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Drivers unperturbed by fire damage at Ste Devote

A truck fire at Ste Devote is unlikely to adversely affect the Monaco GP track, according to drivers.
Emergency resurfacing work at the first corner of the famed Monaco Grand Prix layout failed to raise too many eyebrows in the F1 paddock, despite the section being the site of this weekend's DRS Zone.

Overnight work was needed when a truck helping with the construction of the circuit caught light on Wednesday, seriously damaging the asphalt at the end of the main start-finish straight. Force India rookie Paul di Resta happened to be on the scene when the fire broke out, and expressed some concern as to the likely state of the surface in the braking zone and at the apex of Ste Devote when it came to practice on Thursday.

"I was at the first corner of the track doing a track walk with the BBC when it happened, so they got some film as we were there watching it,” the Scot told Britain's Guardian newspaper, “My concern is that it happened right on the entry and the apex. The track only got resurfaced there about four weeks ago, and track temperature during the day must be about 45 degrees."
When the question of track damage was raised during the opening press conference of the weekend, few among the six drivers present appeared overly concerned by the possible effects of the fire.
“I walked the circuit before and it looked okay,” Renault's Nick Heidfeld reported, “It looked like they did a good job.”

The German revealed that he had been told that the cause of the incident was someone attempting to refuel a car while smoking, but admitted that he could not be sure of the facts.

Both Nico Rosberg and Rubens Barrichello suggested that their only concern would be with oils seeping to the surface of the freshly-laid tarmac, with Barrichello also hinting that any rain might also make things tricky, particularly with Ste Devote being the site of the circuit's lone DRS zone.

Mark Webber, meanwhile, was more pragmatic, and insisted that he would not be concerned about the section until after he had had a chance to try it at the wheel of his Red Bull car.

"I haven't been down there, and probably won't until tomorrow, because I can stand and scratch my foot on it for as long as I want but, until I drive the car on it, I won't know what it's like," he told the Times of India newspaper, “But it's probably lucky it happened in Monaco, because they are obviously not short of a few bob and can just get the [repair] truck out and get on with it."

Jenson Button, like Webber and Trulli a former winner in the Principality, also appeared unconcerned, but had another incident resulting from the hasty construction of the circuit on his mind.




Related Pictures

Click on relevant pic to enlarge
06.05.2011- Friday Practice 2, Nick Heidfeld (GER) Lotus Renault GP R31
06.05.2011- Friday Practice 1, Paul di Resta (GBR) Force India VJM04
26.05.2011- First Practice Session, Jenson Button (GBR), McLaren  Mercedes, MP4-26
26.05.2011- First Practice Session, Jenson Button (GBR), McLaren  Mercedes, MP4-26
25.05.2011- New track is laid at turn one, after a truck caught fire yesterday, damaging the surface
25.05.2011- New track is laid at turn one, after a truck caught fire yesterday, damaging the surface
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