FIA asked to examine Valencia bridge

Formula One tyre supplier Bridgestone has asked the FIA to examine the bridge section of the new Valencia F1 track amid fears that its current configuration could lead to a spate of punctures this weekend, autosport.com has learned

FIA asked to examine Valencia bridge

The new track around the Valencia port runs over a swing bridge - with a small gap in the asphalt where there is a metal expansion joint to prevent any damage from varying temperatures.

Although the gap itself should cause no problem for the F1 cars this weekend, there is some concern, however, with the fact that the two sections of asphalt are at varying levels.

The section on the bridge is higher than the part of the track before it - and the resultant bump, believed to be as high as 15 millimetres in parts - has led Bridgestone to ask the FIA to look into the situation.

Bridgestone is worried that the bump is big enough, especially with the potentially more susceptible super-soft tyre in use this weekend, to risk causing punctures.

Hirohide Hamashima, Bridgestone's director of motorsport tyre development, wrote an email to FIA race director Charlie Whiting on Thursday asking him to look into the matter - and enquire if there was any way of ensuring the two parts of the track are made more level.

"I've written to Charlie to ask him to look into it," Hamashima told autosport.com. "The track is slightly raised (on the bridge), and if a tyre hits it (the lip), it could cause a puncture.

"It is not so bad, but if they can adjust it then we will be happy. Having the track level will be better."

The bridge section of the track appears to be the only part of the circuit that has caused some concern - with the rest of the layout leaving almost all the field excited about this weekend's inaugural event.

World champion Kimi Raikkonen said about the bridge section: "There are a few bumps because I guess they need to turn the bridge sometimes. That is the only place where I found any bumps on the circuit, and one of them is in the middle of the corner. So, that might affect things a bit.

"But apart from that it looks very smooth and very well done the circuit. We will see tomorrow how good it is in the end, but I expect to have quite good fun."

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Series Formula 1
Author Jonathan Noble
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