George Russell, Williams, Bahrain International Circuit, 2021

Russell urges consistent track limits solution to avoid ‘extreme, silly’ violations

2021 F1 season

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New Grand Prix Drivers Association director George Russell has defended Lewis Hamilton’s driving in the Bahrain Grand Prix and called for more consistent enforcement of track limits.

Hamilton was warned by race control for running too wide at turn four during the season-opening race, despite drivers having been told track limits would not be enforced at that corner after qualifying.

“It is a quite a unique corner with that entry piece of Tarmac going off,” Russell explained. “I guess a better solution is needed for that specific corner.”

During the race Red Bull noticed how wide Hamilton was running at the corner and advised Max Verstappen to do the same to avoid losing time to his rival. Hamilton was later given his warning, prompting him to ask: “I thought there was no track limits?”

Verstappen then overtook Hamilton while running wide at the same corner and was advised to relinquish the position, which he did. Russell said the episode showed the need for a clear visible definition of track limits.

“I understand it both ways, to be honest,” he said. “We initially said ‘let’s not bother about it and let drivers do as they wish’. I think some guys on Friday were taking that to another extreme which looked a bit silly on television.

“But in my opinion it was fine – if that’s the limit, that is the limit. Just because there’s a white line two metres inside it, it’s easier just to drive to the natural limit the circuit allows you to take as opposed to a piece of paint.

“It’s my understanding track limits was being enforced during qualifying but it wasn’t being looked at in the race unless you took a clear advantage in a race incident. That was made clear that if you were to go over. So what I saw from Verstappen and his overtake, that was absolutely clear that if you were to overtake off the track, you would have your [position] taken away.”

Russell wants track limits to be enforced by physical boundaries. “I think we need to just drive to the what is the natural limit of the circuit. If the natural limit is outside of track limits then we need to sort the edge of the track, if that makes sense.”

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61 comments on “Russell urges consistent track limits solution to avoid ‘extreme, silly’ violations”

  1. Just because there’s a white line two metres inside it, it’s easier just to drive to the natural limit the circuit allows you to take as opposed to a piece of paint.

    That is bonkers – No George, that is not how things work with rules in sports.

    “Hey, let us just ignore the white lines and go where it is faster” Sure, that is what a driver would say. But that is also the best reason of why there have to be rules in any sport. And a clear enforcement of the rules.

    If they repaint the lines at this corner to allow the faster path, sure, do that. But I would guess there is a reason why the lines are painted where they are (interaction with runoff areas etc), so I would expect the FIA to ensure that the competitors are kept to act WITHIN the limits given.

    For me, it would mean that NO part of the car can be outsided of the lines there. But if they want to say that at least the wheels have to be inside on one side, fine. Just make it clear from the outset, point it out in FP sessions and I am sure all drivers can show they are fully capable of driving exactly on the defined line with only a milimiter in reserve. Apart maybe from Mazepin ;-)

    1. Dear BasCB, There was a time that white lines were not there the rule was easy if you could drive there then it was legal. I am never happy with white lines that is unnatural to drive (so far i could understand George comment) It’s je bad design if you have corners who you have to ignore the line then you should change that corner. (By make it so that cutting corners slow your car, like grass, gravel or it possible there a wall.)

      1. Dear @macleod – that solution is exactly what i mention, provided it does not run afoul of safety:

        If they repaint the lines at this corner to allow the faster path, sure, do that. But I would guess there is a reason why the lines are painted where they are (interaction with runoff areas etc)

        1. @bascb Yes, and it seems pretty clear that in this instance, it does not run afoul of safety. It’s not really tarmac there for safety runoff, it’s just another section of track from the alternative layout. If it really were hazardous for Lewis to drive where he was, you would think Masi wouldn’t have let him do it for half of the race.

          But I also take @macleod‘s other point that, deep down at the sort of existential level of what constitutes sport, there isn’t some fundamental need for white lines in auto racing at all. If there were, rally racing couldn’t exist. It’s just that economically, it’s easier to put paint and tarmac down and continue collecting rental fees from satisfied club drivers who can make mistakes and still drive their cars home than it is to entirely reprofile a circuit to exclusively meet the needs of 20 professional drivers who visit one a year.

          1. That last part does not make sense @markzastrow.

            Just as there are no white lines in most triathlon or marathons, but at the same time the lines are strictly policed in say a 100 m run, there are good reasons to have them in some sports and not in others.

            Yes, if F1 would race on tracks that only have natural limits (but then it would be unsafe, hence we don’t do racing at the Nurburgring and trees were cut away at other classic tracks to give extra room) the white lines (and painted or bolted on kerbing) would not be as important at most parts. But we still need them for things like chicanes, at pit entries or at parts of the track where there are starts/ends of alternate configurations.

            Just imagine a football player or Tennis player arguing for just ignoring the white lines. Be my guest, come up with a good way not to need them (as is the case with most rallye tracks), but at places where they ARE there, please just follow the track.

            As for being economical – Unless you feel an urge to splurge even more money on race weekends, or pay them through TV fees, why be bothered about tracks looking for ways to operate economically as if it is bad?

          2. @bascb

            As for being economical – Unless you feel an urge to splurge even more money on race weekends, or pay them through TV fees, why be bothered about tracks looking for ways to operate economically as if it is bad?

            Good question. Why be bothered at those tracks? I’m not. It’s F1 that chooses to race at these soulless tracks and cash their cheques, and F1 that should receive any complaints for it.

            there are good reasons to have them in some sports and not in others.

            I agree. All I’m saying is that in auto racing, the “good reasons” for white lines are practical — economic and safety — not at an existential sporting level. (Maybe an exception would be crossover super special stages, where you have to stay in your lane? That’s the only form of auto racing I can think of that is analogous to your 100m dash example.) Rather, F1 has chosen to go down an economic and technical regulatory path where, to balance all their needs, track operators are incentivized to lay down white lines to demarcate track limits.

            I say this only because there’s a line of argument out there that F1 must have white lines because it is a sport and all sports have rules, and that’s what makes them sports. Well, that’s clearly false when many racing series around the world get by just fine at many tracks without policing white lines painted on the track. Like @macleod said, there was a time when anywhere you could drive was legal — and F1 was no less a sport for it.

      2. @macleod Completely, 100% agree. Asking racing drivers to respect a white line in a vast expanse of tarmac is more like autocross in a car park than it is auto racing. It is sport, but it takes away what makes racing special.

    2. Biskit Boy (@sean-p-newmanlive-co-uk)
      14th April 2021, 8:12

      A self governing solution for all types of vehicle would be the best.

      Just thinking out aloud here, so be gentle, cattle grids have come to mind. They are flat and there’s no grip.

      How about a flat concrete kerb about the width of a car that has a grid pattern of holes that cover about 50-60% of its surface?

      It would be flat so no launching and it would be low grip so no reason to go there.

      Beyond it whatever surface you like.

      1. @sean-p-newmanlive-co-uk Road America uses something similar at the exit of some of their corners, like turn 5 — there are grooves in the surface cut across the runoff. It’s a bit tricky to see in photographs, but you can see it in low camera angles like this one. I think it works there though because it’s the exit of a relatively slow and sharp corner, so you’re rear-traction limited and it prevents you from putting the power down. I don’t know if I’d want to see cars suddenly lose lateral grip at the exit of, say, 130R.

    3. @bascb The easiest way is not always the best (or even right) way. Both you and George are correct.

      1. Ha, hard to argue with that one @alianora-la-canta!

  2. if that’s the limit, that is the limit. Just because there’s a white line two metres inside it, it’s easier just to drive to the natural limit the circuit allows you to take as opposed to a piece of paint.

    If that’s the limit and they’re happy with it, just paint the white line there.
    Easiest solution, consistent with the rules, and same for all in every situation.

    1. Jonathan Parkin
      14th April 2021, 8:03

      However the problem is we haven’t been doing this for ages. And by ages I mean twenty years.

      If you go on YouTube and search for Jean Alesi Hockenheim on-board there is a video of him following Jenson Button in the 2001 race and at least four times throughout the lap thanks to the green track extensions to the kerbs leaves the boundary of the track

      The best solution to track limits is to make the kerbs no wider than half a car length and use grass and gravel on the outside/inside of the corner

      1. If we haven’t monitored this (I’d add ‘consistently’) then just adjust the Sporting Regulations to reflect the way they want to allow it.

        The problem with all solutions is that the loudest screamers (including we) will find something wrong with all proposed solutions.
        grass – won’t stop the car quick enough;
        gravel – what if car ends up upside down;
        low kerbs – not effective;
        high kerbs – damage cars;
        walls – too dangerous;
        steward reviews – too slow and inconsistent;
        automatic electronic loops – dangerous if sudden power loss;
        white lines – what white lines?

        1. Thanks for the comment there @coldfly! I wholeheartedly agree. If they feel fine changing the line of the track there, go ahead and paint a different line.

          It should not be a reason to just ignore the track limits.

          1. I (and it seems you) agree that racing is all about finding the quickest way around a track, @bascb.
            But you still need to define that track. F1 has chosen to do it with white lines, Rally does it with gates (I believe). Either way it can work, but you need to be absolutely consistent in enforcing those rules.

            But those proposing ‘natural racing lines’ are missing that in any sport competitors will find ways to find faster natural racing lines.
            How many ‘gates’ do you need to define to include chicane?
            At Monza, how much are you allowed to straighten the ‘Variantes’, and how far can you go outside the Parabolica to optimise your speed around the track? When there is no natural barrier, you can only fall back on ‘white lines’.

        2. I think grass is the answer, but it should only be a strip and then have paved run-off for stopping the car. A meter wide strip should do it, loss of traction will force the drivers to stay on track. An added benefit of grass is that it would vastly improve the visual appeal of the track(s).

    2. @coldfly I agree, and it’s what I wrote here after the race :o)
      As Russell put it: “I think we need to just drive to the what is the natural limit of the circuit. If the natural limit is outside of track limits then we need to sort the edge of the track, if that makes sense.”
      The flow of the track will be better and, as Verstappen showed, it will be easier to overtake there with more possible lines through the wider corner. Much better anyhow than sensors and arbitrary rules about how many times you can go over them before triggering a penalty.

  3. I’ve suggested this before, but just put physical deterrents (the surface material used in Bahrain, Astroturf, Sausage curb, speed bump, or something else) at all slow-speed corner exits. Leave lap time invalidation only for the higher speed ones except for those that already have something. For example, Abu Dhabi’s fast penultimate turn has a long sausage curb.
    For sure, also consistent treatment.
    Why do some people still mistake the VER-HAM move as overtaking off-track? Max merely ‘maintained’ a position by going off as he was already ahead.

    1. Biskit Boy (@sean-p-newmanlive-co-uk)
      14th April 2021, 8:03

      Oh Dear.

      Ok to state the obvious…

      He was ahead because he was going too fast to make the corner. If he had entered the corner slow enough to avoid leaving the track he would probably not been ahead of Hamilton.

      1. @sean-p-newmanlive-co-uk No, the precise point is he wouldn’t have stayed ahead had he not gone wide past the red/white marking.
        @bosyber Yes, sausage curbs have some issues, which is why I only suggested ‘slow-speed’ corners.

        1. Biskit Boy (@sean-p-newmanlive-co-uk)
          14th April 2021, 14:35

          I think we are splitting hairs Jere, but yes I do understand what you mean. Max did briefly lead Hamilton.

          But the only way he could do the overtake and maintain it was to go off track.

          That is why it is considered an off track overtake, because in this sense an overtake must be consolidated. If it wasn’t consolidated we wouldn’t be discussing it.

      2. He was ahead because he was going too fast to make the corner. If he had entered the corner slow enough to avoid leaving the track he would probably not been ahead of Hamilton.

        Exactly what HAM was doing for a good part of the race, albeit on purpose.
        But srsly, these are top 20 drivers in the world… they should have the ability to stay within the limits, you know… driving skills.

    2. Actually your right i think he went of because Lewis was next him not giving anyroom what so ever. But i saw a movent to the left could be oversteer or just making sure he wasn’t hit by Lewis.

      1. I’m sorry @jerejj and @macleod, as @sean-p-newmanlive-co-uk (pfew that’s quite the domain-name to type! anyway) the VER-HAM stuff you are saying has been shown to be wrong by almost all experts that looked at it.

        Of course, the sausage curbs have their own issues in that they can both throw the car in the air, and damage it and the driver upon landing (which is especially bad if someone would be pushed off, though that might be dealt with by penalties for the pushing party).

        And sure, in the far past we didn’t need the white lines, but that was mostly because the natural barriers, like that cliff on the side, or the tree/mountain-/tunnel-side you then ran into was a very dangerous and oft lethal obstacle, which I don’t think is the level we need to get back to. Now ‘the line we drive to naturally’ as Russell calls it also seems a bit much, given these tracks nowadays are mostly created for racing of more than just one type of car (most cars and bikes go through corners a lot less fast than F1, clearly), so that would end up with every track devolving into an oval, in the extreme.

        1. What i was saying is not wrong what i say was the Lewis was at the most left of the corner at the end of that turn while they both went in Max was a little ahead. If you watch Max onboard you see he on course to holding that turn suddenly he steers left for a fraction and just left the track because of that. Now watching Lewis onboard he doesn’t leave Max and room and goes also over the curbs (Max was already before him ) That could be the moment Max thought Lewis was going to hit him and steered a bit to the left.
          Strange enough noone was talking about that but overtaking outside the track which i found was after the overtake but i learned that overtaking is the whole corner and you have to be on the track at the end. That is what i got fro those experts

        2. Biskit Boy (@sean-p-newmanlive-co-uk)
          14th April 2021, 14:43

          bosyber I’m not sure what you are saying that I said was wrong, but either way Max overtook Lewis and needed to leave the track to do so. That’s a slam dunk penalty (certainly without any contact). The reason why Max needed to go off track is moot.

  4. Magnus Rubensson (@)
    14th April 2021, 8:45

    How about electronic track limit sensors plus an automatic gadget that cuts 10% engine power for say 30 seconds for any car breaching the track limit?
    You go off track = you lose a bit of power.

    The car still works fine but a Red Bull or Mercedes would have backmarker performance for 30 secs. Such a system would eliminate the need for stop & go penalties and stewards would not have to review. If the off-track sensor blinks, it blinks, period.

    This should be well in line with the tech-driven F1 and it would also be a television-friendly system.
    The offending car can have a little [OT] symbol blinking on the leaderboard on the TV screens while losing ground for half a minute.

    1. @magnusrubensson A good idea except for one possible unintended consequence. A sudden speed reduction or a considerable speed difference at a blind corner could risk a rear-end collision.

      1. A sudden speed reduction or a considerable speed difference at a blind corner could risk a rear-end collision.

        Not a worry; I didn’t see many cars rear-ending the Ferrari’s last year.

        1. The Ferrari’s were expected to be slow – they didn’t suddenly lose acceleration due to some arbitrary penalty.

      2. Magnus Rubensson (@)
        14th April 2021, 12:28

        The power reduction should not be sudden.
        It could be some form of PID-regulated design where the power is gradually downgraded from 100% to 90% over, for example, a 5-second period.

        I am also thinking penalties could be applied in a similar way to the DRS zone.
        “Off-Track Penalty Zones” could, for example, be arranged on subsequent straights (certainly not on blind corners):

        1) A car runs at full power and breaches the track limits.

        2) The car comes back on track and now carries an automatic “Off Track Penalty”.

        3) The car reaches the penalty zone (which should probably be a long straight) where engine power is gradually reduced: 100-99-98-97-96-95-94-93-92-91-90%. The reduction from 100 to 90% may take, for example, 5 seconds. A warning light might be lit on the car carrying the OT penalty.

        4) Once into the penalty zone, the car has to run 30 seconds at 90% power.

        5) Once the 30-second penalty time has passed, car power is restored to 100% and the driver is free to compete again.

        Note: The periods of “5 seconds” and “30 seconds” are just examples for illustrative purposes.
        Such details would be set by the governing bodies.

    2. @magnusrubensson That’s too obvious and logical, so won’t happen.

  5. Start using the astroturf a bit more in corners like that.
    I don’t like the gravel, because it can take a car out of the race and most of us don’t want that to happen.

  6. “But in my opinion it was fine – if that’s the limit, that is the limit. Just because there’s a white line two metres inside it, it’s easier just to drive to the natural limit the circuit allows you to take as opposed to a piece of paint.“

    I absolutely get him on this, especially at this one particular corner which is a very odd one in general. I think it makes sense more if you play the computer game and you get a feel for driving these cars. Trying to go through that one particular corner and keep it tight enough within the lines does feel very wrong. There is a natural flow in that specific bend and it isn’t within the white lines. If you don’t literally drive the corner but just watch on tv I can understand those that don’t get it and think it should be easy to simply not go over. When the drivers are literally given such wishy washy conflicting advice on how to take it then it’s not their fault. It’s a mess.

    The problem with that corner is that it basically occurs literally on a part of track where another road leads off, hence the expanse of tarmac. I think they need to stick down a proper temporary kerb at the track limit there for F1 weekends. Then they’ll fundamentally force drivers to take a tighter slower line in as they’ll be too compromised going over a proper kerb (think turn 1/2 at Red Bull Ring).

    1. @davidhunter13 Agreed. The alternative track route tarmac at the corner exit could have a temporary physical deterrent on the F1 weekends.

    2. @davidhunter13 +2
      When the drivers are all clearly wanting another line through and the obstacle is where some paint is, move the paint. Why this is an issue stuns me. Sure, if you stick a wall there, they’ll (mostly) avoid it. But as you can’t actually put anything ‘substantial’ there because of the alternate layout, you either adjust the line or have endless issues over sensors, how many warnings a driver gets, whether the sensors are working properly, what penalties to give, stewarding consistency, maybe switching the rules between practice, qualifying and races, interpretation of what those rules are, etc. etc. etc. F1 needs to minimize steward intervention, not maximize it.

  7. Seriously, the whole excuse that it takes too much time for the stewards is just so dumb.

    Put detection loops in the white lines, give each driver 3 strikes, impose automatic 5-second penalty on third offense. Keep the rule of overtaking outside of track through stewarding. Put a 5th non-steward person to check the automatic flags to make sure the exiting of track wasn’t due to an external circumstance (getting pushed wide, locking up, etc) and give them the authority to remove a strike if need be.

    Automatic flagging means nothing gets missed and nothing is left to imagination or “interpretation”. Extra person for checking means stewards don’t have to get bothered and ensures there’s no false flagging.

    How this has not been a thing for at least half a decade is a mystery to me.

    1. The most sensible thing I’ve seen on this page by far.

    2. @aiii It’s motor racing not tennis umpiring.

      1. No disputes like this in tennis. Everyone respects the line because there isn’t any choice.

    3. I agree. There are already automatic camera systems that could alert the Stewards when a car intrudes on a certain part of their area of coverage. So there is an area of the coverage where the cars are allowed and an area where they aren’t.
      I’d go for a something automatic such as adding 0.5 or 1 second to the lap time for any car that intrudes on a prohibited part of the track, and then if the team believe there is a justifiable reason why their car was on that part of the track they can appeal to the Stewards to have that lap time rescinded.
      I guess one should add that if a driver has accumulated more than say 10 seconds more race time than some of the cars behind him then something like the Blue Flag rule should apply and those cars behind should be allowed to pass him.

  8. Just shove a load of carpet gripper out there. Really good for the tyres I imagine.

  9. A solution that might work, but would require some lead time (pun intended) to set up:

    Put 3 lights on the cars (all in the same location). Add an indicator of the same to the driver dashboards.

    Each time someone goes over a track limit, electronically detect and and make one light go on. Stewards/race control/monitoring volunteers then have 5 laps (apart from early incidents, which could be investigated until lap 10) to uphold it if they so choose, but would also have the right to issue an automatic penalty for severe offences. Incidents not verified within the limit would have the light removed so that non-advantageous off-track ventures could simply be ignored. Overrides could also be applied to any car whose system is malfunctioning or is likely to need/want to be off-track a lot (e.g. a car slowly recovering to the pits on a circuit with variable run-off).

    Cars with all lights lit at the same time would automatically get a penalty, with FIA discretion to either show people with only one unlit light a black/white flag, or warn them over the radio (useful if they think there is either general bewilderment, or there’s a suspicion someone’s dashboard isn’t working correctly).

    1. Bonus: there could even be a little CGI light appear at the track limit where the auto-penalty was given. It would certainly save the stewards time in issuing penalties.

    2. Good idea except for the lights on the cars. The lights should be on the steering device (it’s not a wheel), on the stewards’/race control’s monitors, and on the the leaderboard graphic on our TV screens.

  10. Hardly surprising that a Mercedes driver would defend the Mercedes team.
    I’d have one question for George, though – why wasn’t he going out where Hamilton was every lap too?

    Honestly, the only thing George says there that makes any sense is that Turn 4 requires a better solution.
    Here’s your solution, mate – enforce the white lines as the track limit each and every time, and penalise for breaches.
    It would take two, maybe three goes at it before everyone is staying on the track to avoid penalties.

    Thank you, George, for demonstrating exactly why active participants should not be making the rules.
    If this was the best solution the GPDA and FIA could come up with – throw all of them out. What a disgrace. An absolute embarrassment.
    The pinnacle of motorsport, huh?

  11. I really am starting to think it’s all just part of the show now. It’s been so many years with so much inconsistency, but it’s still talked about so much.

    I can’t think of any other explanation for them not enforcing the rules as simply and certainly as it is done in any other sport.

  12. Dissecting every situation to determine whether a driver ‘gained advantage’ or not is complete nonsense. Breach of rules should be a breach of rules, period. This applies particularly to track limits. If the drivers can be precise in Monaco, they sure can apply being precise elsewhere. Instead, we have a situation where selected corners are marked for track violation observations. Often, even if a driver gains advantage, it’s OK, because he was ‘avoiding an accident’…ridiculous. To make matters worse, the allowable surface is marked by white-red curb here, green stripe there, or painted Italian flag somewhere else. Inevitably this leads to confusion and inconsistency, regardless of FIA’s rigorous claims otherwise. Every track limits violation should be penalized by at least five seconds, without exception. I can already hear the screams of teams and drivers that it would be too harsh and unreasonable, but some of us remember times, when leaving the track automatically meant encounter with bumpy grass or gravel. As for penalties, 40 years ago jumped start would cost a driver 60 seconds and an entire lap could be deducted for passing under yellow flags. Driving habits were developed accordingly.

  13. Russell, the race was a farce.

  14. In my mind the white lines are there for guidance, specifically when assessing the cutting the inside of corners. On the outside I’d put the onus on circuit owners/designers to make them not look like muppets on tv. Provide them some standard solutions and guidance to help them going as far as putting some tecpro barriers in if they want to slow or tighten a corner up like they did with hay bales back in the day.

    I really don’t mind seeing drivers taking alternative lines around tracks though, too many drivers try to pound the same line lap after lap imo without really exploring the limits as it’s either what their engineer says is fastest or the model for a corner like that. Of the current drivers Lewis is apparently the only one to constantly vary his lines and entries which has done him pretty well.

  15. Big foam/inflatable sponsorship blocks at points where the track limits are typically abused. Hit one and receive a penalty.

  16. Option 1. Better enforcement.
    Option 2. Better track flow and racing.

    Option 1 involves the ‘unnatural’ current line and inventing some reliable way of enforcing it and endless debates and trials over which is best. Option 2 involves painting the line somewhere else. Job done. So of course the enforcement police want Option 1…

    1. Drivers can stay on the track as it is currently defined – they have the skills. They merely choose not to.
      The tracks are designed to be challenging. They aren’t supposed to be easy or ‘natural’ as a circle would be the ultimate result if that were the priority. And obviously, a circle would be boring, repetitive and present little challenge for the drivers. Not to mention what it would be for viewers, if any bothered to watch it.

      So Option 1 does seem like the most sensible option, then. Two laps with strict track limits enforcement (of the white lines) with the promise of penalties and no driver will be leaving the circuit.
      It really is that simple, and it’s free – no circuit alterations required. It works for the circuit owner, and every racing series or customer who uses the track can be equally happy with that outcome.

      Honestly – even the suggestion of painting the track somewhere else is preposterous to me. Go drive a WRC car or do the Dakar if you don’t want to drive around a circuit.

      1. Modern Formula 1 non-street circuits can be designed in near infinite ways, whatever the terrain restraints. So then it becomes a question of what design works best. The fact that turn 4 at Bahrain is designed the way it is at present isn’t some kind of divine inscription. My point is that the track can be made to flow better (think Silverstone, or the middle sections of Spa etc.) and provide more overtaking chances at turn 4 by simple painting the ‘natural line’ that drivers want to take. Sure, you can make things ‘difficult’ in a banal sense. Any chicane is more ‘difficult’. Are they fun to drive through or watch? Very few. If the corner is an issue and some changes are needed, what do we want to see? Better racing or more policing? Turn 4 is a problem because the extra tarmac is there for the alternative track layout. So just let drivers use that tarmac as they want.

  17. Are rumble strip zones ever used like you’ll often see at the edge of highways? They are pretty obnoxious at road car speeds with compliant suspension so I imagine they would be many times worse in a F1 car. They would ideally have enough grip for safety but would rattle your eyeballs badly enough that you could no longer see your perfect exit line.

  18. What happens if everyone does just ‘drive the natural line’ out in the current runoff area?
    The lead car is faster, creating more dirty air for the following car, thus further hurting their performance. The straight it leads onto is too short to be an overtaking opportunity, and ultimately it would eventually be deemed unsafe going so fast there, so the track, runoff areas and/or walls would have to be modified again.
    Rinse and repeat.
    And what would it solve? No matter where the line is, somebody will go over it at some point.

    That corner was designed to be exactly the way it is for perfectly good reason. And there’s no reason why it shouldn’t stay that way.
    Clearly this design does work best, as it challenges the drivers to use their skills to stay on the track – except that F1’s ridiculously lax enforcement of its own rules takes that away.

  19. F1 – “the show where everything’s made up but the points still matter”

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