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Chinese GP: FP2 Cancelled due to Visibility Concerns

Discussion in 'Formula 1' started by Bethonie Waring, Apr 7, 2017.

  1. Bethonie Waring

    Bethonie Waring
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    FP2 visibility.jpg Drivers and fans were left frustrated and bored as weather conditions forced organisers to cancel FP2.

    Visibility in Shanghai was poor and, like in FP1, the air ambulance would have been unable to land at the local hospital in the case of an emergency.

    The drive to the hospital would have been over an hour, meaning the risk if a serious incident were to occur was too high.

    Unlike FP1, there was no brief spell of good visibility, meaning the red flags remained on track for the entire 90 minute session.

    Lewis Hamilton was the only driver to get on track, though not in his Mercedes. The Brit crossed the track by foot to meet fans in the grandstands.

    For more Formula One news and discussions head over to the RaceDepartment Formula One sub forum and join in with your fellow community members.

    Do you think there should have been running? Should teams have done more to entertain fans? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below.
     
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  2. dragob

    dragob

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    This is total bull. You pay over 200 euro to watch...nothing. May be it wasn't such a good idea to build a F1 track so close to a megapolis.
     
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  3. LeSunTzu

    LeSunTzu
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    You know, there is fog in the country sometimes...
     
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  4. Andrew Harper

    Andrew Harper
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    From a safety point of view they had no choice so I understand why they did it but @dragob is right. The poor spectators will not get refunds and they've probably not seen any running cars all day. Give them free general admission for Saturday in my view as compensation.

    I see there was a danger that the race would be switched to Saturday afternoon but that's now been stopped as the weather for Sunday now looks ok.

    Slightly off topic but I see Malaysia has been dropped for 2018? The event has been losing millions year on year and the government have decided they've had enough. Shame as Malaysia was a decent track. On the plus side we will get the German GP back but it's still a sorry state of affairs when a venue doesn't make any money out of one of it's major events for the year (in contrast they make money out of the MotoGP race).
     
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  5. delpinsky

    delpinsky

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    In China they have some heavy issues, to say the least, with pollution... :speechless:

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
     
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  6. Nox

    Nox
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    There has been a Chinese Grand Prix since 2004. That means this year is the 14th running of the Chinese Grand Prix, and this is the first time (as far as my memory and research goes; please point out any session I may have missed) a practice session has been red flagged due to fog. So, building the track so close to a megapolis hasn't had any bearing on the event whatsoever in 14 years until today and saying as much is just not true at all. As @LeSunTzu rightfully said, sometimes there is just fog, it happens everywhere. Yes, there is a lot of air pollution in China, but it has never affected the Formula 1.

    I do agree, however, that the fans should get some sort of partial refund.
     
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  7. Joseph Wright

    Joseph Wright
    Lead Commentator Staff Premium

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    That looks perfectly safe to race in ;)
     
  8. Diogo Goetz Brand

    Diogo Goetz Brand

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    Does that mean I can't use foggy weather on Assetto Corsa? Even the weather on that thing has no simulation value!
     
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  9. neuer31

    neuer31

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    So 200€ is more worth than a life?
     
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  10. Dirk Steffen

    Dirk Steffen
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    I have been there, having had set up at my favorite spot to shoot and sat in the rain for a few hours, listing top the BBC live broadcast.

    The issue today was a first. Never since I went to the Chinese F1 GP or any of the other races I visited at the Shanghai International Circuit had I experienced this.

    The racetrack is quite a bit away from the single one hospital which is designated as the sole emergency hospital for F1 events.
    Yes there are probably other hospitals closer to the track that provide certain necessary facilities but none of them has the combination of helicopter landing site and is specialized (renowned actually) for it's brain surgery specialists and trauma facilities - hence it's long partnership with the F1 event.

    There were helicopters flying over the track. This was not the issue.
    The issue was that the Huashan Hospital and the help landing pad is situated inside the city center within a densely populated area.
    Landing at that site (and probably operating aircraft in very bad visibility within the densely populated area between hospital and track) was deemed too dangerous.

    As much as we love the sport, we have to understand the risk vs. the benefit.
    I was one of the fans at the track all day. I was freezing and wet and didn't see a single F1 car on track today (I came too late to see the very few installation laps before the FP1 was red flagged).

    I have no bad feelings and fully understand the reasoning and do support it.

    BTW: smog or bad air quality had very little if anything to do with today's red flagging of both FP1 and FP2.
    In fact we had relatively good air quality with an AQI of around ~70 (which is pretty clean for Shanghai).

    The bad visibility above the city today was mainly a product of the weather (fog and constant cloud cover with a drizzle since early morning).

    I will be at the track again tomorrow come rain or shine.
    I really do hope we will see cars running at the track tomorrow - the weather fore cast is better than today.
    Here are a few shots from the last years of F1 around the Shanghai International Circuit:

    Valtteri Bottas in his Williams in 2015, attacking the last corner before start finish:
    [​IMG]F1 GP - Shanghai 2015 - Valtteri Bottas - Williams by Dirk Steffen, on Flickr

    [​IMG]Shanghai F1 GP 2014 - Infinity Red Bull Racing - Daniel Ricciardo by Dirk Steffen, on Flickr

    [​IMG]F1 GP - Shanghai 2015 - Nico Rosberg - Mercedes by Dirk Steffen, on Flickr

    [​IMG]F1 GP - Shanghai 2015 - Valtteri Bottas - Williams by Dirk Steffen, on Flickr

    [​IMG]F1 GP - Shanghai 2015 - Mercedes by Dirk Steffen, on Flickr
     
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  11. Bethonie Waring

    Bethonie Waring
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    No, of course not, but that doesn't mean they couldn't have done something for the fans. Hamilton went signed stuff in FP2. Something as simple as that would have been awesome
     
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  12. Jan Larsen

    Jan Larsen
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    As most others I agree with the decision taken by the FIA, but it dosen't mask the fact that a contingency plan must be made. Perhaps having the possibility to move the sessions back and forth, upgrade the on-track medical center to handle any injury or hire someone to stand by with a 'half-time' show to entertain the crowd. I'd be pissed if I had spend the ludicrous amount they charge for ticket prices and not seen ANY action at all.
     
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  13. Diogo Goetz Brand

    Diogo Goetz Brand

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    The real question here is: Will foglights be mandatory from now on?
     
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  14. Winkhaus

    Winkhaus
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    Nice! Thanks for the review, man!
     
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  15. Keith_G

    Keith_G
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    Thanks @menos | M6 ! Nice photos and a nice "on site" review of the problems and challenges. I don't really know the relation of the track to the city but perhaps F1 should invest in one of the local hospitals to bring it up to the standards necessary for safety, you know, give back to the community. If nothing else, it could be used as an alternate in case of bad flying conditions. Sorry you aren't having a beautiful weekend of photos and hope the race is better weather and you can get in some great shots to share with us! Now go inside and get a hot cup of tea man:) Look forward to racing with you again next week.
     
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  16. John Nelson

    John Nelson
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    Should go back to Imola
     
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  17. kondor999

    kondor999

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    Maybe it's not such a great idea to build an F1 track on a swamp in a Communist dictatorship with (apparently) only a single decent hospital and sharply limited flying skills/equipment.

    Our CareFlight can land in any weather short of a tornado here in Dallas.
     
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  18. Dirk Steffen

    Dirk Steffen
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    I too think that for the fans a plan-B should be available should cases as yesterday happen.
    I could think for example of additional pit walks (the pit walks in Shanghai are a pretty crowded and a rather exclusive thing - you buy yourself a special ticket for that and usually have to wait in a veeeeery long queue for a substantial amount of time before getting squeezed rather quickly through the pitlane.

    What Lewis Hamilton and crew members did yesterday was fantastic (break over the pitwall and sign autographs for the fans in grandstand A) - and you see me mentioning this not being a Lewis Hamilton fan ;-)
    I think more teams and drivers should have done something similar.

    Here he was in 2014:
    [​IMG]Shanghai F1 GP 2014 - Lewis Hamilton by Dirk Steffen, on Flickr

    For what it's worth though - everyone who buys a ticket should know that usually it comes with a hell or high water clause that (understandably) protects the event organization from regress should there be no event as of conditions out of control to them. Yesterday was such an event. It is relatively unlikely though that this will happen on all three days.
    Today it is still foggy outside but looks to clear up towards midday.
    The weather forecast shows partly cloud cover higher temps and lower humidity - it forecasts better conditions then yesterday.

    People comment about costs of tickets and the entitlement of getting your money's worth.
    Well I usually have to buy several tickets for several areas to get to the many spots I usually shoot from over the weekend. I feel not the slightest bit "betrayed".
    Sometimes in life you just have to imagine being in someone else's shoes.
    Yesterday you should just imagine you would be in the air controllers shoes who would have green lighted a landing from an emergency helicopter over a densely populated residential compound in very bad visibility.
    Lean back, have a drink and … the Dude abides.

    You are welcome ;-)

    Thanks Keith ;-)
    The track is roughly 40km (as the crow flys) North-North-East of the Huashan hospital.
    Road traffic between track and this specific hospital can be a bit haywire depending on time of day and the phase of the moon - you usually need 30min to 1 1/2 h between the two spots but it can also take a lot longer!
    Generally the behavior in Chinese traffic is that once a road is completely congested even emergency vehicles cannot get through (this is very different from Germany).
    Traffic regulations and punishments for using the emergency lane illegally have been tightened substantially over the last two years and I do expect this behavior to better over the upcoming years.

    The choice of that specific hospital really is not as other hospitals are not qualified according to high standards but simply as it is THE BEST choice with it's Neural surgery and trauma station being well above the standard and highly qualified personell.
    I am not sure if this choice will be thought over after this weekend - after all we lost "just" two training sessions and not the entire weekend thus far.
    Drivers and track personell deserve the absolute best medical treatment in case of an injury. This should have priority over a lost session.
    Rescheduling lost sessions though should be considered in the future.

    I wasn't aware Imola was cancelled in favor of the Shanghai F1 race.
    In any case the Shanghai International Circuit is a very nice circuit - in my opinion the nicest of the "Tilke Dromes" (I am not an outright fan of his creations either). This track though has some flow to it, has a little elevation changes, a very nice, tricky chicane, high speed with a treacherous hairpin and a last corner that can ruin or make your next lap. I really wish we had a good version for Assetto Corsa to race WEC races on it.

    Here is Audis last few kilometers in racing it's R19 at the Shanghai International Circuit during last falls WEC race - when this photo was taken during one of the practice sessions before the race the announcement was still very chilling fresh that Audi will leave the WEC :-(

    [​IMG]6 hours of Shanghai - the swan song for the Audi R19 Hybrid by Dirk Steffen, on Flickr

    I am sure none of your stated points above were at all even remotely relevant for yesterdays events ;-)

    Here is some shots of the people who live in town:
    https://www.flickr.com/search/?user_id=52593619@N02&view_all=1&text=shanghai people
     
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  19. Keith_G

    Keith_G
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    Wow, those do look like mean and bad people;) Have fun over the weekend and enjoy what I think is one of the most interesting cities in the world. Even with the bad weather I wish I could join you to enjoy the F1 race. I'm sure the sun will come out on Sunday. (Might want to take a look at the weather in Austin last year before giving too much grief to Shanghai):O_o:
     
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  20. Dirk Steffen

    Dirk Steffen
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    Thanks guys ;-)
    I was busy over the weekend but couldn't shoot according to plan on the weekend - Friday was a no go as you all know and Sat and Sun unfortunately allowed me fewer spots to shoot from as I planned - tighter security and still recovering from an unfortunate knee injury I just couldn't put as many kilometers hiking to get to the spots I usually do.
    I will share a few shots later on in the other Chinese F1 GP thread - my day job didn't permit me editing thus far - very busy season around here ;-)

    Cheers and catch you guy here or later on the Club Races !