MotoGP

Ricciardo Silverstone corner bump MotoGP worry known pre-F1 weekend – MotoGP


The bump at Silverstone’s Brooklands corner that Daniel Ricciardo highlighted as something that could make MotoGP riders “pretty angry” was already known about before the Formula 1 weekend.

Silverstone underwent a complete resurfacing this year after the previous asphalt laid in 2018 deteriorated substantially and a lack of drainage led to the cancellation of a wet MotoGP British Grand Prix.

The new work was carried out by Tarmac and was overseen by track design company Studio Dromo, with the new surface laid in 16 days last month, though only six could be used due to poor weather.

The surface was met with praise by F1 drivers last weekend, but they noted some bumps remained – including a particularly problematic one into the Turn 6 left-hander of Brooklands.

Dromo owner Jarno Zaffelli told Autosport this was known about immediately after works had been completed, and that it was a result of Tarmac using the Wellington Straight to get to grips with the new type of temperature-sensitive Tarmac never before used on a British circuit.

“We rebuilt up [the surface] in two layers,” said Zaffelli. “The first layer was regulated and was quite easy because it was a softer compound.

“Then, when we did the wearing course, it was very difficult and very sensitive to temperature.

“As hard as you want the material, you need to have more stringent temperature control, and this is exactly what we had.

“The problem is that on the first day, we decided to start from the Wellington straight.

“The reason being, the Wellington Straight gave the contractor [Tarmac] 500, 600 metres to train with this kind of material that was never used in the UK, apart from the trial test we did before.

“But it is always difficult actually going into [and doing] the works. So Brooklands was the first corner of the first day of this new material.

“Hangar Straight, just to give you an idea, was much better because it was [laid] on the third day.

“So they got used to the new machines, the new technologies, this material and also the temperatures were higher with less wind blowing.

Zaffelli says he “cannot blame” Tarmac for the bump, due to the circumstances they were working under, and instead praised its commitment towards the project.

Work to correct the bump before the F1 weekend was considered.

But with only 10 days between the completion of the resurfacing and the risk posed to the smooth running of F1’s British GP – an improvement considered “completely pointless” for F1 – the idea was scrapped.

Zaffelli confirmed to Autosport that FIM’s inspection of the new surface took place on Monday morning.

Remediation work was already planned after the bump at Brooklands was discovered. The work has now been allocated a day between now and the MotoGP event on August 23-25 – though this is still subject to the feasibility of Tarmac’s proposal and weather conditions.

The previous asphalt, laid by Aggregate Industries, was also met with praise initially when it was first laid but it had deteriorated by the time F1 visited in July.

Zaffelli noted the new surface showed no signs of degradation during the F1 weekend, despite its freshness, hailing it as an “outstanding result”.

“So we know that we are good with drainage, we know that we increased the flatness of [reduced bumps] more than 60% in respect of what was there before,” said Zaffelli.

“We know that we had Formula 1 doing an amazing race and destroying the [lap] record during Lewis Hamilton’s last lap with hard tyres of more than four seconds after only 20 days from laying, and the asphalt is absolutely good.

“No sign of rubbling [break-up], nothing. So it absolutely was an outstanding result.”



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