or has it to do with the drainage?

      1. I don’t understand the article either as it’s go over motorgp and insurance of their visitors. Lewis (and others) was complaining about the job but Mclaren drivers said it was better then before. (I think the chassis of McLaren didn’t had the shivers the other teams got due the bad design of that chassis)

        So they do the resurface because of the complaning of the F1 drivers (i think) So why the drainage story is incluced no idea maybe they want save paper and combined 2 stories…

        1. @macleod and @Maisch, as far as I can understand

          > Track drainage problems related to the new surface were blamed by some for the decision not to go ahead with the race

          means that MotoGP couldn’t race because of drainage problems because of the new surface, so they are resurfacing. The article also cites the feedback from some F1 drivers.

          If a race track can’t train properly when it rains up to the point that a high-level GP like MotoGP must be cancelled entirely, well, that’s a problem in my opinion.

        2. @macleod, the reason for that is because, according to Dorna, the initial test run that Crutchlow did in March indicated the track was fine, but the Formula 1 race, which was the first major race held there, was the first major race to highlight there were problems with the bumps.

          The problems with the bumps appears to have continued to worsen after that race, so when MotoGP turned up in August, the track conditions had degraded to the point where that race had to be cancelled on safety grounds.

          It was an ongoing problem that impacted both series and threatened to make the track unusable for a larger number of series in the longer term. Drivers were complaining about major problems with poor drainage during the Silverstone 4 Hours GT race and some of the LMP2 drivers had real problems with the bumps in the WEC 6 Hours race.

          That seems to suggest the track was continuing to degrade and might have become almost unusable in wet conditions, forcing the BRDC to have to resurface the track to ensure it was usable in the longer term.

          @jagolevert, whilst you are linking the problems to the F1 cars, an investigation by Motorsport Magazine suggests that they weren’t the cause and that the problems had already started several months earlier.

          They interviewed members of the British Motorcycle Racing Club, which held a club race in early April, and the riders in that event were complaining back then that there were drainage problems and the track was much more prone to flooding than before. https://www.motorsportmagazine.com/opinion/motogp/silverstone-aftermath

          That race took place three months before the British GP so, if there were problems with poor drainage due to a bumpy surface, they cannot be due to the F1 cars. The fact that there seem to have been problems less than two months after the resurfacing works suggests to me that something must have gone wrong with the resurfacing itself – either the work itself was not carried out correctly or the material specification itself was not appropriate for the task, but I believe this is a construction defect.

      2. This resurfacing is thanks to farce of Silverstone MotoGP event which couldnt be run due as under moderate rain it was too unsafe to race and was cancelled. Also couple of riders were seriously injured due to standing water causing problems with motorcycle racing.

      3. The bumps are worse for motogp than for f1. As for lewis’ comment I don’t think he was complaining about the bumpiness per se but more commenting about about the new surface being worse than it was year before. I think he also said the track was the bumpiest of the whole season (at least so far into the season).

        Here you get an idea of the bumps:
        https://twitter.com/MotoGP/status/1033679056057839616

        1. Drainage issue was worse than bumps, there was a lot of standing water and if I remember correctly 1 or 2 riders were sent to hospital to get treated for fractures. Rain at Valencia was worse than the rains at Silverstone and yet none of the riders had issues to race at Valencia.

    2. None of this would be needed had the previous one been done properly. A waste of time and money easily avoidable by making it properly the last time like at Circuit de Catalunya.

      1. @jerejj didn’t drivers complain about Catalunya too?

        It’s funny… I found an article about Hamilton complaining the track got easier because they ironed out the bumps, saying he he couldn’t understand why drivers’ pre-race meetings were always full of complaints about bumps as he “I “likes a track that is a bit more dated in terms of surface. You’re going through a corner and the car starts moving a bit more. You have to be a bit more responsive. I like that challenge.”

        Guess Silverstone was even worse than a dated track for him to complain so vehemently about it.

        1. @fer-no65 Not really, at least, not about the quality of the re-surfaced layout as was the case with Silverstone’s equivalent.

        2. Catalunya was too smooth, silverstone was very bumpy. I don’t really see any issue with his comments. Those are just words he uses to describe how the tracks were.

    3. The initial problems were caused at the F1 last year. Because of the unbelievably hot weather, the resurfaced track was melting, and on the Wednesday or Thursday they had trucks going round to lay water on the track to try and cool it down. I think the prevailing theory was that the F1 cars with all their downforce were damaging the too hot, too soft track and causing ripples in it, which caused the terrible drainage at MotoGP. Those two weekends definitely had their struggles!

    4. I think I said this at the time (I went to the first race meeting after the resurfacing, while there were still piles of unused tarmac around the site) – but while they’re at it perhaps they could consider resurfacing some of the spectator areas too? It’s depressing that most of general admission is essentially a pile of rubble…

    5. Good step taken by Silverstone

    6. Well, this won’t be F1’s problem any more after this year will it :-(

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