Max Verstappen, Red Bull, Hungaroring, 2019

Drivers will lose lap times for running wide at turns four, 11 and 12

2020 Hungarian Grand Prix

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Formula 1 will use its new procedure for enforcing track limits at three corners on the Hungaroring during this weekend’s Hungarian Grand Prix.

Drivers will have their lap times deleted if they leave the track by passing completely over the red and white kerbs at turns four, 11 and 12 during this weekend’s sessions.

“On the third occasion of a driver cutting behind the red and white exit kerb at turns four, 11 and 12 during the race, he will be shown a black and white flag, any further cutting will then be reported to the stewards,” states the instructions given to drivers. “For the avoidance of doubt this means a total of three occasions combined not three at each corner.”

A total of 20 lap times were deleted during last week’s Austrian Grand Prix due to drivers exceeding track limits. Antonio Giovinazzi was shown the black-and-white flag after going wide twice at turn 10 and once at turn nine.

“In all cases,” the notes add, “the driver must only rejoin the track when it is safe to do so and
without gaining a lasting advantage.

“The above requirements will not automatically apply to any driver who is judged to have been
forced off the track, each such case will be judged individually.”


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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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28 comments on “Drivers will lose lap times for running wide at turns four, 11 and 12”

  1. Can anyone think of another sport where you only take the white lines into account if you go a bit too far over them? And only some of the time.
    I can’t think of any.

    1. I do agree, the white lines define the racing circuit. But when you look back a bit abuse of track limits has been widespread with little controversy. When Turn 1 in Austria was re-laid in 2003, the new racing line was way off the track onto the painted sponsors in the tarmac run off! Look at this video of Schumacher mid race:

      I prefer having some enforcement (even if it’s well over the white line) to none at all though.

      1. I would argue the exact opposite.

        It creates rules and it creates a need to monitor it, it creates the need for judgement (was he forced or wasn’t he), it creates grey area’s and therefore discussions and it creates artificial penalties which might take 25 laps to resolve… I think we could do without.

        So I prefer no enforcement at all. It’s easy, it’s the same for everyone and there will be no discussions. It’s fair.

        1. So don’t bother with the track at all in certain places then?
          Flat through 4, take us much tarmac as you like, then use all the runoff around the outside of 5, straight across 6/7 as though it’s not there…
          No enforcement of track boundaries is sporting anarchy.

          1. The short answer would be yes!
            And no, no enforcement is not anarchy. It is fair and the same for everyone.
            I see the constant policing/monitoring/stewarding as a cure that is worse than the disease.
            It is the wrong solution to a (perceived) problem.

            Track limit violation is not the problem, it is a consequence of the actual problem: bad design. Now you can “fix it” with a line of paint and stupid rules… Or you can FIX it and redesign (part of) the runoff. Then you wouldn’t even need the ruling.

            You can sometimes see this in bad road design too, when a (local) government build a really wide multi lane highway like road into the city center. And then impose a speed limit of 30kph (about 20mph). And then are surprised everyone drives too fast. And then ‘take measures’ by putting speed camera’s in place.

          2. Would it be ideal to design circuits ‘better’? Of course. But then they would only be ideally suited to one customer – F1 or motorbikes or touring cars… They aren’t considered suitable for F1 in that configuration, so that’s why they changed.
            The white lines are suitable for all competitors and competing series – every driver knows exactly where they are. The grass and gravel has been removed and for safety reasons been replaced by tarmac or concrete. That doesn’t make those areas part of the racing circuit though, they are a safety zone. Anything outside of the white lines IS NOT the racing circuit.

            While you are at it, would you support ignoring or removing the white lines in other sports too?
            Football? Tennis? Netball? Rugby? Basketball?
            Why bother having rules at all? Just let everyone do whatever they want…

          3. @S
            Well, that is an often heard argument but I disagree. I do like the gravel trap but I see why it is limiting for circuits. But I believe they can have a nice middle ground where both needs are met. Some grass-like strip right next to the kerb would probably do it. It will make you lose enough grip and time to make people stay off it. There can be tarmac next to that strip so the safety aspect is upheld. Sportscar/trackday drivers can mess up a corner and still not crash.

            All I’m trying to say is that with introducing a white line you automatically introduce policing. I’m not much of a sports fan but at least the first two you actually mentioned have the same problem. They have white lines and they also have complicated systems/policing in place. With football there is a lot of grey area and interpretation, shouting at the ref, but at least that goal-line technique is good, etc.. Tennis has the nice hawk eye system, but then the mess it up with a set number of times you can use it.. I find the policing (and the interpretation) annoying with all sports and with racing we can actually do without*… with ease… So I support that option.

            * except photo finish :-)

          4. In regard to your first paragraph – I totally agree.
            I’ve long supported an immediate and natural performance penalty for running outside of the circuit boundaries that doesn’t negatively affect safety. I wish more circuits would use such as a system – however many of those that did use ‘astroturf’ out there no longer do due to various issues, including safety. I would be pleased if circuits made an effort to find alternatives.

            I think a big part of the skill of being a sportsperson is taking advantage of as much of the playing field as you can while remaining within the boundary. That’s part of what makes the difference between a good driver and an elite-level driver.
            The lines are both a blessing and a curse, but nevertheless, they are the same for everyone.
            Honestly, I personally don’t see a problem with penalising a competitor who competes outside of the rules.

      2. Yes, but if you look close at the video that you have posted, you can see how Schumacher is actually enforced to reenter the track because the tarmac runoff ends early. The problem here are not the lines, the problem is the gigantic and unnecessary tarmac runoffs that F1 tracks have today. I understand that tarmac ruonffs are safer than grass or gravel ones, but the majority of F1 tracks have the space to put 1m or 1,5m of grass at the exterior of the corners and then put tarmac for the rest of the runoff. Or simply replace that astroturf things with real grass and enforce drivers to stick inside the track (plus rewarding car control and precission). Or put some engineers to work with some drivers and redesign the whole track desgin standards. Having an obviously subjective track limit and enforcing it by rules like “you can trespass it 3 times” it’s a joke and can lead to protests and politics and subjective and inconsistent penalties. And this is something that has been going around for many years, it’s time to fix it.

  2. Is this becoming a bit of a habit this season?

    1. @qeki Redundant and overboard IMO. They should just let it be.

  3. So they have widened the track without physically widening the track.

    1. Basically, its a waste of white paint then.

  4. Very annoying that the kerb is used to determine this. Why not use the white line separating the track from the kerb? Would make more sense that way

  5. Maybe it’s time for another stupid rule.
    One that can quickly erode confidence between fans and the FIA.
    That’s being rather F1 like I’m told.
    Maybe the penalty could be to make the drivers hold one hand up for a lap after committing such infractions.
    It’s that silly isn’t it?
    Introduce curbing that has spike strips imbedded into it. How about electronic curbs where if touched causes a ten second power failure. All sounds nuts doesn’t it.
    Just let them race and with today’s technology if any infractions happen add time to their overall racing time at races end. Make the added time a real penalty

  6. Gavin Campbell
    16th July 2020, 10:52

    I’m still perplexed why they don’t stick a meter of gravel/grass on the outside of the kerb. After that you can have loads of tarmac run off till the physical barrier if required. This keeps the track the same size – this “allowable” run off has increased the speeds through corners which impacts run off in the next corner and so on and so on.

    Also the length or tarmac run off in places is also perplexing – the most redicuous example of this I can think of is they tarmaced the small grass run off on the exit of the Hairpin in Canada. THE EXIT! Theres probably a V.Max there of about 30 mph if that.

    Adding this small strip of “classic” run off creates a sporting penality for running wide which is our main complaint about tarmac run offs. No fan wants to see people get hurt (be they drivers, marshalls or fans) but we want to see drivers taking risk v reward, overtakes (not just DRS motorway passes – bully a driver into mistakes!) and proving who has the skill required to pilot these things.

  7. Are the rules going to be enforced even if you fail to make the corner and force another driver off the track with you. Or is lance stroll immune

  8. One of the first things you learn in primary school is to be consistent with your representation of numbers.

    Four, 11 and 12. Really??

    1. It’s common in English to use words for the numbers one through nine. In my language, the 11 should be written in word and 12 in numeral because it has more than one word, but 4 millions is okay because it’s a big number.

    2. In primary school maybe, but not in business writing. They teach you to use word for one to ten and digits for 11 onwards.

    3. Lord Hesketh’s Bear
      17th July 2020, 7:24

      That’s fine at primary school, but when you grow up and go to big school and beyond you’ll find, as with many things, the accepted conventions are different.

  9. So nothing different from previous seasons, although why also T12? T4 and 11 are high to medium-speed corners, so going briefly off at the exit of those two has the possibility of giving a lasting advantage timing-wise. T12 is a slow-speed one, so I don’t see how leaving the track briefly there could have a direct impact on the sector time and or overall lap time.

  10. Really? They do like to complicate matters, grass should be sufficient.

  11. AJ (@asleepatthewheel)
    16th July 2020, 12:38

    “For the avoidance of doubt this means a total of three occasions combined not three at each corner.”

    Made me chuckle!

    On a serious note, why not have an infrared sensor or something along those lines at the outermost margin of the defined track limit, which when disturbed or triggered alerts the FIA. Thus all violations would go noticed, and the FIA can dish out penalties where necessary. Far better than using a physical kerb as a marker of infraction.

  12. White lines should be sufficient.
    How much simpler does it get than that? That’s what they’re there for, aren’t they?

    1. Agree, the white line is the edge of the track, the car in the picture is too far over, they have no problems staying inside the white lines in Monaco, but then 1 inch over the line is the Armco, that reminds them where the track limits are, they need real consequences of going over…

  13. Lord Hesketh’s Bear
    17th July 2020, 7:25

    That’s fine at primary school, but when you grow up and go to big school and beyond you’ll find, as with many things, the accepted conventions are different.

Comments are closed.