Just before FP2 today, Formula 1 track officials are trying to work on a solution to fix the loose kerbs in Baku, following the spate of cut tyres that hit opening free practice.
The discovery of a number of damaged sets of tyres after opening free practice proved to be the catalyst for the FIA to halt GP2 qualifying for a closer inspection.
It is understood that the issue has been caused by the inserts, bolts and screws used to secure the kerbs in place coming loose.
F1 track designer Hermann Tilke told the media in an interview this afternoon the reason why this has happened as follows:-
‘The bolts came loose. It’s the same design as Singapore and there is a hole that the bolts fit in.’
This then led to not only the kerb sections moving, but also the tip of the retaining screws becoming exposed, which is suspected to be the cause for the damage to the left hand side rear tyres seen during the session.
Further on in his interview today, Tilke suggested that the situation may have been caused by track vehicles – including buses and lorries – running over the kerbs ahead of track action. Tilke added the following:-
‘We had a problem that all the buses from the marshals went all over the kerbs this morning. The kerbs are not built for that heavy weight.
‘At the moment we don’t know why it’s happened. We’re investigating why, and what to do. We’re welding them now, and it should be good, but exactly what happened, I don’t know.’
With lengthy work needed to get the kerbs fixed, the FIA elected to not restart GP2 qualifying. The session was postponed until after F1’s second free practice session.
Tilke said his company was working on a solution so that track action could resume, although it was unclear if this could be completed before the scheduled time for second free practice to start.