Bahrain solves Turn 11 drain cover issue with concrete fillings

© XPB 

Ahead of this weekend’s season opener in Bahrain, race organizers at Sakhir have solved the drain cover issue that twice disrupted last week’s pre-season testing.

The problem first arose last Thursday when a drain cover near Turn 11 became loose and caused the suspension of the morning session with almost two hours of running left on the clock.

On Friday, a repeat issue with the same drain cover wreaked havoc on the session after just 27 minutes.

The succession of incidents prompted the FIA and Bahrain Grand Prix race organizers to take action, with the governing body revealing that “remedial works, including the filling in of drains with concrete, have been carried out”.

This approach ensures that drivers can maintain their racing lines without needing adjustments, which could have impacted their performance and tyre wear.

Furthermore, according to the FIA, concrete works have also taken place on “an additional area around Turn 7”, a fast downhill left-hander where cars often run wide over the exit kerbs, where another set of drain covers was vulnerable to the ground effect forces of F1’s cars.

Additionally, extra welding has been conducted on other drain covers around the track, further mitigating potential issues.

The concrete filling solution was deemed feasible due to the absence of rain forecast for the race weekend.

Finally, event notes published by F1 race director Niels Wittich reminds competitors that “in accordance with the provisions of Article 33.3, the white lines define the track edges” and “during qualifying and the race, each time a driver fails to stay within the track limits, this will result in that lap time being invalidated by the stewards”.

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