Sochi Autodrom, 2015

Stewards crack down on corner-cutting at turn two

2015 Russian Grand Prix

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Drivers have been given new rules to prevent them gaining an advantage if they run wide at Sochi’s turn two.

The corner proved a regular trouble spot during the inaugural Russian Grand Prix meeting last year. During one GP2 race half the field cut the corner on the first lap.

Race director Charlie Whiting has advised teams their drivers may not rejoin the track immediately if they go wide at the corner.

“Any driver who fails to negotiate turn two by using the track, and who passes completely to the left of the new kerb element on the apex, must then keep to the left of the red and white polystyrene block in the run-off area and re-join the track at the start of turn three,” the teams were told.

The procedure is similar to that already being used at corners at Monza, Montreal and Singapore tracks.

A new kerb, 50mm higher than the previous one, has also been added at the exit of the corner to discourage drivers from cutting it. A further kerb behind the main kerb has been lowered to 80mm high.

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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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  • 29 comments on “Stewards crack down on corner-cutting at turn two”

    1. Good to see some consistency coming through now. Better late than never.

    2. The only thing bothering me is that now it seems they are completely swaying into the ridiculous penalty mode again.

      The problem was people like Vettel constantly cutting corners on purpose, but the way they seem to go at this now it is more likely to punish people who go off line more by accident (first lap cold tyres or later on worn tyres).

      Pretty much the same thing with the Red Bull induced crack down on unsafe releases. Although RBR was indeed the first to suffer that penalty it was actually more of an accident at that time too.

      That always seems the problem with the way the stewards handle things. They see something wrong and in trying to fix it, they don’t punish the people who do bad things on purpose, but end up punishing people who simply make a tiny mistake.

      1. The problem was people like Vettel constantly cutting corners on purpose

        @patrickl That’s quite an accusation.

        Either way I believe they are still not working in the right way if a corner has specific rules. The white line is there on every single corner, at every single track. Some has grass and others have asphalt on the sides but and open door doesn’t allow you to enter it. Crossing the white line with all four wheels while gaining an advantage should be penalised by nothing too large, for example a 5 second stop and go after each three incidents. This means drivers who mistakenly go wide still have a second shot.

        1. Yeah I just laughed when I saw that comment on Vettel.

        2. @xtwl, Well it was Vettel’s Spa incident here that brought this all on really.

          Besides, Vettel is well known for his “extensive use” of the track. Not sure how this is an accusation rather than a fact.

          When the stewards say that drivers who go off track will have to give right of way to other drivers then it can be very expensive to go off track by accident. It will already lose some time to go off track unintentionally, but on top of that they get punished extra by apparently having to take a detour and then having to yield.

          The rules you describe is exactly how I feel it should work, but I would be fine with an initial warning and only a penalty after repeated offences. Like how it was before, because I remember there was rule that you could go 3 times off track but after that the stewards deemed you “not in control of your car”. That made perfect sense.

          Not sure exactly when this was but it was in Monaco and Massa was warned about track limits about the corners around the swimming pool and after that he was able to stay within the white lines.

          1. Besides, Vettel is well known for his “extensive use” of the track.

            Like the other 19 drivers are any better :)

          2. @patrickl Honestly, I’m thinking you’re seeing more than there is.

            The problem was people like Vettel constantly cutting corners on purpose.

            Every single driver goed wide where he can to get an advantage, this is not treat of Vettel whatsoever.

            Well it was Vettel’s Spa incident here that brought this all on really.

            Yes, expecially not last years Russian GP…?

            Besides, Vettel is well known for his “extensive use” of the track. Not sure how this is an accusation rather than a fact.

            Oh, fact? Please provide us any article from whatever motorsport site that says Vettel is a corner cutter and even is ‘known’ for doing so. As @raceprouk pointed out, I’m not saying he is an angel when it comes to track extending but going as far as blaming the attention to it on him is not one, but many many bridges too far.

            1. OMG who is lookinbg for more than there is …

              The point is that it’s Vettels tyre issue that really resulted in this crack down. It was blamed on his off track excursions and the stewards are now desperately trying to stop it. It’s that simple.

      2. In the old days, you go off, you hit a tree. Some years after, you hit a solid barrier. Then, you run through or get stuck in a gravel trap. These days, a second or two extra is too much a penalty? That’s ridicilous. Fans and drivers alike need to look at a rally or two, where it’s either on track or it’s your head.

    3. stack tyres on the corners and let them crash into them.

      1. Tyre stacks are extremely dangerous. A driver’s head is exposed. They are also heavy and thus have a lot of inertia and could go flying in all directions which is dangerous for the marshals and spectators and would require the use of the SC or VSC to be retrieved from the track.

    4. who passes completely to the left of the new kerb element on the apex

      No biggie. As long as the drivers touch the “kerb element” with their right wheels they should be fine and not fined.
      And in my opinion, if a driver is indeed completely left of the kerb element on the apex he is not missing the corner but skipping it altogether.

    5. Pleased to hear this. Things like this has been arguably the most sensible solution to the track limits problem seen to date. I know that it will not work at every corner on the calendar, but it is at least a solution to cutting some of the more notorious corners.

      1. ColdFly F1 (@)
        8th October 2015, 12:30

        I would’ve preferred gravel (the type that slows you down more than ‘beaches’ a car) rather than kerbs, pedestrian crossings, and traffic lights!

    6. Raised kerb height?? Wonder what pirellis thought are on that

      1. Irrelevant; the kerb’s designed not to be used

    7. Good. Although to be honest, redesigning turn 2 to remove that illogical kink would help a lot.

      1. It could (and should) be such a nice, fast and challenging curve !

    8. ColdFly F1 (@)
      8th October 2015, 12:32

      must then keep to the left of the red and white polystyrene block

      How to police this after a driver hits the polystyrene block? Will they red flag the race and replace it ;-)

    9. Surely the easiest way to deter the drivers form cutting corners is to make running off track slower than staying on it. A crazy idea may be to cover the area off track in grass or perhaps soft gravel which would slow the cars down if they go through it…

      1. ColdFly F1 (@)
        8th October 2015, 13:36

        … or caltrops

      2. I liked it when they had astroturf just outside of the kerbs of Spoon in Suzuka. Certainly showed the elite from the mediocres (Marcus Ericsson springs to mind the most)

        1. Yeah, the astro turf they use at suzuka is much more effective in that it actually provides a deterrent to running off the track. If they can’t have gravel for “safety reasons” then that slippery astro turf should be installed at every corner with tarmac run off

      3. Coat the kerbs in teflon. Job done.

    10. I would like to see an end to kerb riding all together. They should not be allowed to leave the tarmac at all except in situations where safety is an issue.

      1. /favepalm

    11. Mick Nicholson
      8th October 2015, 20:14

      Making cars that go off track have to go round some other mark so that overall they will always loose time is really good. The problem with gravel is that it takes them out entirely (and it may have not been their fault). The problem with AstroTurf/curbs etc is that they make serious accidents worse, by making cars fly or slow down less before hitting a barrier than tarmac would. The mark needs to be one of the plastic posts that collapse and bounce up if a car hits them, but in any case it’s a spot painted on the tarmac. I only if a car fails to go around the mark should a stop/go or time penalty be added, and this should be at the discretion of the stewards so that drivers who were not at fault AND did not gain an advantage would suffer.

    12. If they go off accidentally, they are not driving well enough and deserve to loose time. If there is something wrong with the car and they go off, then the team deserve to loose time.

      Of course racing, like war is based largely on luck, the better prepared they are the luckier they get.
      If a tyre blows, they must not jump up an down ranting at Pirelli, it is luck, unless of course it is on Vettel’s car when it is undoubtedly an international conspiracy.

    Comments are closed.