FIA to cancel races in huge shakeup

FIA warns F1 venues have to address track limit issues or risk being dropped from Formula 1 calendar. FIA President Mohammed Ben Sulayem has issued a stern warning to Formula One circuits struggling with track limit issues: Fix it or risk losing your place on the F1 calendar.

The strong statement comes on the heels of the Qatar Grand Prix, a race weekend marred by track limit controversies that resulted in shuffled grid positions and a host of in-race penalties.



Problem is the circuits, not the FIA’s policing

Ben Sulayem rejects the notion that stricter policing by FIA officials is the solution to track limit problems. Speaking to, he insisted: “You’re absolutely right, we had the same problem in Austria; there were 1200 [infringements there].

“Congratulations to the stewards for spotting it, but is that the solution? No. The solution is to improve the tracks themselves,”



McLaren breaks world record


He went on to emphasise that tracks with known problems with line marking, such as Losail in Qatar and the Red Bull Ring in Austria, should make the necessary changes to discourage drivers from going off track.

“The solution is to improve the track itself. I know some are resistant to it, but to tell you the truth, if they don’t, there is no race. It is as simple as this…”

According to Sulayem, it’s a matter of safety and racing integrity. “We can’t afford it,” he warned.



READ MORE: Schumacher/Rosberg slam Hamilton & Mercedes



Kerb design and tyre concerns

A major issue highlighted during the Qatar Grand Prix was the abuse of kerbs by drivers, which led to problems with Pirelli tyres. This in turn necessitated an 18-lap tyre life limit for the main Grand Prix, making it an uncharacteristic three-stop race.

Ben Sulayem suggested that venues struggling with track limit problems should look at redesigning their kerbs.

“One of the solutions is to make it slippery when the drivers go off track. Nobody can stop the drivers except the drivers themselves,” he explained.



Brundle mocks driver whinging in Qatar



Considering alternative solutions

When discussing possible solutions, Ben Sulayem touched on several factors, including the height of the kerb, the possibility of incorporating gravel, and the granularity of that gravel. These changes, he stressed, would have to be carefully balanced to avoid trapping or damaging cars.

“We have to do it,” he emphasised, “and we have to listen to the feedback from the drivers first and foremost. This needs to be implemented urgently for next year,”



McLaren race pace now better than Verstappen – analysis



Technology and resource constraints

While the FIA has taken steps to improve stewarding processes, particularly through its Remote Operations Centre, Ben Sulayem noted that further technological advances could be used to more effectively control track limit issues. However, he admitted that the FIA needed more resources to implement such technology.

“It’s a $20 billion operation,” Ben Sulayem pointed out. “We can’t run it on a shoestring.” He suggested that a more substantial agreement between F1 and the FIA was needed to properly fund these crucial improvements.



Audi unconvincing denial they are to ditch F1 programme



A call to action

Ben Sulayem concluded by calling for a collaborative effort, especially given that the FIA owns the championship.

“Our mission may be different from Liberty’s, but we are in the same boat,” he said.

“We should not be running this responsibility on a shoestring. We need the resources to run it in the best way possible, because every time we improve, we make the teams and the sport better.”

With track limit controversies affecting not only the outcome of races but also safety concerns, the FIA’s strong stance underlines the urgency of resolving this recurring issue. As circuits look ahead to the 2024 season, the message is crystal clear: adapt or risk losing your place in Formula One.

READ MORE: Certain F1 drivers ‘poor physical preparation’ for Qatar






MORE F1 NEWS: “Qatar will be cancelled” says FIA president

For two years in a row, Formula One has suffered from poor publicity during the Austrian Grand Prix. Drivers pushing for the ultimate lap cannot stay within track limits at the final two corners and the result is the stewards this year issued well over 1000 deleted lap times during the weekend.

This is confusing for those watching qualifying and even the race and the narrative for the weekend becomes one dominated by…READ MORE ON THIS STORY

9 responses to “FIA to cancel races in huge shakeup

  1. This track limits is a lot of crap and the solution is simple,the race track is the tarmac so make a rule where 2 wheels must remain on the black stuff at all times in every corner and as for Austria the last 2 corners plus pit lane entry need fixed🤔

    • its not the track its F1. The tracks havent changed. F1 has. F1 and the FIA never take resposibility for anything and when not shifting blame, try to cover their mistakes.

  2. So what if track limits are exceeded in Austria! … It’s the same for everyone if they all do it, so there is no advantage gained or lost. It is only the FIA looking for a problem where there wasn’t one…

  3. It is the tracks~as modern F1 cars are getting faster, they are unable to negotiate around corners as normal~also the ‘wheel guards’ over the front wheels are restricting the drivers vision from seeing the white line for off-track, thus driver having to guess.

  4. I disagree with this one. Is the driver not in control of his car? The track is the measuring stick being used.

  5. Corners are like chicanes, no different to bends in any road. If you race down a country lane with bends & you cross out of your lane & hit oncoming traffic, it’s your fault for being somewhere you shouldn’t be! If it’s speed you want go to salt lake flats & do a drag race in a straight line! If you want skill, throw in the corners, etc! Drivers have a choice how they drive!
    If drivers can get round w/o breaking track limits, it proves it can be done! But if you take a chance & run wide, don’t cry foul when you get caught, or blame the car, or the track! It’s not everyone else’s fault!
    If police stop you for dangerous driving, is stuff like the road’s not wide enough, my car can’t go any slower, there’s not enough space to pass …. Going to wash, you all know it won’t!
    If you put a wall outside the corner, drivers suddenly behave! It goes to prove they have a choice how they drive! You can’t ask to move the goalposts! Skill is about how you function under adverse conditions!

  6. It’s funny how at street circuits with walls the drivers very seldom have a track limits problem, and if they do it’s race over as Russell found out.

    • & funny how no one is complaining about or worrying about policing track limits on STREET circuits! They don’t even need white lines!
      do they need to police the wall of champions? Never hear anyone complain about that!
      Says it all really!

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.