‘Bring back physical deterrents for policing track limits’, says Ricciardo


Niki Lauda has today come out against an alleged culture of ‘nannyism’ in Formula One‘. He argues the design of the modern F1 pit lanes do not require cars to travel at what appears to the TV viewer like a snail like pace.

Daniel Ricciardo also believes Formula One regulations have gone too far under the guise of ‘safety.’ 11 different drivers’ times were deleted during qualifying at the recent British GP for exceeding track limits at Copse corner

Despite being one of the 11 sanctioned, which cost him places at the start of the race, the Aussie admist to Crash.net he bears no grudge to this ‘zero tolerance’ approach to enforcing track limits. “It’s just us being greedy, trying to use every last bit of the track. The more you use, the faster you can go.

“The wind was tricky but I won’t use that as an excuse. Even without wind, we are still going to try every bit we can. I was frustrated because I thought I was still legal, so I was upset when they said my time was deleted. I saw the replay and it was very close but, if you are being strict, then I guess I was 3cm over.”

The popular Riciardo will sound a chord with many F1 fans when he explains his solution to the track limits conundrum.

“I don’t disagree with the track limits, at least there is a right and a wrong, but I think they need to put a deterrent there, either gravel or more AstroTurf,” he suggested, “[Until then] it is what it is – I can’t really blame anyone else.”

In days of F1 yesteryear, the high speed Copse corner was protected by gravel outside of the kerbing. The severity of this deterrent was enough to prevent the drivers too often taking liberties there.

At certain venues, larger ‘sausage’ style kerbs have been used as a solution to policing the white lines. The inaugural race in New Delhi was not a happy hunting ground for Felipe Massa as he hit the high kerb on the inside of turn 8, breaking his right-front suspension arm.

Massa clearly did not heed the warning and during the race hit the other side of the kerb, causing terminal damage to his left front suspension, forcing him to retire.

After the race in 2012, Massa complained and requested the authorities examine the effectiveness of this style of kerb. They heeded his petition and amusingly added similar kerbs to turns 6 and 7, also increasing the width from 5cm to 15cm

The red and white concrete at turn 9 then became known by officials as ‘the Massa kerb’.

Astro-turf appears to becoming the new ‘deterrent of choice’ for Charlie Whiting and the FIA. This provides a solution where the driver is penalised – often in just a small way – which deters the drivers from suing this section of a Tilke motorway during qualifying. In the race, Astro turf has less of an impact.

46 responses to “‘Bring back physical deterrents for policing track limits’, says Ricciardo

    • An amusing tale. Why he would want to do this is the question. The structure of the type of shares.. voting, dividend only etc means Frank retains control of the racing team. No hostile takeover going to happen here.

  1. I’m putting this comment here as the daily news has steadily become shorter and shorter and all but disappeared.

    Is it a reflection of F1, our society, or our intellect that Lewis Hamilton’s refusal to Wimbledon has nearly 40 comments while the rest of the articles hardly a quarter of this?

    • It seems like everything pales in comparison and takes a backseat when the name Hamilton is mentioned, especially if he has hit the headlines for what seems to be the wrong reasons.

    • Not specifically about this but this quote rings true in many ways:
      “This gives the virtual F1 media the chance to fill space with worthless analysis of these smokescreens (“It looks like a cloud but perhaps there is something hidden behind it…”)”

    • I made a similar comment on the Hamilton article. Jeez.
      There isn’t much going on, and an article about Charlie fitting some new rug isn’t too exciting. 😉

    • Yes, it is. And the lame state of our current, crappy society also explains why he has so many fans, most of them don’t follow the F1 driver but the gangsta poser, wannabe raper. People -regular people, most people, I mean- want to live under the illusion that life is easy, that they can pretend to be something they aren’t, being as smart as a Pirelli tire and to success, and he sells them perfectly that fantasy, they think if he could they can. Give them a smart driver who tells them what really takes to be where he is and they won”t be interested.

      • I had promised myself that I’d refrain from commenting on such comments like yours Mr juanranos78, but I guess I couldn’t keep that promise….

        When are you guys going to drop this nonsense about gangsta wannabe rapper? So because an individual doesn’t conform to what you or other think is acceptable, they are labeled and put in a box because of how they choose to live their live the way they want?

        I’m sick and tired of reading borderline comments from a bunch of old whining gits who think they’re more cultured and smarter than everyone else and as such people should be doing things that they deem acceptable, because if they don’t, then they’re inferior and a stain on society.

        So who are these ‘smart drivers’ you are referring to who has worked harder than him or anyone else to get to where he is? I don’t think you have once heard the guy saying getting to F1 was a cake walk for himy. Because I’m sure that along the way, he came across people like you who has made the same idiotic comment such as what you just did.

        Your comment is riddled with nothing but ignorance and stupidity. Because it seems that your upset that a, fake dream selling dumb wanna be gangsta rapper is currently making the rest of the ‘smart hard working cerebral’ drivers look inferior.

        • 1) How do you know he is old. Loads of young people not into ‘gangsta’ as you describe it.
          2) Not understanding that attending a Royal event has certain ‘requirements’ is not so smart. What’s the headline? “Lewis Hamilton by popular demand forces the All England Tennis Club and the Royal Family to get with 21st century reality?”
          3) Lewis is one of the best drivers in the world, but off track has regularly been a PR car crash. Which bizarrely makes Lewis even more famous – which is what Lewis appears to want – singed up with XIX. Therefore he has to accept the rough with the smooth. As was noted before – it is highly unlikely Lewis was not offered the facility to borrow alternative attire. So this could all be a Lewis crafted tale – which is a more reasonable explanation than he can’t actually read the advice he was sent – surely?

          • Again you’re misinterpreting my comment and turning it into something else.

            I could careless about what happened at Wimbledon or the assumption that he’s craving the spotlight or anything else you’ve mentioned, my gripe is with the constant use of the terminology “wannabe be gangsta rapper”.

            It’s offensive and disrespectful and you’re not willing to atleast acknowledge that it is.

            I offered no defence or opinions on anything else, so to be honest all that you’ve just written, was more for your pleasure than my benefit.

          • But the fact is that Lewis is a ‘wannabe gangsta [style] rapper’ – Stirling Moss said so. And Stirling is almost the greatest.

            There’s nothing wrong with that by the way… Some people wanna be corporate bankers – which is of course most respectable for some, but not others.

        • I’m not that old Fortis. And that has nothing to do with my opinion of current society, that it is full of posers is something I also thought when I was 25.
          I also don’t have problems with rappers or gangsters, as long as they are real rappers and gangsters. If somebody wants to be a rapper or a gangster he should make the work to be one, not just pose as one.
          And as usual you are understanding something different to what other said. You think one way -I’m talking about your mental processes (he is saying “Lewis Hamilton didn’t work hard enough to be in Formula 1”)- and then make the wrong assumption that everybody else thinks the same way about something that is only in your mind. I never said another driver worked harder than Lewis, I said if somebody tells people what really takes instead of selling them the cool look MOST people will prefer the cool guy that makes them feel that things are easy. Do you really think if Lewis were a cerebral guy who didn’t use social networks and kept his private life private he would have the same number of followers? Nope.
          Why do you think every comment is directed to you? Why do you get mad when people talk bad of somebody else?
          I don’t care how Lewis makes other drivers look -again you are assuming that because you feel some way about Lewis, the rest of us admire fanatically other driver- , I’m Juan Ramos, I don’t have a complex that makes me identify to somebody I watch in TV to the point of mixing my personality with him. Lewis can clean the floor with Alonso -the driver I consider the best in the current grid- and that will not offend me.
          Also I wasn’t even talking of Lewis -of course, you can correctly infer that I don’t consider Lewis particularly smart- but of how current society is full of superficial people.
          Oh, and I AM more cultured and smart than most people, but not more than EVERYBODY, that makes a huge difference.

          • I think the problem is that in F1, the cult of celebrity has not been the norm. This is not unique to F1 and other sports are not infected by this either. however, Lewis Hamilton by signing with XIX demonstrated his ambitions.

            And for this reason alone – Lewis will suffer the daily judgement of one who pursues the celebrity cult.

            Hamilton does not need to tell us about his rapping, imminent music album, red aeroplane, his latest social invite, dogs (canine or other), make silly or satrical comments like “it’s cos I is black” or inform us of anything else in his life.

            He could be like Vettel, or even Kimi. In fact name another top F1 driver who chooses to reveal systematically their life as Lewis does?

            None of this makes Lewis a bad person – but opens him up to comment.

            I was amazed by a BBC radio segment done before the Federer v Murray semi final at Wimbledon. Almost to a person, the British people interviewed said they would be unhappy if Federer won because he was not only one of the best ever tennis players (many said the best) but he has somehow transcended nationalistic bias by his most likeable persona and indescribable power and elegance on the court.

            Federer loses more than Hamilton does BTW – yet is always gracious in defeat.

            Further, isn;t it also unusual that a modern competitor in any sport is considered the greatest whilst competing? Federer is being afforded this accolade by fans and punters alike. This despite being beaten in the final of Wimbledon this year. His elegance, power and range of shots is beyond anything I’ve ever seen in 35 years of watching tennis.

            Having watched F1 also for 35 years, Lewis is no Federer type individual – and never will be.

            In tennis terms, maybe Hamilton is best described as a McKenroe… dunno thoughts on this would be interesting

          • hmmm ok, so If Lewis was more like Seb and Kimi then everything would be fine? That’s interesting. So he has to conform to the standards currently being set by his counterparts and then people will be less judgemental and as such he’ll be accepted with open arms by everyone?

            You say other sports aren’t infected by the cult of celebrity status, is that so? Who is the biggest celebrity in women’s tennis? Who is the biggest celebrity in football? Who is the biggest celebrity in horse racing? Who is the biggest in golf?

            Lewis Hamilton signed with XIX because he was thinking of his future beyond F1, nothing wrong with that, atleast he’s thinking long term rather than just the here and now. BTW, the last time I checked he had spilt from that company, so why continue to refer to this as if he is still there?

            In tennis term Lewis Hamilton is more like Serena Williams. Entered into a sport that many felt they should not be in and despite all the criticisms, sexist and racial abuse (remember the incident in testing in Spain 08?) they continue to defy the odds by winning whilst living their lives the way they want and not at the behest of those who find it unacceptable.

            You call his comments in Monaco
            ‘Silly and satirical’ but I can assure you that a lot of these comments by mainstream media are indeed influenced by those very words, whether we choose to believe it or not, but I won’t get into that because this site is about F1 and not a lifestyle magazine.

            But that is the norm with society these days, they look for the negative things to criticise an individual and I think you have fallen into that category. You’ve highlighted all that you think is inappropriate, but why have you not mentioned anything about the work he does for charity? Which is significantly more than any of the current drivers on the grid? Has he not used his social media platforms to bring awareness to these causes as well? You make it sounds as if it’s used just ‘show off’ (like they say where I’m from).

            There’s nothing wrong with criticising someone, but when doing so, try to be fair about it and bring attention to both ends of the spectrum and not just one.

          • ‘The cult of celebrity is not the norm in F1″….

            So what was James Hunt doing? Wasn’t Senna also a celebrity?

          • “so If Lewis was more like Seb and Kimi then everything would be fine?”

            This comment is very revealing about how you frame this in your mind, which is incorrect IMHO. Vettel chooses one approach, the consequences of this is that he has fans among people who like that approach and detractors among people who dislike that. He also doesn’t get too much attention and sponsors dislike that, so he gets less money.

            Lewis has a different approach, which also has its fans and detractors. The logical consequences of his attention seeking is that he gets a lot of attention. Since he spends a lot of time in the news, people who dislike him a little see him in the news so much that they really get annoyed. On the other hand, people who like gossip, silly news & personal details about celebs become very ‘close’ to Lewis. So emotions run high both among his fans and his detractors.

            What is truly silly is when people like you complain about logical consequences of actions that people choose themselves. It’s like complaining that your favorite celeb got wet after going out in the rain.

            PS. Amusing that you pretend that Serena Williams is just a poor victim of sexism and racism, without mentioning her abusive behavior against innocent linesman. Ignoring bad behavior by your favorite celebrity is always a good way to make yourself known as an objective observer.

    • Is there a reason why the daily news is not just in one article anymore? Means lots of threads to check if you’ve left comments all over the place!

      • Not only can you not be accused of not giving the fans what they want, but I’m pretty sure you can’t be accused of anything at all whilst presiding over this website as Judge… you know, with Judicial Immunity and all that jazz.

        *walks to the door, turns, bows and leaves*

  2. I don’t understand why they don’t have gravel two car widths wide, half a car width away from the track limit all the way around the outside of every corner, then add all your safe asphalt runoff after that. it will be equally safe and will definitely stop people from going past the limit for sure. screw this astroturf garbage.

    • At some (most?) tracks it Has to do with motorbikes racing there as well. My solution would be to put a stroke of gravel near the track which can be covered by (concrete? Metal?) plates during motorraces.

    • ..Charlie W argues, gravel can cause a car to ‘dig in’ and flip.

      Of course the solution is not to have gravel as deep as they used to… then again that would require acceptance that the current pursuit of acres of tarmac run off is not being done because it is the safest solution and then track owners have paid out hundreds of thousands to lay the tarmac.

      • @thejudge13
        ..Charlie W argues, gravel can cause a car to ‘dig in’ and flip.

        Sure, but inexistent gravel traps cause a world of problems by themselves, as we’ve seen in Suzuka. Bianchi’s car skid almost entirely on tarmac on a gravel-free escape road and into the tractor (only very nearly missing the marshals). Quite a number of times this year we’ve seen cars under double-yellows with marshals and drivers sitting pretty on tarmac with no gravel between them and passing cars…

  3. Agree entirely with Lauda and Ricciardo. If you look at the British GP, Hamilton and Rosberg both went off at Copse in the wet and rejoined without penalty – just like a video game ‘do-over’. If there had been gravel they may have lost the race, or at least suffered time penalties as they escaped the gravel trap.
    I don’t see why the rule for exceeding track limits is relaxed for wet conditions – after all did Moss, Fangio, Clark etc get softer barriers when it rained?

  4. “I cannot control myself even though they threatened to erase lap times. Control me with you traps.”

    It’s not like going out would make him go faster, as it was explicitly pointed out that they would be losing their times. Even though I prefer gravel traps to large tarmacs as long as it’s not a safety issue, he’s blowing the 3 cm out of proportion. Btw, isn’t there a run-off area on that part of the circuit because of safety issues? They won’t be putting any deterrent there any time soon.

    Complaining about something and then saying “I’m not complaining” is a bit weird. It’s not like he’s saying anything wrong with the track limits and gravel traps. I wish he would be more sure of himself or stand more firmly behind what he says. This is like Monaco overtake on Raikkonen all over again, if you listened to him talk about that afterwards. You either condone or support something, or stand against it, or don’t make lengthy statements to press if you don’t have a particular stance.

    • @duffy

      It’s not like going out would make him go faster, as it was explicitly pointed out that they would be losing their times.

      The knowledge of not having a severe penalty allows drivers to take many more risks into a corner. If something goes wrong, they’ll only get a small time hiccup. But overall, on average they’ll be faster taking those risks vs not taking them. If there is gravel, only the most skilled will ever dare take the risks and run away with it…

      • What you call “small time hiccup” caused some very tense moments for some of the drivers. And Ricciardo was especially unhappy since he started the race 10th. Hence his comments on the subject. Though, I support the gravel %100.

    • In a race,3cm can be the difference between an overtake,spin or a dnf. Our sport has got a tad whimpy in its quest for wrapping the drivers in bubble wrap. I speak from experience when I moan about gravel traps,as an owner/teaboy/delivery driver of a classic track burner I hate to clear out the rads and brakes after my so called pro driver has lost his braking point and sunk into the pebbles but I really wouldn’t change them,they give the drivers a real barrier that can’t be crossed and in the end slows the corner,yes I agree that if a car drifts into the trap there is a risk of a roll but that’s what the hoops are for

      • I don’t find 3 cm short in F1. When I say blowing 3 cm out of proportion, I mean he’s the only driver who talks at length about his time being erased while there were 11 drivers or something who got the same treatment. I don’t have a problem with him talking about whatever he thinks about F1 of course, but it sounds more sour grapes than sharing your opinion on “track limits”. Maybe because he talks to press like he’s having an internal monologue.

        • It is helps, I’ve consulted my wife on the issue and she maintains that the last 2 inches (OK, 5 cm) really *does* make a difference.

  5. These cars have millimeter accurate positioning, why not have a system that adds a delay or lag to throttle so punishment can be tuned to something like 4 seconds of no throttle, etc. I know there are some safety issues but the the idea is legit and with a little more thinking we could have a real time penalty that would be the equivalent of gravel/grass. The deeper a driver exceeds limits the stronger the throttle delay. Very video gamish but could bring in a whole new level of audience, allow actual video game players to connect with drivers on a new level, and create a safe way to punish drivers. [i’ll put my flame suit on now]

      • Maybe you missed my point about a little more thinking could lead to a safe implementation of this system. Honestly I could spend 5 more minutes a diffuse any unsafe point you could come up with. (This stuff is easy for me though, I lack dinosaur genes)

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