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.