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Overnight repairs at Montreal

NEWS STORY
08/06/2008

With the Canadian GP threatening to descend into farce, organizers have carried out a number of initiatives overnight including the resurfacing of the hairpin.

As sections of the track began to break up yesterday, there was chaos during the qualifying session, with Red Bull's Mark Webber subsequently remarking that the track was better suited to motocross bikes than F1 cars, and design veteran Mike Gascoyne predicting that it will be difficult for anyone to finish the event. Robert Kubica and Kimi Raikkonen, who qualified second and third for today's race, both described conditions as "a joke".

After hearing drivers' complaints, Grand Prix of Canada executive vice-president François Dumontier toured the damaged parts of the track with race director, and safety delegate, Charlie Whiting. Dumontier later telling reporters that "everything will be rectified" for the race".

Subsequently, a number of repairs were carried overnight including the resurfacing of the hairpin, leaving Dumontier confident that conditions will be fine for today's event.

It is not the first time there have been problems with the Montreal track surface, however, after a problem during a stock car event in 2007, sections of the track were patched up with a product called SR2000, which had been recommended by NASCAR.

"We're really confident that this product will hold," said Dumontier at the time. "At least the track won't disintegrate with this product."

Try telling that to Kimi Raikkonen. "It's the same as it's been the last three or four years," said the Finn, who won here in 2005 with McLaren. "It always breaks down and they always promise to fix it. Maybe they should send someone in from somewhere else to fix the circuit.

"I can't understand how things like this can happen," added the World Champion. "Maybe it's the higher temperatures, or a repair job at this point not done properly, but one thing is certain: In the race tomorrow, it will be very difficult to get through there. It's going to be a nightmare because the circuit breaks up after only two laps."

As if this wasn't bad enough, forecasters are still predicting a 60percent chance of rain, possibly even a thunderstorm.

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