Sebastian Vettel, Ferrari, Bahrain International Circuit, 2020

F1 scraps track limits enforcement at turn four after 33 lap times deleted

2020 Bahrain Grand Prix

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Formula 1 drivers have been told race control will not police track limits at the exit of turn four for the remainder of the Bahrain Grand Prix weekend.

Yesterday a total of 33 lap times were deleted across F1’s two practice sessions because drivers had left the track at the corner by crossing the white line completely.

However in updated guidance issued today, drivers have been advised “the track limits at the exit of turn four will not be monitored with regard to setting a lap time, as the defining limits are the artificial grass and the gravel trap in that location.”

Lewis Hamilton was the most frequent offender yesterday, having five lap times deleted for running wide at the corner. Sebastian Vettel, Nicholas Latifi, Romain Grosjean, Pierre Gasly and Alexander Albon each lost four lap times.

Daniil Kvyat, who had two lap times deleted for going wide at that point on the track, urged F1 race director Michael Masi on the radio to “get rid of the fucking track limits”. Kimi Raikkonen, Kevin Magnussen and George Russell also had lap times deleted yesterday.

With the lifting of the track limits requirements at turn four, there are no longer any such restrictions anywhere on the Bahrain International Circuit this weekend.

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2020 Bahrain 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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18 comments on “F1 scraps track limits enforcement at turn four after 33 lap times deleted”

  1. Something sensible finally

  2. a bit of armco and some old tyres would fix that issue

  3. Getting to this part in the most recent version of the event notes, I was even more surprised than with the choice of T4 only beforehand. Good thing.

  4. Ludicrous decision. These are supposed to be the best drivers in the world, and they can’t even keep the cars on the track – and the race directors’ response is just to stop looking?

    No one wants the weekend to be spoiled by multiple penalties for track limit violations. But the correct answer is for the drivers to do their jobs properly.

    1. Quite agree @red-andy. Sometimes it’s hard to take this sport seriously. @RocketTankski has the right idea!

    2. All the more reason to police it.

    3. Exactly, @red-andy, having half of the field ignoring track limits shouldn’t lead to just giving up on having tgem

  5. Lol, another case of scrapping a rule because no ones listening to you.

  6. They shoud just go straight at first two corners, if everyone does it, they will allow it, this is how f1 track rules is enforced. It is completely stupid. Race director should double down and enforce rules with time penalties, if drivers ignore track limits.

  7. I think the problem is that these tracks are so artificially designed, combined with the huge amounts of tarmac, and when you’re in an F1 car sweeping through a corner you kinda end up going with what feels like should be the natural flow of the corner and car. If there was real danger to going wide then yeah the drivers would be forced to change their driving line. As is the track is just badly designed and should have made more accommodation for how these cars behave and actually design to work with a better flow.

    If Tilke had designed the original Silverstone he’d have probably put some impossibly tight technical and restrictive corner slap bang in the middle of the Maggots/Beckets complex.

    And I know it’s silly but playing the track in the F1 game it really is a strangely designed corner which basically forces you to go wide at that part just to keep any momentum.

    The problem is the track and the needlessly flow breaking design.

    1. So the answer is to redesign all these racing circuits to make it easier for drivers and reduce the challenge and chance of getting it wrong?

      Enforce the track limits everywhere and punish breaches appropriately and drivers will respect the limits more.
      With the FIA giving in to complaining drivers repeatedly, who has the power here? Drivers ignore track limits and the rules get changed to suit them….

      What a joke. A really, really bad joke.
      F1 is just plain embarrassing sometimes.

    2. So if the track is badly designed they should race on the drag strip to accommodate F1 cars and F1 driver… Humm…

  8. So, if enough people break a rule, let’s scrap it altogether.
    I want Mr Massi to succeed but ……..

  9. “Referee’s have stopped issuing yellow & red cards because footballers keep committing fouls.”

  10. OMG how about from 2021 all races are held in an unmarked level carpark where the drivers drive around for 1 & 1/2 hrs then someone waves a Checkered Flag at the closest driver declaring them the winner. Lets get rid of all this silly race track/track limits stuff. Lets just have a free for all last person standing demolition derby style championship. Maybe they could tow caravans I’m sure the TV ratings would be fantastic.

    1. I agree, I think authorities are too lenient to participants here, and that is unusual in most sports, and lower tiers of racing as well.

      About the caravans, I have a memory, I enjoyed it quite much some years before:
      “A Caravan Race with an F1 twist! Daniel Ricciardo and Max Verstappen take it to the Red Bull Ring”
      (RBR official channel)

      As I remembered that the caravans were made of some kind of styrofoam, although not, still it was funny to me. I would like to see it with sytrofoam cars :) I think this is one of the best sides of RB, their promo skills.

  11. If it’s paved, it’s part of the track! Track limits are grass and gravel.

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