Drivers concerned Algarve’s “mega-tight” pit exit could cause problems in race

2020 Portuguese Grand Prix

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Formula 1 drivers have raised concerns about the pit lane exit at Autodromo do Algarve with race director Michael Masi.

They are concerned the layout of the pit lane exit could make it a flashpoint during today’s Portuguese Grand Prix due to its unusual configuration.

When leaving the pits drivers have a relatively short distance to accelerate up to racing speed before rejoining the track on the approach to turn one. This is due to the relatively short distance between the end of the pit lane and end of the white line which restricts where drivers can merge onto the racing line.

Some adjustments were made to the blend line to improve the arrangement. However Esteban Ocon expressed concerns it could still lead to “mega-tight” situations where drivers on the track are trying to get ahead of rivals who come out of the pits.

“The line was moved a little bit, which did help the entry of turn one, but it’s still mega-tight,” said Ocon.

Esteban Ocon, Renault, Autodromo do Algarve, 2020
Drivers merge onto the racing line soon after the pit exit
“If you are fighting with a car that’s come out of the pit lane, both side-by-side, it’s going to be quite hard to keep the position because you have to do so much from an angle compared to the cars running at racing speed that. So it could be tricky.”

Ocon’s team mate Daniel Ricciardo echoed his concerns. “They did open the line a little bit today to kind of help us merge a bit easier. But it’s, let’s say, a part-time solution for now. It isn’t the nicest pit exit.

“Tomorrow in the race, obviously anything goes. In qualifying or practise or whatever, if you’re coming out of the pits, I think you need to let the guy come through – the guy on a lap should have favour. But tomorrow, anything goes.”

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2020 Portuguese Grand Prix

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Dieter Rencken
Dieter Rencken has held full FIA Formula 1 media accreditation since 2000, during which period he has reported from over 300 grands prix, plus...
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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6 comments on “Drivers concerned Algarve’s “mega-tight” pit exit could cause problems in race”

  1. Certainly the best drivers in the world can merge in to traffic?

  2. They’re supposed to be racing, neither driver will give way. You think Verstappen coming out of the pits racing against Bottas coming down the straight will just ease off and slot in behind? Of course he won’t.

    I’ll be amazed if there isn’t at least one crash there.

  3. I thought the pit entry was also going to cause some problems as its quite similar to old Estoril. Also even the most thought out pit exits have had some accidents caused due to drivers not looking in mirrors.

    1. Pit entry is better than most racks, exit is the worst I can recall, why not extend the exit cutting through the inside of 1, problem solved easy fix. The fia approved this track in march, via teleknesis and they did not address any safety concern.

  4. This pit exit has been there for years and hundreds of races. Now F1 stops by and it is a problem? I would expect the F1 drivers to be better than the guys that usually race here, so get over it and find a solution as a driver.

  5. A quite reasonable concern.
    Not the only very high risk area on this track.
    The number of blind crests either on or leading to a turn worry me a lot.
    If any car has a catastrophic failure & stops dead on track?
    No red flag or red sign can slow a racing car down quickly enough.
    Fingers well crossed for an accident/incident free race.

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