Sensor, Hungaroring, 2016

Hungaroring changes prompt track limit concerns

2016 Hungarian Grand Prix

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Formula One drivers have been warned not to gain an advantage by running wide at turns four and eleven on the Hungaroring as the revised track does not discourage it.

The Hungarian Grand Prix circuit has a new surface and revised kerbs this year but following an inspection of the track F1 stewards have found two corners lack the “required deterrent” for drivers running wide.

“In turns four and eleven the new double kerb has been installed and the artificial grass removed,” the stewards noted. “However, the run-off areas behind the kerbs have been set at the same height as the kerbs themselves, the required deterrent is therefore not present.”

“With this in mind we have installed loops 1.6m from the track edge which will alert us when a car has all four wheels off the track in these two locations.”

New 50mm high steel kerbs have also been added to the chicane at turns six and seven.

The track and pit lane have been completely resurfaced and new kerbs added with a view to improving drainage. The pit lane entrance has also had a minor reconfiguration in order to smooth out the approach from the racing line from the preceding corner.

2016 Hungarian 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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  • 32 comments on “Hungaroring changes prompt track limit concerns”

    1. Cannot wait for yet another weekend of hearing about nothing but track limits. Yay.

    2. This track had no issues with safety or track limits up until the recent tarmac and flat curb disease.

      FFS just go back to gravel and grass. It’s not safer with tarmac.

      1. I must have imagined Alonso’s massive crash in Melbourne caused by the gravel flipping the car making the impact far more severe than if the car had have remained on the ground.

        1. Am I a bad person to admit that the crash was exciting?


          I agree with your logic though.

        2. You dont know that the gravel made the impact far more severe. What the gravel did do was flip the car.

          It was a big crash and he walked away.

          Alonso large crash was caused by mis judging an overtake. Not the gravel. I could also argue accidents where the tarmac run off contributed to the crash.

          Either way since the advent of carbon fibre tubs there has not been a single fatality in formula 1 due to gravel.

        3. Alonso rolling and flipping dispelled the kinetic energy which otherwise would have speared him into the barrier.

    3. STOP ADDING TARMAC RUNOFF AREAS THEN! Just go back to the old fashioned grass and gravel please.

      1. Safety first

        1. Yes– Safety first by installing kerbs that break car suspension.

        2. How exactly are gravel trapes so iredeemably unsafe that it mandates their obsolence?

          1. And if they are indeed as unsafe as they say, why are they even allowed to exist at all?

          2. If a car goes off sideways with speed, the tires can dig into the gravel and flip the car. The thinking is that with tarmac the car will slide but not flip. Similarly if the car goes straight off with speed it will skip across the gravel like a stone over water so the driver can’t break and slow the car before coming to the wall. With tarmac they can brake and slow the car before hitting the wall.
            The problem is that the drivers seem to think they can use any tarmac they see and the FIA didn’t clamp down on exceeding the track limits it on day 1.

            1. Never seen a gravel trap cause a fatality in F1

            2. Rolling and flipping mitigates kinetic energy, which otherwise is conserved when cars slide across the tarmac and into the barrier. Looks bad, especially if the car falls apart, but that’s what it’s designed to do.
              Regarding skipping across the gravel, again, it slows cars down a lot more than locking wheels and sliding on tarmac. The only notable occurrence I can think of was Schumi’s accident in Silverstone in 99, and the fact that his brakes failed meant he would have slammed into the barrier just as hard, if not harder.

    4. So they can install a loop to determine whether or not a car has exceeded limits, but not link it to cut the engine power etc.

      If they are going to talk about track limits then set up a proper enforcement – every other race formula seems to be able to, even V8supercars has a 3 strikes process where offenders automatically get a drive thru.

      1. Cutting engine power is too dangerous. The rear of the car will go light, could cause a spin. Driver needs to be in complete control of the car.

    5. Pretty sure they don’t mean turn 11, but turn 12. Turn 11 is the fast lefthander leading to turn 12 where many cars run a bit wide on exit.

      1. No it isn’t. Turn 11 is the fast right-hander.

      2. Not according to the numbering the FIA uses.

        I vaguely remember that the slight kink after T1 was sometimes numbered as T2 (maybe in 2003-2005), but that hasn’t been the case for years.

    6. I understand the wide run off areas. It is done for safety firstly and secondly because we don’t want to see car beached in he gravel after a simple off. However I also understand that track limits need to be observed.
      So, look at the picture at the top of this article. There is a 1.5m (5ft) section of astro turf on the outside of the curbs. Why not make this section gravel or something else that penalises them. Maybe it is just a teflon like section or is wet or something like that. Maybe jelly :).
      If they go into it, they won’t crash and can rejoin the track, but it will deter them from going out there as it will significantly slow their lap time. There needs to be a deterrent, but not one that puts them out of the race like the bagets at Austria or a wall that might kill them!

      1. >we don’t want to see car beached in he gravel after a simple off.

        Why not?

        1. Exactly. There was nothing wrong with cars being beached — it was a consequence for sloppy driving.

        2. Because it now means a full Safety Car while the marshals and their machinery have to retrieve the beached car.

          Oh wait: maybe that could be the answer to liven up dull races.

          1. That’s what double waved yellow flags are for – maybe the FIA should focus on enforcing that rule, rather than arbitrarily focusing on track limits and having to withold finality for lap times. Besides, we now have VSC to deal with that sort of situation.

    7. Get ready for a handful of drivers having their times scrubbed off in qualy!

    8. Drivers never “gain an advantage” by going off the track according to Charlie though…. They just do it to get closer to the fans!

    9. I realise this is a bit of a convoluted and possibly a quite expensive system, but my solution is for a water trap.

      Cover the area in question with glossy paint, install some sprinklers and spray a fine film of water over the paint making it slippery. Go off track and you risk spinning, even if you don’t spin you risk a loss of time, track position, grip or tyre temperature.

      Install some drainage and ensure the road camber is adequate so the water doesn’t fall towards the track and there you go, a self-policing track limit system with penalties handed out as they happen.

    10. Why are people talking about gravel? There was artificial grass. Which was fine. This runoff is ridiculous. Bah, sanitised sport.

    11. I really don’t know why they don’t put metal slots in the track that all cars follow. I’m sure I’ve seen it somewhere? Got it, Scalextrix. That is what this ‘sport’ is becoming. Still WWE is showing battleground this weekend so all is not lost.

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