Storms damage stands in Shanghai

Shanghai s Grand Prix circuit has been hit by fierce storms and some of the stands have been damaged. Track officials are worried that they might not be able to repair all the damage before the Formula 1 race in October.

On Friday, winds measuring over 80mph (130 km/h) hit the stands, ripping off guard rails and sending four stands crashing to the ground. “We may not repair the damaged stands this year as dismantling the season, clearing the debris, and rebuilding work all require time,” Wang Ying, deputy general manager of the circuit explained. “Even if we finish before the Chinese Grand Prix, we may still be short of time to carry out safety tests on the repair work.”

Ying was keen to stress that anyone who had tickets for the damaged stands would be accommodated in other areas of the track and that ticket prices would not be affected by the repair work. It is currently unclear how many seats have been affected by the damage.

There have been claims that the stands were built from lightweight alloys which were not strong enough to withstand the strong winds, however this has been strenuously denied by the company. The damage to the stands is the latest in a series of troubles to hit the circuit in May, it s chief Yu Zhifei was fired over corruption allegations.