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2018 F1

Whiting plays down Paul Ricard surface concerns

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Charlie Whiting has played down concerns about Paul Ricard’s ‘patchwork’ track surface.

Although the French venue has prepared itself for the first grand prix in the country for a decade, drivers and engineers were alarmed when they inspected the surface on Thursday.

What they found is patches and strips of mismatched and repaired asphalt, mainly in the braking and traction zones or the middle of corners.

“I’ve heard that there are a lot of patches here,” said Sergio Perez. “I wonder what sort of grip we are going to find.”

On June 2, there were reportedly problems during a GT race, and temperatures this weekend are expected to be high.

But FIA race director Charlie Whiting told Auto Motor und Sport: “Don’t worry. The surface is ok.

“It’s not bad. At least the track has a bit of character.”

Ferrari’s Sebastian Vettel, however, admitted he is no fan of the Paul Ricard layout.

“I think there are better circuits in France,” said the German.

“If the French grand prix stays on the calendar, my wish would be for a different one.”

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