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.

The Briton had been on his own track walk with members of the McLaren team when he came close to being hit by a fork-lift truck that was helping to move equipment around the narrow streets.
"I was walking along, talking to the guys," he told the Guardian, "I was looking, but he wasn't as he was reversing. I was never going to be injured seriously, [and] he wasn't going to kill me. He would have [just] bumped into me."
The incident, the Briton conceded, was the symptomatic of the need to turn the Monaco streets into a race track with the added complication of a short week between events, as the F1 circus arrives in town for a Thursday start just days after racing in Spain.
"They are doing all they can but, when it is back-to-back, it is very difficult," he noted, "The guys are working non-stop to get it built. It makes it a bit difficult and dangerous - maybe we should be wearing hard hats in the paddock.
"I would prefer it not to be back-to-back. I love this race and would love it if we could arrive on a Wednesday and it looked as beautiful as [tracks do] at every other race. It doesn't, yet, and, because it is such a special event, we should have a good space before the race.
"For a grand prix, [running on Thursday] is not such a bad thing because it lengthens the weekend for the people who are watching. They come down and those lucky enough to be on a boat have four days instead of three and it does make it a show, which is good for the sport. But it would be nice to have more time - for all the guys."



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