Whiting: ‘I cannot fully enforce track limits’


Christian Horner’s public persona appears to have undergone something of a makeover in 2016. No longer is he spouting the petulant ‘take our ball hone and leave F1’ rhetoric of Red bull owner Dietrich Mateschitz and neither is his authority being usurped by a quadruple world champion driver refusing to obey team orders.

In fact, when speaking on a number of issues this year, Horner has been on right on the money so far as the fans are concerned. Spice Boy gave a resounding ‘NO’ to the silly qualifying format invented by Bernie and Charlie Whiting when on a drunken night of whoring. And on the matter of team radio, once again ‘little jack’ called for a return to common sense which has been finally been heeded by the FIA’s master class lecturer in the art of the U-Turn.

Once again, Horner now ventures back to the hustings to ride the wave of public sentiment over the mess that is Whiting’s ever changing approach to enforcing track limits.

The issue of track limits meant in Austria we saw the air craft carrier launch systems masquerading as kerbs, in Silverstone times were deleted and last time out in Hockenheim there was a public spat between the Strategy Group and Charlie which forced the rules on track limits to be changed again.

Allegedly, efforts are being made over the summer break to devise a better policy for the remainder of the season, and Christian Horner would like to offer two simple solutions.

Either enforce track limits fully or abandon all attempts to restrict the drivers to the track.

“I think the problem is that you cannot take it corner by corner,” Horner told Motorsport.com. Some corners drivers are penalised for running wide and at others they are not. The FIA’s recent introduction of sensors saw drivers allowed have all four wheels outside the white line that defines the track limits, but only be able to use part of the kerb before being penalised.

“You cannot have one rule for Turn 1 and another rule for Turn 17 – otherwise that is too confusing for us within a paddock, let alone for the fans,” argues Horner.

The simple solution according to Christian is: “There is a white line that goes all the way around the circuit – and one very easy way of doing it is if you have all four wheels over that line, you are out. In other sports it seems to work, be it with a ball or a foot – whatever it may be”.


We the global F1 hordes stand together, united and cheer the Red Bull leader for his ‘common sense speak’. Some of us even now believe Christian will make a sensible replacement for Bernie Ecclestone – whe he retires in 20 years time.

Yet in reality, Christian has not been exorcised from the spirit of double speak and his alleged penchant for Chicken Kiev is a complete PR sham.

Horner knows full well that Charlie Whiting has admitted privately – and in the presence of a TJ13 team member – he does not have the resource/technology to “fully enforce 4 miles – or so – of white lines for 20 odd cars”.

Placing sensors at a couple of corners is a whole different ball game to managing the entire white line that defines the edge of the racing black stuff. This would require serious investment from the FIA – who are either reluctant or can’t afford to do so.

Our newly heralded F1’s man of the people, is fully aware of this when he calls for the simple solution of each circuit’s white line boundary to be enforced – knowing full well his duel option proposal in reality leaves Charlie with ‘Hobson’s choice’.

However, we have learned from the elongated machinations over the ‘new and improved’ 2016 F1 qualifying format that Charlie Whiting likes to consider himself beholden to no one – a trait often called stubbornness – and so he will probably make yet another attempt to define and enforce track limits by the time we all arrive Spa Francorchamps.

9 responses to “Whiting: ‘I cannot fully enforce track limits’

  1. Retires??..not a chance, MrE has probably developed a system that allows him to command from the otherside, a few guys have managed this in the past. Dracula was one and he was a blood sucking leech as well. I can see a huge castle,a round stone table with his head in the centre and surrounding him are the likes of Charlie and co..he would become the head of the FOM and FIA;) so people,its upto ourselves to remove this curse that befalls F1, gather all the pointy sticks and silver bullets you can and with pitchfork and torches held high we can get back our sport.. because frankly it’s run by idiots.

  2. “he does not have the resource/technology to “fully enforce 4 miles – or so – of white lines for 20 odd cars”.”
    Firstly, he doesn’t have to enforce the whole thing – just the corners – so that’s just spin to make it seem an outrageous suggestion.

    Secondly, even if just enforcing the corners was unachievable using FIA electronic sensors then the answer is to use physics (which, I imagine, is something the tracks have to pay for and not the FIA) – come up with SOMETHING that can be placed a car’s width outside of the white line which will impede the progress of a car being raced whilst not being in itself a danger to a car which is genuinely already in trouble.

    Off the top of my head, maybe a kind of chequer-board array of raised domes might be enough to dissuade running wide whilst not upsetting a car that is genuinely already in trouble?

    We have gravel, which does the job slowing cars down which drive directly into it, but which can be very upsetting to a car sliding sideways – see Alonso’s flip this season.

    We have the “sausage” or “baguette” curbs – again, they dissuade a transgression, but could have an unfortunate result for a car out of control.

    We have grass, which is slippery so can be very unsettling to a car at any angle of attack.

    We have walls. Same as grass, but more immediate and definite in the outcome of a transgression.

    Surely there is something between gravel, food-stuff curbs, grass & walls, and the current “solution” of tarmac run-offs with occasional sensors … I think my suggestion of a chequer-board of domes doesn’t have a particular “angle-of-attack” weakness for an out of control car whilst being uncomfortable/damaging enough (to suspension/floor) to ensure a driver would treat it like a wall.

    If one tenth of the amount of effort that goes into developing the latest in car chassis material construction (lightness, strength, rigidity – or lack of, the the right conditions, etc) went into solving what to put at the corners of a track to ensure the highly paid sportsmen actually stuck to the rules of their sport, then it would be sorted by Spa.

    In my opinion, of course.

    • Myself and Bruznic had this very same discussion a few days ago and your points mirror what the world is saying. You would think that with the combined brain power that F1 can command something could be put together. If it’s left to the drivers then sadly nothing will change as most are only interested in a better lap time rather than fair play..my idea still stands…land mines! Cheap,portable and bloody effective

  3. Sigh … the site implied this hadn’t been posted, so apologies for re-posting. However, the second post is a revised version with a couple of extra points, so if you want to reply, please reply to that 😉

  4. Am I missing something? there is a while line @ pit exit that the drivers can’t cross and that seems to work pretty well. There are cameras covering every single corner, so why not draw that simple white line, the old school way, no sensor, no nothing and blow the whistle when 4 wheels are beyond the said line. 5s drive through penalty per transgression should take care of it over (very little) time.

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