The FIA have performed another dramatic U-turn this weekend, as track limits for turn one at Hockenheim get changed once again.
Drivers and their teams were critical of the track limit rule applied during Friday’s two practice sessions.
After Thursday’s strategy group meeting, discussions took place to abolish the track limit rule altogether, in the hope that racing may be more spectacular. Charlie whiting however saw this differently, and ruled such a move as impractical.
Race director Whiting was of the opinion that if there are no track limits, the drivers would consistently run wide everywhere. Striving to better their lap time by exceeding track limits would result in a different track.
Charlie then got tough with turn one, as drivers continued to push the limits there. With the use of an electric sensor (the same sensor that was used in Budapest), drivers wee issued a “three strikes and you’re out” warning over the track limits there.
The FIA’s decision prompted some questions from the strategy group members who later went to vent their frustrations with none other than Bernie Ecclestone. The strategy group asked “why have our thoughts on track limits been ignored?”
Ferrari team boss Maurizio Arrivabene had said: “We discussed [in the Strategy Group] that we will try to have a ‘wild’ weekend because this track has adequate run off areas.
“But then they ended up recording everyone who went over the white lines as if we hadn’t agreed anything yesterday. So we have gone to Bernie.”
The matter was brought up again during the drivers briefing on Friday night, resulting in the FIA moving the “control area” wider of the track at turn one.
The drivers can now use the full width of the kerb, rather than being forced to keep two wheels on the inside of the tracks white line.
In a memo sent to all the teams on Saturday morning, Charlie Whiting said: “Based upon our observations of the way in which the new kerb on the exit of Turn 12 is used, and the comments made in the meeting yesterday evening, we feel that the usable track limit at Turn 1 should be the outer edge of the kerb, i.e. the edge furthest from the track.
“The performance of any driver going beyond this point, with any part of the car, will be examined in order to establish whether or not an advantage was gained by exceeding this limit.”
Hopefully we can move on from this to enjoy an action packed qualifying session.
If there has ever been one static thing in F1 it’s the edge of the track is a solid white line. So why oh why are they discussing the track limits and chopping and changing ‘the rules’ on track limits. Either allow all 4 wheels over the white line on all corners or don’t. You can’t have one rule for 1 corner and another for other corners.
I wish they would stop changing rules each weekend. It’s difficult enough for a keen F1 fan to keep up never mind a casual viewer. This weekend we have had changes to radio traffic rules, waved yellows in quali, and track limits and that’s just the ones I have read about!
How can you have a sport when you keep moving the goal posts so often?
The track limits are a joke, there are no penalty if the car runs wide and in many instances there can be a clear advantage. The white lines denotes a race track..not over it or around it but in the damn thing. Austria had the right idea,run off line and your car is destroyed, Monaco is the same,run off line and your history. Drivers will always seek their own idea of what is fare so make going off line a penalty,give them a puncture,car damage or even suck them into quicksand but don’t give them a limp slap on the wrist..’oh you naughty driver you, don’t do it again or you will be fined £3 and have to take a speed awareness course’
Before quali Verstappen had exceeded the limits 14 (!) Times. Unbelievable. There used to be kitty litter everywhere. F1 was better then.
Yes to kitty litter. The electronic track limit sounds fine. Works great on the local go Kart track – no hitting other cars and no hitting the wall. Three strikes and you’re out. So how about applying the contact rule to cars as well as track. Just need some visible indicator of track limit breaches for the fans.
Electrodes in the drivers’ trousers. Every time they exceed the track limits…zap!
Should make for some interesting radio traffic… 🙂
Electrodes in trousers? Hey, Zoolander, fill up the gas!
These kind of rules, as the “30 cm outside the sensor” is exactly what Charlie wants, since they depend on interpretation now he can continue punishing whomever he wants and not punishing whomever he doesn’t want and corruption can keep running the championship.