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Shanghai circuit gets sinking feeling

Sections of Shanghai International Circuit are being treated for subsidence in a bid to ensure that the 2011 Chinese GP goes ahead.
It has transpired that subsidence was the reason for the Chinese Grand Prix being marked with an asterisk denoting 'pending circuit homologation', but organisers insist that there is no danger of the race being cancelled in 2011.

The Shanghai International Circuit, which made its F1 debut at the same time as the Bahrain International Circuit in Sakhir, is due to stage its eighth Chinese Grand Prix on the weekend of 15-17 April, but will now have to convince the FIA that sufficient repairs have been made to the problem areas at turns one, eight and 14 before clearance is given. Renovation plans have already been approved by the governing body, and work should start after the national Spring Festival holiday and finished by the end of March.

"There should be no problem," Yang Yibin, manager of event organiser Juss Event, said, "We've communicated well with the FIA, our plan has been approved and the grand prix will be on time."

"Subsidence is normal because of the soft soil in Shanghai, which the circuit was built above, plus the circuit has hosted seven F1 grands prix and other racing events of high intensity."

The circuit's head of engineering, Sun Liang, gave another explanation for the problems, citing the use of 'complex materials' to artificially elevate sections of the circuit, which was built on reclaimed swampland.

"Because some parts of the circuit are on the ground while some parts are not, as time goes by it's normal for some subsidence," he noted, "What we will do is repave the asphalt on the three corners as we don't have to repave the whole circuit at all."




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