New kerbs at COTA in response to Verstappen’s corner-cutting

2018 F1 season

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New kerbs will be added at the Circuit of the Americas to prevent a repeat of Max Verstappen’s controversial move at the corner during last year’s United States Grand Prix.

FIA race director Charlie Whiting said there will be “no change of approach” in how track limits are policed but revealed more alterations are planned at tracks where track limits abuses were a problem last year.

“[At] COTA, for example, needless to say there’ll be some low kerbs in the area where Max went off. And there’ll be a couple of those bumpy kerbs, like we have at the exit of the last corner, at the exit of the first corner.”

Nico Hulkenberg, Renault, Yas Marina, 2017
Now F1 penalties are more consistent, drivers can take advantage
Whiting said the FIA is “learning all the time” how to alter circuit to prevent track limits abuses. “I think we are very close to being a point where we are not concerned about a driver gaining time by going off.”

“Between ’16 and ’17 if you remember Mexico 2016 where we had Lewis [Hamilton] cutting across the first corner, well that didn’t happen at all because of the measures that we took there,” he explained.

“Everywhere we go now we really are getting closer to eliminating everything.”

The FIA is also considering how to respond to Nico Hulkenberg’s corner-cutting at the start of the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix. Hulkenberg overtook Sergio Perez by leaving the circuit and although he received a penalty for the move it did not remove the advantage Hulkenberg had gained.

“We had a couple of issues of course in Abu Dhabi where Nico Hulkenberg went off and it was quite clear he gained an advantage but he wouldn’t give the place back,” said Whiting. “It was actually expeditious to stay in front and take a five-second penalty. That’s another thing we need to address.”

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Author information

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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27 comments on “New kerbs at COTA in response to Verstappen’s corner-cutting”

  1. Charlie back into my goodbooks. I’d like to see drivers taking short cuts have to push their car through a pond full of salt water crocodiles to get back on track. Too extreme ??

    1. A bit @hohum but it would make great television

      1. Well the regulators are still trying to decide how much of a “show” F1 should be @hohum @johnmilk 😜

    2. Jeroen Valkema
      13th March 2018, 22:35

      But you may still use the feather and blue shield?

  2. Jeroen Valkema
    13th March 2018, 21:50

    Another Verstappen rule…

    1. Jeroen Valkema
      13th March 2018, 22:26

      Dont het me wrong… Drivers should be punished when they go off track. But bot by the stewards

    2. Ot’s not a rule.. just a track adaption to new standards.
      If it was a rule VET should be worried ;)’

      1. Jeroen Valkema
        13th March 2018, 23:53

        VET shouldnt be worried anymore, they’ve got a new tissue dispenser built in…

  3. Nice long sausage kerb at the exit of Turn 1 (surely it needs an actual name – any suggestions?) – great news! It’s worked at Spa Turn 1 (La Source).

    1. @unicron2002, If it’s a sausage kerb surely it should be La Sauce.

      1. *applauds furiously*

  4. COTA really needs better track reinforcement accessories. Every time F1 goes there we see a different layout

  5. Gravel….as an example Austria 1998 Schumacher went wide onto the gravel and took the front wing off. Same as every corner at Monaco, few inches wrong….cars broken.

    1. Jeroen Valkema
      13th March 2018, 22:36


  6. pastaman (@)
    13th March 2018, 22:43

    This is the correct solution, going off track should be penalized by the track, not the stewards

  7. If you gain a place illegally and don’t give your place back voluntarily without prompting frrom the officials, the stewards should demote you a place at the end of the race whatever happens. It really is that simple. The drivers can be accountable for their own actions and effectively rewarded for honesty.

  8. Neil (@neilosjames)
    13th March 2018, 23:49

    Replacing that awful red strip around the track with some nice slippy grass would solve all last year’s problems, and whatever track limits problems inevitably surface this year, and those that will arise next year…

    1. Totally agree!!!! +100

  9. It has taken them a very long time to learn but it looks like there is finally progress – and I’m hopeful that they might start using the drive through penalty where it is more appropriate.

    Everywhere we go now we really are getting closer to eliminating everything

    Of course, this would’ve been largely avoided had they not ruined the tracks in the first place

  10. Abu Dhabi really is a conundrum. You can’t add any type of kerb because of the track’s design. I guess the only way is a 10 second rather than 5 second.

  11. The stewards should just order a driver who’s gained a position illegally to give it back straightaway. It shouldn’t be that hard to do. Yes, the type of penalties provided for the most recent instances have been consistent with other similar examples, but still, though, sometimes it’d be better just to order a driver to concede a position immediately.

    1. Max overtook Kimi in (one of) the last corner(s), so this was not possible.

      Grass of gravel would’ve helped. Or maybe this kerb

      1. @anunaki Yes, it’s true that doing so isn’t really possible when an off-track overtaking move takes place a few corners before the chequered flag, but otherwise, yes, like for example, with the Hulkenberg-Perez move at the most recent race.

  12. Posted this in another thread, but I believe is more relevant here:

    Corner cutting is a subject close to my heart as an online Sim-Racer, and although frustrating at times, the good thing about playing a computer game is it is 100% consistent.
    If I go around a corner and all four wheels go wide of the white line track limit, I am penalised. In Project Cars it immediately cut throttle for 5 seconds, in Project Cars 2 it shows a warning, and you have to lift sufficiently to show you have slowed until the warning lapses. Ignoring the warning ends up with a time penalty (normally 1s, or 2s, they increase as you re-offend).
    Overtaking off track also comes with an on screen warning, give the place back within x seconds (30 I believe, haven’t seen it in a while) and if you don’t give that place back, an immediate penalty is applied.

    Back to the real world, the track limits are the track limits, and it just baffles me that on one corner of one track (exit of Ascari at Monza for example) it is generally accepted that drivers can leave the track, run wide, whatever you want to call it, and at other corners they cannot (cut inside of Radillon at top of Eau Rouge for example).

    Why not, for pity’s sake, draw the white lines where it is acceptable to race on, and if you go wide, get a penalty? Is it that difficult to manage? I.e. Move the white lines of Ascari wider; OR penalise every time a car runs wide.

    With Project Cars 2 online, I do not cut corners, because if I do, I get a penalty, every time. Simple.

    1. Even in sim racing though, the exit of Ascari is accepted as a cutting exception.

  13. Jeroen Valkema
    14th March 2018, 16:56

    Legalize it!

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