“Someone could get hurt”: Hamilton warns over kerbs

2016 Austrian Grand Prix

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Lewis Hamilton has joined calls for changes to kerbs at the Red Bull Ring following a spate of suspension failures during Saturday’s running.

“For me looking at it… those yellow kerbs look quite dangerous. We’ve now seen a couple of incidences already. I don’t know how many more of those it’s going to take before a car ends up in the wall and perhaps someone gets hurt.”

He continued to press the issue “I’m sure Charlie [Whiting, race director] and the FIA are looking but that’s definitely an area that we can improve. I think the idea’s good ‘cause they don’t want us running wide… but perhaps another solution is going to be needed.”

Large yellow kerbs have been added to several corners on the Austrian circuit this year in an attempt to prevent drivers gaining an advantage by running all four wheels outside the white lines.

Nico Rosberg crashed in final practice due to a suspension failure. He nearly missed qualifying but for a stellar effort from the Mercedes team to rebuild his car.

During the first qualifying session Sergio Perez’s right rear suspension failed as he hit the kerb through turn one, having to nurse the car all the way around the circuit back to the pits. He was unable to continue in the second part of qualifying and lines up in sixteenth position, a long way behind his team mate in second.

In the same session Daniil Kvyat ran wide over the yellow kerbs through turn seven, where Max Verstappen had one of his failures on Friday. The lateral vibration broke the right rear suspension arm, pitching him into a high speed spin towards the barriers down the hill in the final corner. Kvyat emerged unscathed.

2016 Austrian Grand Prix

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    Chris Turner
    Being pelted by rain on his first visit to an F1 race at the 1998 British Grand Prix wasn't enough to dim Chris's passion...

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    66 comments on ““Someone could get hurt”: Hamilton warns over kerbs”

    1. So avoid them. No one was on them in the wet, I don’t see why this is a problem? Do they complain about the placement of the walls since if they hit them they crash? No.

      1. Just imagine a car running wide there on lap 1. It’s going to be absolute carnage.

        Introducing the halo to improve driver safety and at the same time introducing these kerbs which could lead to a multiple car pileup dienst make any sense.

        Literally anything would be safer than the current situation : astroturf, grass, gravel or even a wall.

        1. Totaly agree. A patch of grass or a gravel trap is the easiest way of dissuading drivers from leaving the track.

    2. Most poeple said the normal kerbs cause an unusual vibration, of course the yellow kerbs are high, but they are not meant to be driven over, imagine it was gravel, noone would argue then, just stay on line or go around (which most drivers managed well today )

      1. Gravel doesn’t break your car and send you full speed into a wall with no control.

        1. Gravel is unpredictable. One time you bounce over it and break a wing, another you drive through it without any damage, and if you’re particularly unlucky it will flip the car right over into a spin.

          1. Even a car flipping over seems safer than what happened to Kvyat yesterday, given the car will flip OUTSIDE of the circuit.

            Gravel would be a lot safer than the current situation.

    3. whose idea was it to put the curbs there in the first place? Why can’t the FIA police their own rules?

    4. Simple likes a simple bloody solution here. Don’t run wide!

      Or should they all complain about hitting walls at street circuits too? “Someone could get hurt” Well no bloody joke mate. So sick of this argument. They need to look at other careers if that thought even enters their mind.

      F1 shouldn’t be for the bloody coddled whingers. Too dangerous? Well bugger off and there’ll be more than enough racers with gonads twice the size ready to step up to the plate and take the risks that F1 should entail.

      1. Seems like* >.<

      2. Kvyat said he drove over those curbs in P1 as well in P2, and it was okay. He did exactly what a racer should do – extracting maximummout of the track. “Don’t run wide” – what a silly argument, pal. What’s next? Comply with a city a speed limit?

        1. And because of that it serves them right to break suspensions. Too many times drivers get rewarded when running off the circuit and just driving back on it due to the asphalted runoff areas.

        2. Yellow curbs are off the track limits so if you hit them you are in a place you should not be. I think what has happened this weekend serves all the drivers with broken suspensions right.

      3. You do realize that sometime drivers go off track due to no fault of theirs?

    5. Lynda Green
      2nd July 2016, 16:44

      he’s right these kurbs are ridiculous.

      kvyats crash was bad enough as it was but image what would have happened had another car been in-front of him braking for the final corner, that would have been a horrendously bad t-bone accident.

      those saying dont run wide or whatever clearly have zero idea about what this sport is about. drivers are there to push the limits they are supposed to be pushing the boundaries & pushing ‘track limits’ & finding advantages in those areas is, always has been & always will be part of the game.

      i also dont think the monaco/wall argument stands up at all because this isn’t monaco & kurbs are not walls.

      1. The people saying don’t run wide are spot on. Racing is about driving fast with precision and it’s that precision that separates those that can from those that can’t. The throttle is not an on off switch so the drivers can control the speed at which they drive and if they can’t go through a corner at a certain speed, then they can go slower.
        I suggest you watch videos of drivers from other eras to see how they remained within the track limits while going fast. The current crop of drivers have gotten sloppy due to the rules not being enforced and so when finally asked to drive within the limits they resort to the old argument of someone can get hurt.

        1. Lynda Green
          2nd July 2016, 17:27

          “I suggest you watch videos of drivers from other eras to see how they remained within the track limits while going fast. ” @velocityboy

          but they didn’t always because just like today you had drivers putting wheels off track and pushing the track limits. in the old days there were no kurbs and you had drivers cutting corners and dragging muck onto the tracks which is why they initially used half tyres & bollards on the apex to stop the cutting and when this didnt work they added kurbing and have tried other things over the years.

          one of the most iconic battles in f1 history (villeneuve & arnox at dijon in 1979) consisted of drivers that several times put all 4 wheels off the track and that was considered a great duel with no whining about track limits.
          i also recall nigel mansell at spa in 1990 constantly running off track at la source & that was considered smart driving from a canny driver looking to find any advantage. nobody whined about track limits or any of that.

          all those in favor of these dangerous kurbs reminds me of the 60s/70s when jackie stewart was been ridiculed for pushing for safety improvements & pointing out areas of danger. when he was arguing for barriers, more runoff & kurbs to be installed/improved the common argument against was that drivers should just not go off track & that if they hit a tree, crashed into a ditch or whatever then it was there own fault.

          risk & danger are a part of the sport but where you can see something that is dangerous & is damaging cars & causing big accidents then you must address it. if you dont and the worst happens try then telling those affected that there was no issue with them.

          1. Lynda Green, you’re right about the drivers not respecting the track limits in the past – if you refer back to the 2003 Austrian GP, all of the drivers were intentionally running wide at Turn 1 (most of them were running about two or three car widths off the track), and most of them were also consistently running wide at Turn 9 as well.

          2. If the stewards were serious about the track limits, no dangerous kerbs would be needed to keep the drivers in check. And I agree that they’re potentially dangerous, but F1 has done itself no favour by turning the tracks into carparks and then failing to penalize people who take the ‘get out of jail free’ card.

            The Villeneuve-Arnoux battle might have been exciting, and it certainly withstands the test of time, but that was a special case. Today we have drivers going wide pretty much every single lap depending on the track. It’s become a bit of a joke at this point, so it’s no surprise that the reactions are different.

      2. Pushing track limits and boundaries are definitely part of the game. Push too less and you have a mediocre lap time. Push the right amount and you get a great lap-time. The game is about how much you can push WITHOUT getting burned.
        This is not Monaco and these are not walls. This is Austria and these are kerbs. But in either case, respect the absolute limits or get screwed! If the drivers doesn’t have what it takes for accurate driving, they should go home.

      3. Not the yellow kerb caused the break of suspension , the right hindwheel in fact had less force in that moment and did Not touch the yellow kerbs, rosbergs incident wasn’t caused by yellow kerbs either

    6. Hamilton should stop talking about safety just to look cool.


      1. Haha, spot on! COTD.

    7. I understand that they are dangerous, but back in the day they races between very high kerbs and they just avoided them.

      You could see all the drivers using the red sausages even after Kvyat’s accident. 4 incidents in 2 days concerning the kerbs and they are still pushing hard on them. At some point your suspension gives up, but it only happens because of the continuous use of the kerbs.

      They are designed to be avoided. Maybe it’s not the best solution, but it is what they have now. So maybe, huh, avoid them? They do it when it rains (because touching the wet kerbs means spinning), so why can’t they also do it when it’s dry?

      1. Lynda Green
        2nd July 2016, 17:29

        “I understand that they are dangerous, but back in the day they races between very high kerbs and they just avoided them.” @fer-no65

        and why do you think those very high kurbs were removed & replaced? they were dangerous & caused some very big accidents (see barrichello at imola in 94 or dereck warwick at montreal in 88).

        1. Yeah, and that’s why we have this sausages now. They don’t launch the car into the air, so that’s an improvement. You just have to stay away from them, just like before. Only that if you have a problem, you don’t slam the barriers 1 meter up in the air.

    8. Simple solution.. instead of big kerbs have a 5 meter layer of grass. That will slow you down or make you spin. You would then spin into the big tarmac space. Lose time but be able to continue.

      Grass is pretty cheap isnt it?

      1. Not if you have to replace it after every race weekend. And there’s the rub.

        Once the grass gets torn up you quickly get through to dirt and stones. The latter is obviously a safety concern as well.

        And of course once enough of the dirt is pulled away you get a drop off the edge of the track comparable in size to what we have with these kerbs, and the same risk of damage to the cars.

        I’m not saying there’s a perfect solution which would work for every championship, but it’s not as if the grass was replaced by accident.

        1. full gravel/grass run offs were replaced. A small strip is a simple solution not really tried that much. Or that astroterf/grass mix you can get. It would be slippery too.

          Either way there is plenty of better options. Or actually penalise people as many have suggested. If you do it more than 3 times in a race you get a penalty. Didn’t they once give out pens for missing the middle chicane at germany even thou it was full of dirt and dust?

      2. petebaldwin (@)
        2nd July 2016, 19:24

        Much more simple solution – if you go off the track with all 4 wheels, you have to lift like you would if you are going past a yellow in qualifying. Telemetry can be checked to see if a reasonable lift was made. If not, you can maybe get a warning and then a drive-through.

        Simply put, the drivers are being put at risk by dangerous kerbs because the rules on track limits aren’t being enforced. Charlie has the power to stop them going onto the kerbs but until he does, some of them will chance it.

        1. @petebaldwin That would be impossible to police, and we’d get drivers lifting all over the place with others incomming fast. It should be this simple, put whatever you like behind the standard kerbs and whenever a driver goes to wide his lap (Q) time gets deleted, and a driver can do so X amount of times in the race. If he does it X+1 time that stands for a +10 second penalty, done with it. If iRacing can programme such stuff so should the FIA and then it can be implemented in all motorsports…

    9. Let’s see how this usually goes;

      Hamilton gets asked a questions
      Gives his opinion
      F1 Fanatic does an article about Hamilton
      Almost everyone suddenly has the opposite opinion

      1. Agreed, what really gets me is that if this had been Seb saying this everybody would be agreeing with him instead of having a dig at Hamilton.

    10. I’ll just quote Hamilton from two weeks ago:

      “One thing for sure, these drivers they moan so much about so many things. I guarantee you.”

      Seems like he really does learn from Bernie, at least when it comes to contradicting himself.

      1. @lheela

        He was asked a question by the journalist during the press conference, his team mate suffered a failure, 3 other drivers from different teams had the same problem.

        Why did you want him to say? everything is fine and dandy? This is moaning in your book?

        1. The failures werent caused by the yellow kerbs…..they were caused by the permanent red and white kerbs…..watch the Rosberg and Kvyat incidents again. Verstappens P1 suspension failure is the only one that was.

      2. Everybody’s entitled to changing their mind in face of new facts, including Hamilton.

        1. It’s not even a matter of changing his mind. Baku and Austria are completely different types of tracks.

    11. Uzair Syed (@ultimateuzair)
      2nd July 2016, 17:11

      I don’t know why drivers are complaining about this. The solution is to not drive off the track like a cheat to gain time. There is nothing wrong with the kerbs. Drivers needs to stop track extending.

      1. “There is nothing wrong with the kerbs.”
        With all due respect, but that’s really stupid.
        What’s next? Putting spikes outside the corner?
        Because, hey, why not?! After all we don’t want drivers running wide, do we?

    12. ” these drivers, they complain too much” quote Lewis Hamilton Azerbaijan 2016

      1. He just answered a question. What’s your point?

        1. So other drivers go in search of media to air their opinion?

          1. @evered7

            I believe he was asked a question by a journalist? Am I missing something here?

            1. @paulguitar Only that Hamilton criticized other drivers as moaning when they answered questions put up by the media. Now he is the doing the same as well, according to him.

        2. By that logic Bernie is just answering questions he’s asked too. Your response has NO point. I honestly would have expected Lewis to say something more condescending of the other drivers and they should learn to go fast on the track. And no, that is most definitely not a bad thing to hear from a driver, I’d expect nothing less than that attitude from anyone who wants to be a world class driver.

          1. No, it is totally different. Bernie says crazy and outrageous stuff like women are white gods and Hitler got stuff done.

            Explain to us all the similarities here please.

    13. Discussions about track limits have gone on for years now. I’m sick of it. These kerbs are just another chapter in the book.
      The FIA should either enforce track limits on a consistent basis, or put a massive graffel trap from the very edge of the track onwards towards the barriers. Then if a car goes wide, he goes off, looses lots of time, but can most likely continue the race depending on the severity. This is exactly the kind of safety compromise that is acceptable, even desirable to keep things exciting, but not too dangerous.

    14. Seems like proper kerbs should cost the driver time, not break the car.

      1. Lynda Green
        2nd July 2016, 17:30


    15. Time for a ditch just outside the track limits. Stay within the track limits or get penalized.

    16. Warren Stilwell
      2nd July 2016, 17:39

      It was not intentional to cause damage to the cars by the curb designers. They were trying to develop a curb so the car loses enough grip that it’s a penalty. That is why the curbs angle in the odd way they do. To try to minimize the contact patch for a longer period of time while driving over them.

    17. why is it that all the con-yellow-kerbs comments ignore the fact that half of the incidents weren’t caused by the yellow kerbs? ??

      1. Were they not? It is true that many suspensions broke on the other side (over the red curb), but suspension arms are not independent as far as I know, so movements on the ‘yellow side’ can actually stress the other arm.

        1. well, i dont know for sure either, but in rosbergs Case no yellow kerb was involved, Wolff stated that the Vibration of the Red kerbs is unusual causing tiremovement that broke the suspension, though He also said that He doesn’t know for sure either yet and have to investigate, german commentators suggested similiar

    18. Still I Rise
      2nd July 2016, 18:01

      Stay on the track. i didnt hear Hamilton call for the walls to be removed in Baku.

    19. I’ve got a bit of a mixed view of these kerbs to be honest.

      On one hand its good to see them trying to find a solution to stop drivers abusing track limits & its clear that these kerbs should not be driven over…. However I think that the ‘solution’ should cost drivers time rather than damage the cars in the way that they are.

      Regarding the argument ‘if there was a wall there’ I think this is different in that at places like Monaco where there is a wall there you tend to hit the wall & just slide along it so the accident ends there & then. With these kerbs the causing the type of damage they have been your seeing the accident happen further down the road, go on for longer & be potentially far more serious.
      I think Kvyat was really fortunate that the car wasn’t further over to the right when he hit the tyres at the start of the pit wall because that type of accident can be very dangerous.

      End of the day we have what we have right now so some extra caution is needed but I definitely think its something that needs to be looked at with a better solution implemented for next season.

      I still don’t see why they don’t use the type of kerbing that they have installed at a few places round Bahrain as those kerbs work as a deterrent & do cost time if you go too far over them as beyond a certain point they kind of pull the car out wider which costs additional time.
      Go back & watch in-car laps from Bahrain & you will actually notice that you virtually never see drivers put more than half the car over any of the bigger kurbs & that if/when they do they nearly always end up been pulled out wider & losing time.
      Interlagos actually has the same style of kerbing.

      1. I like your comment, very well Summed up, but many drivers said before that it is good if the tracks are more punishing, and they said stuff like this in context of monaco and baku, so race ending punishment, and that forgiving tracks like bahrain and abu dhabi are boring

    20. The F1 world brought this upon themselves by failing to adapt to the new world in which asphalt run offs became the norm. Whiting has been absolutely useless in protecting the white lines as the boundaries of the track.

      But I can’t help but think the ever higher Pirelli pressure guidelines have something to do with this, as well. Tyres have always been an important part of the ‘suspension’ of F1 cars, and these hard, high-pressure tyres are probably not quite as useful as most teams would be used to.

    21. Question: did ‘extreme’ tyre pressures contribute to excess suspension vibration? Is Pirelli to blame for safety concerns?

    22. Whatajokef1f
      3rd July 2016, 1:31

      Tyre pressures are the problem here

    23. Whats this then? Lewis moaning? Oh the irony.

    24. An idea: just remove the kerbs and say everyone is allowed to run wide.

    25. Don’t moan about it Lewis, remember what you said in Baku?

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