Drivers warned again over track limits

2014 British Grand Prix

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F1 drivers have been warned for the second race running there will be “zero tolerance” for those who abuse track limits.

As in Austria two weeks ago, driver face having their lap times deleted during qualifying if they stray beyond the white lines which mark the edge of the track with all four wheels.

They have been specifically warned not to do so at turn 9 (Copse) and turn 18 (the exit of Club) by FIA race director Charlie Whiting.

He issued the following statement ahead of today’s qualifying session:

“Further to the discussion in the drivers meeting yesterday evening I would like to remind all teams and drivers that we will adopt a “zero tolerance” approach to cars leaving the track on the exit of turns 9 and 18 during qualifying.

“Unless we are satisfied that a driver left the track at either of these points for reasons beyond his control, having been forced off the track for example, every lap time achieved by leaving the track will be deleted in accordance with Article 12.3.1.d of the Sporting Code.

“During the race, any driver who appears to have gained a clear and lasting advantage by leaving the track at turns 8 or 18, or who repeatedly leaves the track at either of these two corners, will be reported to the stewards.”

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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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17 comments on “Drivers warned again over track limits”

  1. Solution: Less run-off, more gravel traps.

    Ah wait.. this is the FIA… never mind. No point complaining any more, they just don’t listen.

    1. I think they had listened to the fans when they reduced gravel traps because fans were disappointed when one small error put their fave driver in the kitty litter and ended their day.

    2. petebaldwin (@)
      5th July 2014, 12:32

      No need though. If they adopt this approach (and perhaps a 3 strikes rule during races) then it’s fine. The run-off areas are there for safety so that’s a good thing. The bad thing is that they let drivers get away with mistakes. If the FIA sort that out so that you get penalties for repeatedly using them to gain an advantage, you’ve got extra safety and no advantage to drivers.

      1. They could put a narrow strip of gravel. I think there is a track that adopts something like that.

        1. There are some parts of this track (for example turn 1 and Maggots-Becketts) where a small patch of grass is placed just after the white line followed by a large amount of tarmac runoff. It forces drivers who make the mistake to go wide, but they can still control their car on the tarmac.

    3. You know that its not just the FIA that have asked for gravel traps to me replaced by tarmac?

      The bike racing authorities have also asked for the gravel traps to be removed because the tarmac is far better & far safer for the bikes.
      Touring/Sports & GT cars also prefer tarmac over gravel because of how easy those cars get stuck in gravel & how difficult it can be to recover them quickly once they get stuck.

      If you look at Le Mans, The ACO have removed a lot of the gravel traps now because it was found that when cars went off & rejoined & gravel got spread all over the track that it was causing punctures because of the high tyre loads on the fast parts of that circuit. Since they started removing the gravel the number of punctures at Le Mans has decreased massively.

      Its the same in America on circuits which no FIA series run on. Nascar have asked for gravel to be removed at Watkins Glen, Road America, Mosport & Montreal because again those cars get stuck very easily & digging them out was timely which increased the number & length of caution periods.

      And of course do we really want to see incidents like this again, Caused purely by gravel traps?

      1. That video is also a great reminder just how safe modern F1 cars are

  2. Rightly so. I like this zero-tolerance approach. It doesn’t matter whether they gain a advantage or not, you run wide, you’re not on the circuit so the lap shouldn’t count.

    1. Agree. The track limits are there, drivers just have to heed them and they are fine.

  3. I think the Track Limit Zero Tolerance stance is the best of a tough situation,
    We need runoff for safety, sure, exceptions are glamour (monaco)
    If we have gravel traps cars can/may drag crap back on track
    if we have kerbs with bear traps that tear parts of the car away that can also affect safety,

    I think its a tough call, what do we do? concrete walls?

    1. No, I don’t think it is tough really. I think you and @petebaldwin and @craig-o and F1 have it right. Zero tolerance sets the guideline for everyone to follow while having a corner that does not end a fave driver’s day with a slight off.

  4. They seem to do what they are saying this year, which is a good thing

  5. If all the drivers us those parts of the track anyway, what difference dose it make, I say let them race! there are to many rules restricting drivers as it is.

  6. quite a few drivers have gotten a balck and white flag for rack limits in the gp2 and gp3 races, gonna be interesting to see wether we get some in f1 aswell.

  7. Just make the kerb a decent height and they will stop abusing it and/or getting a possible benefit through an honest mistake. Anyone that goes over it will receive an automatic penalty through time/speed loss, seriously it’s not much of a brain teaser.

  8. Anyone got the list of all drivers affected?

  9. having watched motor sport since the 60s (when good men died because of poor circuit and car safety)track limits have got to be enforced, 2 wheels over, drive thro. 4 wheels over stop go, no ifs no buts no Charlie making rules for different circuits’, (and drivers), get on with it. lurch

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