Toro Rosso’s Russian driver Daniil Kvyat thinks that Formula 1 is edging ever closer to ‘Top Gear’ styled tracks, as the FIA and circuit organisers continue to reconfigure kerbs at venues on the calendar.
The new kerbs on offer at last weekend’s race in Hungary have been described as a “joke” by Kvyat, as he feels that F1 should be about punishing mistakes by the drivers.
“The kerbs are a joke. The kerbs are absolute bullshit,” he said about the new Budapest configuration.
“Just think of any bad word and you can imagine and go there.
“All we are missing is the next step – like in Top Gear where they use the track for a time trial.
“They just have a car park, and paint the circuit with the lines, and they drive there and that is the next step. It can be only that. We go there no problems. This kerb is not doing anything to the grip.
“Now we have to trust some new sensors. I don’t understand it. We just need to put grass there.
“It is losing so much – it should be you go on the grass, you go on the gravel, that is it. But there – drivers push to the limit and the white lines are not enough.”
The sensors Daniil refers to were placed on the outside of turns 4 and 11. They picked drivers that are exploring the limits of the track. The technology is the same type that governs the start line procedure, identifying those that jump the start.
The Toro Rosso charger goes on to reminisce about old school tracks, where mistakes are punished more severely.
“If you go to Zandvoort and you put two wheels off the track, you lose a day because you are in the wall,” he said.
“Now you lose your laptime if there is some sensor that said you went so far. We are doing a lot for safety, but some things that we had in the past that are old style, or old fashioned, should be kept. We cannot just paint the track with lines.”
He added: “I don’t know what they want to do about it – they let us drive as we want or they change the kerbs where we cannot go four wheels off the track any more. That should be the case.
“At the moment just driving around, I didn’t know if I am off, or am I in? I didn’t know exactly how it was happening.
“Maybe we should have a red light that flashes if we go off – or something I don’t know. What there is now is not enough.
One F1 corner that evidences the track limits debate better than most, is the Parabolica at Monza. As soon as the gravel was taken removed and replaced with a large asphalt run off, the challenge of the corner was lost along with some magic of the old circuit layout. Certain drivers remarked Parabolica had now lost some of the “smile factor”, when getting the corner absolutely right.
But if safety is paramount, then losing a lap time is a small price to pay.