Verstappen: Many F1 track limit penalties are not a 'good look' - The Race

Verstappen: Many F1 track limit penalties are not a ‘good look’ – The Race

Red Bull Formula 1 driver Max Verstappen says the onslaught of warnings and penalties at the track limits at the Austrian Grand Prix “just didn’t look good for the sport”.

Verstappen, race winner Charles Leclerc and teammate Carlos Sainz were among many drivers to record track limit abuses – for a combined total of 43 – and there were five-second penalties for Lando Norris , Pierre Gasly and Sebastian. Vettel.

And when asked after the race to talk about the heated Friday drivers’ meeting – which left Sebastian Vettel with a suspended fine – in which race control and stewarding approaches were discussed, Verstappen addressed the topic of runway limitations.

F1 is operating under a stricter track limits guideline this year, with any violation of the white line by all four wheels indicating the track limits being considered an infringement – ​​whereas last year t was determined by special instructions applying to certain turns.

When asked if he agreed with Grand Prix Drivers Association director George Russell that the rotation of two race directors in Eduardo Freitas and Niels Wittich was a consistency issue, Verstappen said: “I think it’s just about working with the drivers as opposed to just keeping your position. and be stubborn. We want to make it better for everyone, and it’s not like we’re fighting for ourselves.

“We have good conversations between drivers, and at the end of the day I think more or less about most things that we agree on – of course everyone has their own opinion on certain things.

“But, like, track limits…I think the debate over track limits this weekend was a bit of a joke, not just in F1 but in F2 and F3.

A track-limits penalty effectively decided the winner of Sunday’s Formula 2 race – former F1 driver Roberto Merhi’s five-second penalty denying him what would have been a legacy win following others unrelated penalties.

“It’s easy to say from the outside, ‘yeah, you just gotta stay in the white lines’ – yeah, I mean, it looks very easy but it’s not,” Verstappen continued.

“Because when you go that fast through a corner and some of them are a little blind, if you have a little more understeer, the tires wear out, it’s easy to go over the white line, but Do you actually save time? Maybe yes maybe no. And… to be honest, it’s only like two-three corners where you can really go a little further.

“And, yeah, I don’t think we should have this ‘ah, you’re a millimeter over, it’s a penalty or whatever’. Then just add a wall or put some gravel back in. Like turn 6, at the exit, I think it’s great, because there is gravel, you punish yourself if you go wide.

“These are things that we have to look at, how we can improve it, because also for the marshals and just the people involved in checking those track limits – I mean it’s almost impossible to check that kind of things, because you almost need like a guy on a car the whole race, to check the whole lap, if he goes out on the white line. On this track at least. In some places you are naturally penalized if you go just a little wide and you hit the gravel.

Verstappen’s point about checking for abuse of track limits is salient at a weekend in which team-mate Sergio Perez was retroactively kicked out of Q3 above track limits – although in his case the offense was an inside bend, a slam-dunk offense and unrelated to the new policing approach.

“Those kinds of things, I think, don’t look good, for sport too,” Verstappen concluded.

“And that’s just one thing. The other thing is about racing incidents and all. Of course we can do better, I think we will work on it and try to improve it.

Motor Racing Formula One World Championship Austrian Grand Prix Race Day Spielberg, Austria

Norris, who finished seventh, felt his penalty cost him a chance to retire with Haas driver Mick Schumacher for sixth.

He clarified he didn’t necessarily feel pushed around – but pointed out that at the speed of F1 cars the white lines were hard to discern in some corners.

He also said, “I mean, it’s the same for everyone if I think of it that way. The boring – the last two corners I totally get it, you run wide there – it’s also so hard to judge by the speed we’re doing, but there you run wide, you gain about a advantage.

“As I had one at Turn 1, where I had just locked up the front tyre, I hit the sausage [kerb]I lost like a second up the hill [to Turn 3]. And then I got track limits [infringement] for that. I was punished enough because I lost a second.

“It’s a little stupid, some of them, and that’s life, and that’s the same for everyone, and we wanted consistency, etc. It’s just frustrating when you’re in the The worst is turn 6 – let’s say the car is two meters wide, from the white line to the gravel you have about two meters and five centimeters You are punished if you go on the gravel, that should be a limit But if you go over that five centimeters on gravel, that’s the track limit – that’s just silly.

Regarding track limits, F1’s governing body the FIA ​​stressed that the monitoring “has been consistent with all previous events this year”.

“At each circuit, the white line is used as the defined boundary of the track, and this has been put in place after discussions with drivers and teams to improve consistency and clarity for competitors and fans.

“The number of penalties today is proportional to the number of breaches of Article 33.3 of the Sporting Regulations, with drivers during the race receiving two ‘strikes’ for crossing the white line with all four wheels, followed by a flag black and white for the third offence, and referral to the stewards for each subsequent offence.


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