The Shanghai International Circuit has undergone extensive track resurfacing in a bid to eradicate the imperfections that have been appearing along its length.
China joined the Formula 1 ranks in 2004, with the circuit being built upon reclaimed marshland, which is likely to explain the numerous flaws that have been popping up over the years.
Over 40,000 concrete piles were needed to form a suitable foundation, each between 40m and 80m deep, topped with a concrete base and 16m of polystyrene. But despite their best efforts, subsidence has been a common issue, with the patchwork of old and new surfacing resulting in varying grip levels.
One of these defects was a notable bump across the start/finish line that proved a nuisance last year when Pascal Wehrlein, then a Manor Racing MRT driver, lost control in damp conditions during qualifying and ended up in the barriers. This has now been resolved by resurfacing the section between the final corner and back of the grid.
That hasn’t been the circuit’s only facelift. Areas of badly worn grass at turn two, between the track and asphalt run-off zones, have been replaced with Grasscrete. The tyre walls at turn one and eight have been bolstered with further tyres. And additional kerb elements have been installed behind the existing kerbs on the apex of turns two, three and twelve.