Lewis Hamilton, Max Verstappen, Bahrain International Circuit, 2021

Hamilton and Verstappen unhappy with “very confusing” mid-race changes in track limit rules

2021 Bahrain Grand Prix

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Lewis Hamilton said he was confused by race control’s changing policy on enforcing track limits at turn four during the Bahrain Grand Prix.

Drivers were told before the race that, unlike in qualifying, track limits would not be enforced at the corner. However during the race they were told they would be penalised if they repeatedly went wide at the corner.

“I think it is very confusing,” said Hamilton. “There are most tracks we’re not allowed to put four wheels outside the white line, but this weekend and that particular corner, we weren’t allowed to on Friday. In actual fact, you could go two wheels outside the line, but you can’t go past the blue and white kerb. But in the race you can, and that was what had been written.

“So when we go into the race, then you can. But it’s quite a different corner when you have to do one or the other in terms of approach. And it is faster when you can go out.”

The policy made it unclear whether drivers were allowed to overtake by going wide at that point on the track, said Hamilton. “But then where is the boundary when you are overtaking? You are not allowed to overtake off-track.”

Hamilton repeatedly ran wide at the corner early in the race. Max Verstappen, who saw what his rival was doing, asked his team: “How is that legal?”

Red Bull advised him to do the same to avoid losing time to his rival. Later, Mercedes told Hamilton they had been warned to stop running wide at the corner, or they would risk a penalty.

“Halfway through the race they basically changed their minds and all of a sudden you’re not allowed to go outside that white line,” said Hamilton. “Which is fine for me, it’s actually I think faster in the end for me, and helped me look after my tyres, actually. So I’m grateful for the call.”

At the end of the race Verstappen overtook Hamilton by running wide at the corner, but race control immediately told Red Bull he had to relinquish the position, which he did.

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Verstappen was also confused by the mixed messages given on track limits.

“Throughout the race I was told that people were going wide, so they told me to do the same because you do gain lap time doing it. So I did. And at one point they told me not to do it any more. So I don’t know.

“In qualifying, of course, it was not allowed, your lap time got deleted. And so I don’t know how it got to the point where people were doing it without getting warnings.

“But at the end of the day when I was fighting Lewis, I went outside of the track limits. I think quite quickly the race director was onto us to tell me to give the position back, so that’s exactly what I did.”

Mercedes team principal Toto Wolff said he and sporting director Ron Meadows were in contract with race director Michael Masi about the turn four policy throughout the race. Wolff said drivers need to be given clear, consistent instructions about track limits in future.

“The message that reached the drivers [was] very simply, track limits in turn four wouldn’t be sanctioned in the race. Ron and I were speaking to Michael during the race, that Michael referred to the note saying that, yes [you may run wide], but only if you are not gaining an advantage. And that was in the notes.

“I think that the learning of this needs to be simple so everybody can understand it and they don’t need to carry the document in the car to read it and remind themselves what actually is allowed and what’s not.”

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2021 Bahrain Grand Prix

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Dieter Rencken
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54 comments on “Hamilton and Verstappen unhappy with “very confusing” mid-race changes in track limit rules”

  1. Just quite simply, you cannot go all 4 wheels beyond the kerb. Do it 3 times, you get a warning. Do it 4 or more times, you get a +5 penalty. It’s really that simple. If you don’t enforce track limits, you’re basically changing the track layout.

    1. Not that simple. Are you going to penalise MSC for losing it and spinning off track, Ham for missing T10 and losing time to Max. Driver A for going off track to miss an accident. Or even getting punted off. And if the Perez incident had happened in the race, penalise him once he got going again for parking up off the racing line?

      And under your idea, you could deliberately overtake off track three times and just get as warning.

      1. Please lets not forget that Hamilton is still the only driver (I think in history – certainly modern history) to be penalised for simply going off track once. And yes I agree that going off track due to lockups should not get a penalty. However perhaps unless the lap was significantly slower than you previous lap then you should get a penalty for going off track at all.

        The problem here though is that the rules change mid race! Initially it was okay to go off track at that corner then they changed the rules and threatened a penalty for it happening again. This must be the only sport in the world that rules change while you are actually mid competition!

      2. I’m not talking about cases like Schumacher or overtakes outside the boundary. If someone overtakes outside the line, that’s an immediate penalty. If someone goes wide but doesn’t gain any advantage like Mick Schumacher, that obviously doesn’t get counted. This isn’t something new, it has been enforced in so many different corners now. Turn 4 in Hungary for example.

  2. Track limits shouldn’t be a race by race, track by track, session by session thing. There should be one hard and fast rule that applies all the time. Put any part of the car outside the white lines and you’ll be penalized and sensors can easily be used to monitor the track limits. Why is that so difficult?

    1. Exactly @velocityboy. The tiring thing about the whole track limit stuff is not that they should just keep to the track. The annoyance is about the way they go about it changing on a track by track and even session by session basis instead of just having a clear rule.

    2. @velocityboy They should merely use physical deterrents at all slow-speed corner exits and sensors only for the high-speed stuff.
      @bascb I agree that changing things and being inconsistent are annoying. I was generally annoyed about track limits enforcement last year because of how unnecessarily excessive it was in comparison to the season before and how lap times seemed to get taken away only for the sake of it. I hope Masi would revert to the less excessive and strict approach, which worked adequately well, but I’m not hopeful. Most definitely he should avoid any inconsistency and contradictions, though, as happened over the last weekend.

    3. @velocityboy Blatantly obvious like you say, but we’ve seen in many sports that sports organizations don’t like to give up their power to hand out subjective and arbitrary punishment.

      Think football when the whole world could see if the ball was in the goal or not except the judge, but they still refused to even glance at the stadium replays, and VAR took decades of kicking and screaming before getting implemented.

  3. How can FIA get something as basic as track limits wrong in “the pinnacle of motorsport”? This has been going on for years. The answer is so simple: Do not go beyond the white line with all four tires. There have been so many nonsense rules and directives about this! This “and gaining and advantage” is an idiotic cop-out that gives them tthe power to punish at will. It should be a black-and-white on the second time and a 5s penalty on the third time, regardless of “advantage”. It is really not that difficult. Drivers know exactly what they’re doing. If a driver is doing it on purpose, it is always an advantage.

    Reply moderated
    1. Note that the rules about track limits were changed about five years ago. The FIA deliberately changed it to be more vague and now only demands that drivers ‘make an effort’ to stay on track. These kind of changes always increase the ability to meddle by the race director and his buddies at the stewards’ desk. Without any hard and clear rules to fall back on, the FIA can pick and choose who to help and who to hold back. This is (thought to be) good for the show, but always bad for the sport.

  4. Looking at this video where it is absolutely clear that Hamilton completely ignored the track limits for more than half of ALL laps in the race (and going on the radio from RB to Verstappen, Bottas was probably doing the same), I feel that it should be made absolutely clear that this is not done.

    And I think the FIA messed up greatly that they only interferred when Red Bull called the FIA out on this. They should have been looking and at least gotten on the line to Mercedes that this WAS a clear infringement of the rules.

    After the fact, changing that mid race might seem a bit confusing – it should have been clear up front IMO, I do think that both the team AND their drivers should get a penalty (just like any others that might have been doing exactly the same lap after lap). The drivers probably should get a few penalty points on their licence just to make sure they feel they have used some of their leeway. And the team a significant fine.

    And no, that is not really a “retroactively adjusting the rules” because the rules (and the race instructions) DID make clear that they are not allowed to do this already: the white line has been the limit for ages.

    The FIA does have a huge issue with this theme, they should quickly get on this together with the drivers and put some kind of consistent monitoring/penalty system in place.

    Maybe a 3 strikes = time penalty could work (it was a bit cheesy when they did that and Alonso always made sure to use exactly the 2 “allowed” ones per race, but at least there was a limit). Personally I would add making drivers rack up points on their licence for overdoing it with this one additionally to a time penalty, exactly to avoid the Alonso like “using” of those “free” passes every race in a row.

    Why not just make the drivers have to stay within the lines overall. With ALL wheels? Maybe define that being on the kerbing is allowed. They would be slower, but surely the track can be navigated without going off track all the time.

    1. You were not in the drivers’ briefing, and you should also know that the white line has been relaxed in the past at certain tracks and corners surely? The question is was Hamilton correct or not from what he said above?

      1. What question @john-h? The stewards mentioned befor the race that:
        1. times set in training session would be deleted
        2. during the race they would not put any emphasis on deleting lap times and focussing on T4.
        3. They reminded the drivers that regardless, the rule is still that you cannot go off track without good reason (i.e. as a result of an incident, missing your braking, avoiding other cars etc). The track limit still is the white line and kerbs are outside of that, so you are not allowed to go outside of the white lines with the whole car.

        You forgot about that last part Lee Fear. They did not say that the rules do not apply. They only said that they WILL take times away and will be keeping a close eye on that corner only for the training sessions, not for the race. Compare it to police saying that they will put a radar there to measure speed. When the radar is not there, it doesn’t mean you are ALLOWED to go faster. Just that you are not automatically cought if you do break the rules.

    2. The Stewards clearly said that the rules only applied to Qualifying. So why change the advice during the race?

    3. Yeah, so as we discussed on twitter yesterday evening, I’m with you, apart from the ‘retroactively punish team, drivers because we as FIA cannot punish ourselves’ stuff @bascb that’s even worse than the inconsistency to me.

      By the way, had to LOL at HAM’s

      “Which is fine for me, it’s actually I think faster in the end for me, and helped me look after my tyres, actually. So I’m grateful for the call.”

      especially when just before he apparently said

      “So when we go into the race, then you can. But it’s quite a different corner when you have to do one or the other in terms of approach. And it is faster when you can go out.”

      That has to be a bit of trolling there right!? (yeah, might be ‘in general it is faster’ but still, the contrast is striking).

      Reply moderated
      1. Well @bosyber, but here we come back to the issue at hand: the rules have not changed, just one driver specifically seems to have ran away a lot with the leeway the FIA granted to ignore the standing rules about going off track. The rest of them chose to ignore them only a bit (they seem to have kept at least one side of the car on the kerbing there), showing the rules weren’t that unclear afterall. This means there WAS no “retroactive” part.

        I get that they get stoned when “lap time deleted” comes up on screen, and the Sky team highlight how annoying those messages are, etc. as well as the stewards losing a lot of energy and time constantly doing the penalising of this (reminds me of hearing how Prague has about 2 million speeding infractions on the city ring and manages to process only a fraction of them) and that meaning they do not want to bother.

        The reason they more or less HAD to start policing at least the drivers overdoing it blatantly there was probably that RB chose to bring it out on the broadcast. Certainly a mess for stewarding. And one that needs to (sigh, finally) adressed. But not a change of the rule. Nor even of the official policy. Just RC being reminded that they should at least keep it halfway sensible before they start cutting more and more off.

    4. Leaving the track is not breaking the rules. It used to be, but that hasn’t been the case since a couple of years. Now drivers must ‘make an effort’ to stay on track, and determining whether they have is directly tied to the drivers briefing in which the FIA tells them which corners they can run wide and which they can’t. Enforcing track limits in some sessions and not in others, as the drivers say was announced ahead of this weekend, is just terrible governing by the FIA, and its F1 team led by Masi is particularly bad at this.

      1. Michel, this is simply not true.

        Leaving the track is not breaking the rules.

        That the FIA can’t be bothered to police it – and fans seem to easily be rallied to defend their favourite drivers feeling badly done by when they are held to the rules – does not mean the track limit is not clearly defined.

        If a 24 hour race can do a lot better at policing this, it is just a matter of wanting to, not of whether it is a rule.

    5. @bascb It’s not just the drivers’ briefing where Turn 4 was mentioned as fair game in the race. It was also in the track briefing papers. Drivers had multiple opportunities to be aware the rules were different in that corner, for that race, and that special effort was being made to relay that fact to them. The FIA doesn’t get to complain when drivers take it at its word.

      1. Yes, but those briefing papers, the part about it nog being allowed to go off track IS explicitly mentioned as well @alianora-la-canta.

        I have not looked at all drivers, but I did see quite a few drivers onboards. Almost all of them kept at least a wheel on the kerbing, so they seemed to have been aware that if they would overdo it (like Hamilton did consistently and Verstappen stared doing for a while after the message from his team too), they might get penalised, since it WAS still an infringement.

        I take it as a paralell to driving lets say 110 kmh on a road where you are allowed 100 kmh – since most radars use a tolerance, and then there is mostly another tolerance, you are unlikely to face fine for this. But you still know that technically you ARE speeding. In that comparison, Hamilton thought he could get away with driving 120 kmh, and he also got away with it.

        Until Red Bull called it out on TV, that is, and the stewards started acting on the situation since that radio call had burst through the leniecy in ignoring this issue up until then to avoid getting angry comments from fans on twitter and comment sections and from the broadcasters about “annoying track limits messages”

        1. @bascb It was mentioned in the briefing papers as allowed in the race, yes.

          The videos I saw showed none of the 20 drivers consistently kept a wheel over the white line (the standard boundary of a track during the race – kerbs are only part of the track during practise and qualifying). Apart from Verstappen and Mazepin (who of course didn’t get far enough into the race to consistently approach any corner a particular way), all of them started breaching it consistently before Lap 10. Exactly one driver was told to stop it mid-race (Hamilton), but not any of the others. Verstappen got a vague message that may have been team reaction to Hamilton being told by the FIA, but no solid proof that the FIA had messaged him – and the others weren’t messaged at all.

          As such, one of three things is possible:

          1) It was always allowed, the briefing notes changed more things than the FIA realised they changed and most drivers figured that out (confirmed, apparently, in the driver briefing), Masi spoke falsely about its ever being barred for the race, 1 driver was illegally prevented from that affordance and another experienced a change of policy.

          2) It was never allowed, the briefing notes and driver briefing were both false, Masi spoke falsely about the monitoring, 18 drivers were illegally permitted to get away with it dozens of times by the FIA and 2 experienced inconsistency of enforcement.

          3) The policy changed mid-race, neither the briefing notes nor the briefing itself constitute reliable information about “race policy”, the policy change was only communicated to 2 drivers (and then at completely different times) and we only avoided a worse mess by pure luck. Potentially that would render Masi’s entire statement false.

          None are compatible with good race control.

          The regulations do not permit changing based on a radio message, when the conduct done is as clearly spelt out as permitted in both the briefing documents and the drivers’ briefing.

          1. Sorry @alianora-la-canta, but that comment is just BS.

            You completely ignore one explanation:
            It was always clear that it was not allowed at all. However, every driver knows they can get away with only slightly infringing (like many people who drive say 10% over allowed speed regularly). Especially since the FIA confirmed that they have no special interest on policing this at T4 (the race briefing info) during the race.
            Hamilton was the only one who was consistently overdoing it though. And he got called out for it and had to change his behaviour to be close to what the others did after our (and the stewards) attention was put on it during the race.

            That one does not get caught for speeding 29 times does not mean that when you then get stopped and told to keep to the speed from now on, that the rules have changed. He just overdid it and was told to behave less out of line.

            We certainly agree that this is bad work for the FIA, since the rule might be clear, but they leave room for interpretation (where none is really needed, since there ARE clear white lines) to the drivers. And the policing is inconsistent.

            You and many other commenters make a mistake in talking about “the rules” that have changed (or not). The Rules are what is in the sporting regulations. And they are pretty clear (you cannot go off track. The white lines define the track).
            The briefing is a notice from Masi on how the FIA plans on policing things, highlights points of extra relevance etc. They do influence stewarding, they pinpoint where attention will be put on. And they do influence how teams and drivers react. They cannot however change the rules – that would have to go through a vote by the relevant organs installed by F1 and the FIA.

          2. @bascb The explanation you offer is contradicted by what occurred during the weekend. More blatant infringements than Lewis’ were routinely ignored (Esteban Ocon is one of several examples). 17 drivers were “consistently overdoing it” and were routinely ignored. Only Lewis and Max received any consequences for their actions, and even after that, everyone else’s was permitted despite alleged full monitoring going on. People behaving more out of line than these two were stated by Michael Masi after the race to have been within the rules, therefore Lewis and Max must also have been in the rules. (Unless you think Michael spoke falsely about the number of people complying with the rules – either it was more than one/two, or Lewis and Max weren’t the ones breaking the rule).

            A rule that leaves room for interpretation is by definition not clear. Especially when race control blatantly isn’t acting in a manner compatible with the alleged interpretation.

            Briefing instructions (and stewarding/race control policies) have always been part of the rules. Any driver foolish enough to try competing while regarding them as “not rules” has been quickly correctly.

          3. A rule that leaves room for interpretation is by definition not clear. – A rule that leaves no room for interpretation is almost certainly completely useless.

  5. I still don’t understand what the reasoning was for not allowing it in qualifying and then allowing it in the race. That already made no sense at all. Either it’s always the same or it’s a complete, confusing mess.

    Then they go the extra mile and change their minds during the race. Even more ridiculous.

    Just make 1 decision and stick to it. You can fix it next time, but give everyone a clear rule before the weekend!

  6. The world is watching, and I’m afraid they are having a good laugh.
    Why do the rules keep changing on a whim, people ask. Don’t you have a chief umpire, or a race director who can enforce the rules consistently?

  7. Drivers must make every reasonable effort to use the track at all times and may not deliberately
    leave the track without a justifiable reason.
    Drivers will be judged to have left the track if no part of the car remains in contact with it and,
    for the avoidance of doubt, any white lines defining the track edges are considered to be part of
    the track but the kerbs are not.
    Should a car leave the track the driver may re-join, however, this may only be done when it is
    safe to do so and without gaining any lasting advantage. At the absolute discretion of the race
    director a driver may be given

    That’s article 27.3, which the drivers were specifically reminded of by Michael Masi before the race. The rules didn’t “change” during the race, it’s just the same old plague of the stewards not applying them consistently. As soon as any driver started doing it they should have been told to stop and/or penalised.

    1. So who is telling the truth? Did Masi say this, if so the first paragraph in this article is false.

      Who to believe!!??

      1. The answer is relatively simple @john-h. As @skipgamer mentiones, the FIA/Stewards highlighted that going off track is NOT allowed. However, as mentioned in the first paragraph

        track limits would not be enforced at the corner.

        they will not enforce them stringently.

        So, if you do go off track, it still is against the rules. But they will not be constantly monitoring it and constantly giving warnings, deleting lap times etc. Probably because that is annoying people and is a distraction and bad use of the attention of the stewards.

        1. @bascb “Track limits will not be enforced” means they’re not being enforced. Since the track limits only discuss “lasting advantage” and don’t differentiate between different types of lasting advantage, all the FIA managed to highlight was that going off-track at Turn 4 was allowed.

          Such was not compatible with telling off Lewis for doing exactly what the FIA told him to do in the middle of the race, nor with letting others continue to do what the FIA had told them to do multiple times pre-race until Max happened to overtake someone on the same line he’d been using for the previous 20 laps (and had only not been doing before due to missing/misinterpreting the pre-race instructions – something that every driver does occasionally but is not usually considered laudatory in itself). Even then, it’s not clear the other 18 drivers were informed of developments until after they crossed the finish line, even though I am sceptical of the notion that they might all have been in compliance (given that the only numerical count we’ve had is from someone who gave a demonstrably false figure).

          Everyone would have been better served by a truthful and consistent position being made and enforced throughout the entire event for the whole field.

          1. The full wording is @alianora-la-canta:

            Race: a. “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”
            b. In all cases during the race, drivers are reminded of the provisions of 27.3 (which states: Drivers must make every reasonable effort to use the track at all times and may not deliberately leave the track without a justifiable reason)

            In other words, this refers to LAP TIMES. So a FLAP set by Hamilton doing this might still be awknoledged, but mainly it means that we do not get any automatic sensoring and deleting of lap times during the race (since apart from the FLAP, they are largely irrelevant anyway).
            But at the same time, the general rule that you have to stay on track (or give your best effort to do so) is highlighted as well. That means that it still IS not allowed to go off track. Just there is no intensive monitoring of it.

          2. @bascb That reading of the stewarding note conflicts with the version the FIA published, which stops at “monitored”. If the FIA can’t even be bothered to release a consistent stewarding note, it needs to stop using them.

            Also, if that’s the reading, the FIA needs to stop lying in driver briefings, because it specifically permitted breaches of 27.3 with regard to Turn 4 there. Eyewitness statement was supported by the fact that 17 drivers consistently did so without being commented upon, 2 of the other 3 were allowed to for half the race and the other 1 didn’t get to do Turn 4 enough times to detect a pattern. The justifiable reason here is “Because the FIA told us to in the briefing”.

          3. It might be hard to grasp, but there is no obligation for the FIA to investigate and penalize every single instance of a rule being broken @alianora-la-canta.

            That is just the way laws and rules work – our society depends on a large majority of people more or less adhering to the (intent of) the rules, since policing every infringement would make us living in a distopian society. But when authorities are made aware of someone who does blatantly ignore that consensus and infringes too much, and does it consistently, that inaction/giving leeway becomes untenable, and they have to step in.

            Most drivers did not overdo it with abusing track limits – yes, many did not keep any wheels on the track, but they did at least keep one side of the car in the middle of the kerbing. For most onlookers it at least seemed like they were more or less doing what is in the rules. So they did break the rules, but it does not matter enough to the FIA to go to the effort of investigating every incident.

            Hamilton though did go clearly wide. And did so lap after lap. And it got attention. All of which meant it was the end of Lewis being able to exploit that leeway to gain a tad lower laptimes.

          4. @bascb The FIA is supposed to investigate all breaches, however. It certainly isn’t supposed to excuse them after the fact, yet forbid instances that was less than some others (Lewis’ and Max’s), as Michael Masi just did. If you thought 17 drivers weren’t overdoing it, you were watching a completely different race to the one that was broadcast to me.

            Claiming that permitting some things and banning other things that were within the rules under which the permitted things were permitted is exactly how functional laws and rules never work.

          5. @alianora-la-canta – Sorry, I tend to have a solid esteem of you and your knowledge of F1 as well as your ideas and posts in general.

            But I will not discuss with you when you keep putting words in my mouth. It is tedious and ruins any discussion and you have been doing that in quite a few comments here already.

            In my personal opinion, every driver who goes with even 2 wheels outside of the white lines should be penalized, told they have to learn to keep it on track and allowed back only once they show how well they can do so. I quite dislike how many people seem to be fine with their current behaviour and critisize the FIA whenever they start holding drivers to the rules. And I find it frustrating to see how inconsistent the FIA is in this matter, apart from being far too open to letting it happen all the time.

            When I mention that most other drivers were not overdoing it, I mean to say that they follow a line that at least somewhat follows the contours of the track (they drive over the limits just a bit). Hamilton was at least 29 times going about a car width out of bounds. That Max did the same after RB decided to call Hamilton out and told Max to do the same Lewis did to force the FIA’s hand was an explicit choice. A bit like going out to protest stay at home orders’ not being policed.

            In my view all of them were going against the rules. But I can understand why the FIA chose not to police it and get called out for annoying the viewers and very loud Sky commenters with a ton of “warning for track limits” messages.

            That is not about permitting something and banning others. It is a choice that in policing rules has to be made time and again because it is simply not possible to police every single rule all the time without making a stupendous effort to actually police them. Our laws and rules can only work BECAUSE the majority of people (more or less) follow them by choice.

    2. The problem is that clearly this rule is rarely enforced. We see many tracks where particular corners are not respected by any driver on any lap. As a competitor how are you supposed to understand what is going to be ignored and what isn’t?

  8. Not only did race control mess up the race – they messed up the result.

    If there were “no track limits” at Turn 4 in the race, as advised by race control at the start of the weekend, then Max would have won.

    And Mercedes routinely went beyond those track limits for 2/3rds of the race before it suddenly became an issue.

    Amateurish, basically.

    1. I am not sure anyone would expect to be able to overtake off the track even if the limits at that corner were relaxed. It has never really been allowed and almost always ends in a punishment.

    2. There is a difference between enforcing track limits and ‘leaving the track and gaining advantage’. It is basically (in fact?) a different rule. Regardless of all the times that Hamilton went off the track, Max had to give that position back.

  9. (…) yes [you may run wide], but only if you are not gaining an advantage. And that was in the notes.”

    OK, but how is going faster not gaining an advantage? So it’s perfectly acceptable to run wide when you’re on your own, but if there’s a car besides you, it becomes illegal. Madness!

    1. It had become illegal before the overtake.

      1. According to Masi, it hadn’t:

        Masi insisted there had not been any change in how track limits were enforced. While he did not mention Hamilton by name, he did indicate one driver had not complied with their interpretation of the rules. “Nothing changed at all,” said Masi. “We had two people that were looking in that area at every car, every lap and pretty much every car bar one was doing the right thing within what we expected in a general sequence. There was the occasional car that had a bit of a moment and went out there or whatever it was but it wasn’t a constant thing.”

        So it was illegal to run wide in qualifying, sort of illegal during the race, but somehow drivers got away with it. It was a complete mess.

    2. @f1infigures The notes contradict Masi, so…

  10. Very simple solution. Just put gravel on the side (or walls like monaco, but i understand safety is concern). Basically the idea is put a proper physical detergent, otherwise drivers will always try it.

    Reply moderated
  11. Everyone seems to have missed the point that it was Red Bull who set off the ‘track limits’ issue with their message to Verstappen. Not Masi. Mercedes then responded to Red Bull. Not Masi. And Hamilton (naturally enough) assumed that FIA had ‘changed’ the rules because that’s what the Mercedes message implied, wrongly.

    1. The radio message from Pete to Lewis seems to imply it came from Race Control

      Bonnington: Lewis we’re getting warnings about track limits at turn four so just tidy that up.
      Hamilton: Understood. I thought there was no track limits?
      Bonnington: Yeah copy that on the track limits Lewis but we are getting the messages from race control so you will get a black-and-white flag next time, then five seconds.

      Reply moderated
  12. RocketTankski
    29th March 2021, 0:25

    Perhaps they could add a penalty chicane – drive round some bollards or something to lose a bit of time if track limits are exceeded. The Chicane of Shame.

  13. Mark in Florida
    29th March 2021, 2:32

    It became an issue when RB wanted to start doing it too. Hamilton can do what he wants but if someone else does it, now it’s a problem. The shade of favoritism can be avoided by simply enforcing track limits as defined in the rule book. Maybe the suspension destroying sausage curbs need to make a comeback they seemed to correct bad driving and corner cheaters by removing them from the race. That might seem savage but it takes the weak spined FIA out of the picture.

  14. 29 times.
    Lewis prides himself on fairness but he’s not really that much different from Schumacher. It’s sad to see a knight behave this way.

    1. Very consistent driver!

      Did anybody keep track how many times other drivers did this?

  15. I posted this on a different article already, but they need to do something definite at these corners.
    A strip of wet astro turf.
    A small gravel trap.
    A large enough drop off the back of the curb to cause floor damage.
    A strip of pavement specifically designed to inflict serious degradation to the tires.
    An ‘electronic spike strip’ that causes the tire valve to start leaking requiring a pitstop.
    A 5s engine power de-rate. Automatically applied by timing loops in the problem corners.

    The wishy washy nature of applying track limits rules is infuriating. Especially since Masi took over.

  16. Simple…. But up barriers like Monaco see who crosses the line then… The reason for the open field or run offs was so that drivers didnt crash and that we were entrain with all drivers driving around the track, treat the white line as a wall but a forgiving wall but it should never be a award for helping in overtaking.. Or best fastest lap time.

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  17. Every other sport in the world, the white line means “out”. Football, Rugby, Tennis, Badminton, Hockey etc. Imagine a tennis umpire saying……… “Out! But you can still have the point because that line doesn’t matter as much as the others. We’ll let you do it 29 times, enough to score as many points as you need to win the game.”

    The show is run by idiots that ruin it for us fans.

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  18. Probably the most bizarre thing in all of this, is enforcing track limits in practice when it doesn’t matter at all, to ignoring it in the race when it matters.

    It reveals a mindset that’s completely out of touch with reality, and that’s not even taking into account the switch during the race, and not following up with punishments after warnings.

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