Track limits a talking point on first day back in Austria

2014 Austrian Grand Prix Friday practice analysis

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Drivers not obeying the track limits was a common problem when Austria’s grand prix circuit last held F1 races in the early 2000s.

The addition of a raised kerb at the exit of turn one on the Red Bull Ring has improved one of the biggest trouble spots on the circuit. However there are still points on the track where drivers can run wide and gain an advantage, with the penultimate corner proving a particular cause for concern.

“There will probably be a couple of talking points in the drivers’ briefing tonight,” said Jenson Button. “The pit entry at turn eight is tricky; I tried to go round the outside of someone who was pitting, but I just went straight on because I was on the marbles. So that might need a little look.”

Ferrari development driver Raffaele Marciello discovered this problem during the GP2 qualifying session, blaming Rio Haryanto for costing him a chance to take pole position. That could be a problem in Q1 tomorrow when all 22 drivers are sharing one of the shortest tracks on the calendar.

During the practice sessions today several drivers were warned for cutting the pit lane entry line on their way into the pits, which they had been warned not to do.

Button pointed out a further problem with this part of the track. “Additionally, the exit of turn eight needs looking at – it’s seemingly quicker to run with all four wheels off the track, but it’s a bit more dangerous because you run out of asphalt and have to get back on the track before it grasses over.”

But despite this point of concern the drivers were positive about the revived circuit, including many of those who hadn’t raced on it before.

“It’s a really nice track,” said Valtteri Bottas, “I think it will become one of my favourites. It’s an old-school track with some high speed sections and no room for mistakes.”

When it last held the Austrian Grand Prix between 1997 and 2003 the circuit was considered one of the better venues for overtaking. But Sergio Perez has doubts, even though the track now has two DRS zones.

“The track is very challenging and it doesn’t offer many overtaking opportunities,” he said, “so grid position will be crucial”.

For the third race weekend in a row the teams are using the softest of Pirelli’s tyres. But unlike Monaco and Montreal the Red Bull Ring has some quick turns which will put them under greater strain.

“The high speed corners were working the rear tyres hard but they seemed to cope well,” said Lewis Hamilton. “The feeling was good for both sets of tyres, even in the long runs, so if the car is like this for the race, I’m in a good place.”

Some teams experienced visible graining on their rear tyres during practice. But Pirelli motorsport directory Paul Hembery expects them to get that under control: “We’ve seen some notable differences in rear tyre usage between the teams, although we expect this to reduce tomorrow, once they have looked at the data from today.”

Longest stint comparison – second practice

This chart shows all the drivers’ lap times (in seconds) during their longest unbroken stint:

Sebastian Vettel75.04774.88478.29775.36175.14674.88175.09775.16875.07274.95374.86774.86675.36875.44776.0579.507
Daniel Ricciardo75.57681.20475.35874.68674.8874.82974.71375.22675.10475.52874.88874.50674.67274.76774.88175.15374.99576.54975.14574.479
Lewis Hamilton75.08374.34674.18573.82980.48373.58674.20373.73977.47173.688
Nico Rosberg81.11471.27987.02570.83588.778.61377.04877.92470.7370.499
Fernando Alonso74.75174.85674.51174.61975.25178.59374.69774.49774.48874.74776.23675.54574.31874.24374.44974.5478.22
Kimi Raikkonen75.19674.76675.26674.95874.30275.25675.56874.84774.7875.23975.01675.14575.49977.11276.113
Romain Grosjean74.68974.55374.30274.86274.09274.77375.71474.99477.12874.97574.61275.43675.51275.17675.875
Pastor Maldonado78.62875.43673.64878.42572.97379.14172.535
Jenson Button76.39376.67175.97175.4977.42975.31575.73274.9574.89774.71374.83375.12575.16374.72474.82474.217
Kevin Magnussen75.63375.65476.48976.98977.22377.15277.04576.7276.32275.93876.37180.25876.175.92976.87176.122
Nico Hulkenberg76.40675.8475.37475.40375.28375.25875.23375.33875.45475.23
Sergio Perez75.64274.4174.19577.01174.32974.34575.31779.21375.40375.17974.95774.61776.335
Adrian Sutil76.14575.60275.03974.67974.7574.98975.93475.29875.812
Esteban Gutierrez77.12176.82775.93176.30275.66975.99676.24976.07676.87975.7775.67775.60975.46375.18175.38675.54675.41775.4475.24375.37976.364
Jean-Eric Vergne75.64275.43475.72474.6774.87674.95275.10574.96275.65975.13576.187
Daniil Kvyat75.55475.60775.55375.01974.95676.18175.46574.9975.6275.47675.32675.14375.52675.744
Felipe Massa75.14574.44374.48475.21275.13674.75674.85275.24975.22378.35774.11574.80376.90774.95975.36675.56675.978
Valtteri Bottas75.27574.85374.31676.22975.63674.47874.68775.26775.32775.52174.93674.83374.58174.36775.28774.73974.76575.18975.17175.13174.93775.13875.953
Jules Bianchi77.5176.7776.25775.69576.20477.03575.93176.90876.12375.89375.90976.52676.32475.89775.62675.674
Max Chilton75.93876.21776.17476.03676.06276.02677.0176.20776.80876.91276.55376.56876.41476.24477.30475.96375.97176.04376.80776.667
Marcus Ericsson78.62978.32477.41877.23177.32478.40777.43877.88777.27377.36477.29877.22477.74277.36477.70177.06177.97577.28581.76277.32177.145
Kamui Kobayashi76.59575.91575.73677.42176.92176.46477.43781.554

Sector times and ultimate lap times – second practice

PosNo.DriverCarS1S2S3UltimateGapDeficit to best
144Lewis HamiltonMercedes17.292 (2)30.717 (1)21.490 (1)1’09.4990.043
26Nico RosbergMercedes17.263 (1)30.862 (2)21.721 (2)1’09.8460.3470.073
314Fernando AlonsoFerrari17.344 (5)30.976 (3)21.964 (4)1’10.2840.7850.186
419Felipe MassaWilliams-Mercedes17.321 (3)31.081 (6)21.909 (3)1’10.3110.8120.210
577Valtteri BottasWilliams-Mercedes17.368 (6)31.051 (5)22.002 (6)1’10.4210.9220.098
63Daniel RicciardoRed Bull-Renault17.533 (12)31.209 (10)22.013 (7)1’10.7551.2560.165
71Sebastian VettelRed Bull-Renault17.540 (13)31.263 (12)21.973 (5)1’10.7761.2770.031
822Jenson ButtonMcLaren-Mercedes17.333 (4)31.100 (7)22.380 (11)1’10.8131.3140.000
97Kimi RaikkonenFerrari17.410 (7)31.030 (4)22.408 (12)1’10.8481.3490.126
1020Kevin MagnussenMcLaren-Mercedes17.442 (8)31.119 (8)22.321 (10)1’10.8821.3830.054
1125Jean-Eric VergneToro Rosso-Renault17.499 (11)31.195 (9)22.206 (8)1’10.9001.4010.072
1226Daniil KvyatToro Rosso-Renault17.548 (15)31.437 (14)22.207 (9)1’11.1921.6930.069
1311Sergio PerezForce India-Mercedes17.473 (9)31.230 (11)22.491 (15)1’11.1941.6950.102
1421Esteban GutierrezSauber-Ferrari17.495 (10)31.422 (13)22.487 (14)1’11.4041.9050.087
1513Pastor MaldonadoLotus-Renault17.758 (18)31.524 (17)22.453 (13)1’11.7352.2360.030
1627Nico HulkenbergForce India-Mercedes17.592 (16)31.608 (18)22.568 (17)1’11.7682.2690.167
1799Adrian SutilSauber-Ferrari17.544 (14)31.458 (15)22.781 (19)1’11.7832.2840.023
188Romain GrosjeanLotus-Renault17.785 (19)31.502 (16)22.545 (16)1’11.8322.3330.430
194Max ChiltonMarussia-Ferrari17.705 (17)31.791 (20)22.733 (18)1’12.2292.7300.000
2017Jules BianchiMarussia-Ferrari17.789 (20)31.676 (19)22.814 (20)1’12.2792.7800.000
2110Kamui KobayashiCaterham-Renault17.898 (21)31.929 (21)23.104 (21)1’12.9313.4320.006
229Marcus EricssonCaterham-Renault18.015 (22)32.400 (22)23.181 (22)1’13.5964.0970.000

Complete practice times

PosDriverCarFP1FP2Total laps
1Lewis HamiltonMercedes1’11.4351’09.54250
2Nico RosbergMercedes1’11.2951’09.91937
3Fernando AlonsoFerrari1’11.6061’10.47040
4Valtteri BottasWilliams-Mercedes1’12.1141’10.51944
5Felipe MassaWilliams-Mercedes1’11.7561’10.52139
6Sebastian VettelRed Bull-Renault1’12.9881’10.80739
7Jenson ButtonMcLaren-Mercedes1’11.8391’10.81344
8Daniel RicciardoRed Bull-Renault1’12.5701’10.92036
9Kevin MagnussenMcLaren-Mercedes1’12.3131’10.93645
10Jean-Eric VergneToro Rosso-Renault1’12.3641’10.97239
11Kimi RaikkonenFerrari1’12.3651’10.97445
12Daniil KvyatToro Rosso-Renault1’12.3721’11.26145
13Sergio PerezForce India-Mercedes1’12.0091’11.29636
14Esteban GutierrezSauber-Ferrari1’12.9841’11.49142
15Pastor MaldonadoLotus-Renault1’13.6421’11.76530
16Adrian SutilSauber-Ferrari1’14.6911’11.80642
17Nico HulkenbergForce India-Mercedes1’12.0721’11.93539
18Max ChiltonMarussia-Ferrari1’13.8571’12.22943
19Romain GrosjeanLotus-Renault1’13.1681’12.26246
20Jules BianchiMarussia-Ferrari1’13.7381’12.27936
21Kamui KobayashiCaterham-Renault1’14.6111’12.93724
22Marcus EricssonCaterham-Renault1’17.5011’13.59648

Speed trap – second practice

#DriverCarEngineMax speed (kph)Gap
119Felipe MassaWilliamsMercedes318.3
220Kevin MagnussenMcLarenMercedes318.10.2
322Jenson ButtonMcLarenMercedes317.21.1
46Nico RosbergMercedesMercedes316.12.2
525Jean-Eric VergneToro RossoRenault3162.3
611Sergio PerezForce IndiaMercedes315.92.4
714Fernando AlonsoFerrariFerrari315.33
877Valtteri BottasWilliamsMercedes315.23.1
999Adrian SutilSauberFerrari315.13.2
1027Nico HulkenbergForce IndiaMercedes314.34
1121Esteban GutierrezSauberFerrari3144.3
1244Lewis HamiltonMercedesMercedes3144.3
137Kimi RaikkonenFerrariFerrari313.84.5
1426Daniil KvyatToro RossoRenault312.95.4
1510Kamui KobayashiCaterhamRenault311.46.9
161Sebastian VettelRed BullRenault311.46.9
1717Jules BianchiMarussiaFerrari3108.3
183Daniel RicciardoRed BullRenault309.88.5
198Romain GrosjeanLotusRenault309.68.7
209Marcus EricssonCaterhamRenault308.99.4
214Max ChiltonMarussiaFerrari308.210.1
2213Pastor MaldonadoLotusRenault306.811.5

2014 Austrian Grand Prix

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Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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43 comments on “Track limits a talking point on first day back in Austria”

  1. The track was recently added to Gran Turismo and I noticed the same issues, especially that pit lane. The corner itself is blind so you can’t really see if anybody is halfway into the pits until you’re right there.

    I wonder where Ferrari have come from all of a sudden? Didn’t Kimi say they have new updates?

    1. @craig-o
      Ferrari always look good on Friday, it’s all going downhill from here.

      1. Maybe because they run light???

      2. Paul (@frankjaeger)
        21st June 2014, 0:13

        @kingshark How come they always look good on friday?

        Something i’ve never understood is what schedule the teams have during practice sessions. What is the general consensus in practice? Long stints on fridays? Sector troubleshooting on saturday? Quick runs?

        @keithcollantine I understand your schedule may be relentless but if you’re struggling to think of an article to publish it could be this ^


    2. I think Ferrari are trying again the updates they ran in Canada practice, but had to abandon because it was too hot there (else they might have retired like Hamilton, or lost pace like Bottas to make the finish).

      1. They might A/B test it again, if so, look out for Raikkonen ahead of Alonso in Saturday morning practice.

    3. The pit entry might be awful, but at least the pit exit is great and could give us two cars side-by-side coming into turn 2 :)

      1. Hopefully so, a mate and myself did an Audi R18 race there on GT6 and that occurred!

  2. I am sorry for commenting about unrelated thing but I want to say that the Canadian GP was the best because the backmarkers (Marussias and Caterhams) were eliminated early in the race so imagine how the racing would be without these GP3 cars competing in F1

    1. Ooof.. that’s harsh mate, they’re only GP2. (Factually, the GP2 pole time was 1:15, whilst I think everyone bar Ericsson was in the 1:12’s or below)

      1. @ Michael C: It’s just an observation which might be wrong but still I think F1 should have the highest standards

        1. You’re right.

        2. pastaman (@)
          20th June 2014, 21:57

          It does

        3. Bernie’s response to this would be: “400 staff redundant, 2 teams less – 9 teams, 18 cars… sounds ripe for 3 car teams. 27 on the grid like in GP3. The top 5 teams will definitely vote that through. Finally, $50m more for CVC and I; Let’s do it.”

          1. While our response would be, with $50m more prize money, we could have 2 more teams, 26 cars on the grid and 400 extra jobs in F1. Throw in another $50m to the back of the grid, and they would all be latching onto Sauber at the tail of the midfield. CVC and Bernie would only lose less than a fifth of their annual profits.

    2. @malik
      “the Canadian GP was the best because the backmarkers (Marussias and Caterhams) were eliminated early in the race”

      Could you please elaborate on this? I don’t understand how do you connect these two things. :/

  3. I also drove this track on Gran Turismo (very good rendition, I like it!), and the pit-lane is just dangerous. Not just in qually – imagine closely following another car in the race when they have to slow down on the apex of the corner to make the pit entry.
    As for practice: Hamilton, Rosberg, Hamilton, Vergne, Vettel spins, Ricciardo almost, Hamilton Hamilton Hamilton

    1. At the end of GP2 qualifying, this exact scenario cost Marciello the chance of a front row grid slot.

  4. Is there any news on the time-penalty a pitstop will incur? It seems like an awfully long entry and exit for such a short track.. If pole is where I think it will be (high 1:07s), and the pit looks as though it’s around 25ish seconds, then that has to be the lowest pit-to-lap time ratio all year, no? I’d imagine most teams will attempt a one stop if at all possible

    1. @timi Pole will be a mid 1:08 IMO. Nevertheless you’re right, the ratio is crazy. But Pirelli say they don’t think it’s possible to do a 1-stop. Too high rear degradation for that

    2. I saw 22 seconds quoted on another site.

      1. You’re right @fastiesty it’s 22 seconds in the pit lane.. but because the pit entry starts so early and includes that weird corner, the time penalty starts earlier due to drivers having to take that new tighter, and slower line before entering the pits. On other tracks it’s generally just a slight change of direction, but here it’s larger than normal.

        Interesting @montreal95 I hope some teams are verging on three stops then, – I’d love to see more split tyre strategies a la Bahrain and Barcelona

        1. @timi Makes sense…. I imagine it’ll be 1 stop Force India to almost 3 stopping Williams, although 2/3 stop makes me think of pre-2013 tyre change Pirellis.

        2. @timi I’d like that too but won’t be holding my breath for 3-stoppers. There are a couple of guys closer to the back who have nothing to lose that might try a 1-stop(Perez, Button). In fact Button hinted as much in post-qualy interview. Everyone else will be on 2-stop i believe

          1. I agree @fastiesty, @montreal95. Bar Button and the FI’s, it’s looking like another bog-standard 2 stop race.. oh joy.

  5. Great fix for the problem of extending track limits. Have gravel traps. The first and the final two corners are probably three of the most difficult around this circuit, yet there is an abundance of run-off. There is a great buzz for the people watching and especially the drivers, knowing that if you mess up the corner there’ll be little or no forgiveness, your car could be beached or worse and your session could easily be over. The run-off is there for safety reasons I presume, but it’s being way over the top. Please God let us have more element of risk for the drivers. Some of the mistakes and error’s that drivers can make on most circuits is excessively and needlessly forgiving.

  6. “It’s an old-school track with some high speed sections and no room for mistakes.”

    Are you listening, Mr. Tilke? This is what drivers want.

    1. @andae23 Indeed. Funnily though this was Tilke’s first F1 track. The second one was Sepang which is also great. However it all went downhill from there, starting with the new Hockenheim

      1. @montreal95
        Istanbul is his creation too, isn’t it? I always enjoyed it. Although I heard it was originally planned to be run clockwise before they had a go in reverse and found it to be better that way.

        1. @njoydesign I like Istanbul Park too. And Austin. I was generalizing :)

    2. Tilke does make circuits with fast sections, In fact most of his tracks feature fast/sweeping corners.

      The run-off is mandated by the FIA circuit regulations so in that regard he’s just building the track within the parameters he’s given when it comes to runoff.

      Also consider that runoff areas are not just changed for F1, Other categories also have a say. The Motorbike riders for instance prefer having tarmac runoff so there are a lot of circuits where bikes race regularly that have gone to tarmac runoff for them.
      The tarmac runoff at Montreal was added largely for the Nascar series, They also requested tarmac runoff be added at Road America, Mosport & Watkins Glen as those cars get stuck in gravel extremely easily & are difficult to recover (They also get torn apart by it easily underneath).

    3. @andae23 You are aware that this was the first Tilke track, right?

    4. The problem with Tilke tracks is not that they are bad, it’s that they are all the same.

      @kaiie resumed it the best: “5.5 km/20 corners/have two 1 km straights”

    5. Sepang is also a very good track I think, and is also Tilke.

      It’s the rules that have conspired against him.

  7. Ferrari seem to have genuine pace here. Not only the fastest time behind the Mercs, their long run pace also looks good.

    Hope they run the updates and clinch a podium during the weekend.

  8. The pit entry is the same as it was when F1 raced here before & it didn’t cause any problems & back then drivers didn’t complain about it.

    As to track limits, I don’t really see a problem as the little kurb at T1 stops them running off there & putting 4 wheels off at turn 8 means your offline for turn 9 so its not really a time gain overall.

    Also remember that they regularly used to run 4 wheels off the track when there was grass/gravel on the exit of these corners. The only difference now is that back then they used to drag gravel all over the track which caused problems for the cars behind, Thats why they 1st put the grass-crete down for 2001/2002 & then went to full tarmac for 2003.

    1. pit entry is slightly different in my opinion. Look at 1:07 and you can see the entry is a lot later than what it is today.

  9. I don’t know who approved that pit entry because it’s just plain dangerous.

    1. Definitely the FIA then!

  10. this should be another course for Rossberg to exploit…

  11. Mercedes’ long run pace was so horribly hectic and short that I can’t get much info out of it. Ferrari seems quite consistent on the long runs. Red Bull is roughly the same too.

  12. As much as I will look forward to the return of such a scenic track from some good races a decade ago, its certainly a sign of the times that we’re talking about “track limits” at such a venue. A glance at some on-board shots from the original Osterreich circuit and you realize we’re watching a different sport altogether from back then.

    Don’t get me wrong, there’s a huge thrill in F1 today at the right place and time, but man…..Osterreichring in its full countryside glory with the sounds of the beautiful deep throatty V12’s of the late 70’s doesn’t really compare to much anything else. This may well have been the more glorious circuit of all time – and at a time when man and machine really were at their limits.

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