Valtteri Bottas, Mercedes, Imola, 2021

F1 eases track limits restrictions at Imola

2021 Emilia-Romagna Grand Prix

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Formula 1 will no longer police track limits at Imola’s turn 13 – Acque Minerali – for the rest of this weekend’s Emilia-Romagna Grand Prix.

No violations occured at the corner during Friday’s practice sessions. The left-hander, as well as Piratella and Variante Alta, were named in the race director’s pre-event notes as areas where track limits would be policed.

Revised notes ahead of Saturday practice now omit turn 13. They also include a clarification regarding Variante Alta where drivers can briefly go airborne over the chicane’s kerbs.

“Further to the discussion at the drivers meeting, and for the avoidance of doubt, cars will be permitted to drive on the yellow kerbs located at the apex of turns 14 and 15,” it said in the third version of the notes to be issued this weekend, ahead of the final practice session.

“Leaving the track to cut across the kerbs is not permitted and a penalty may be applied.”

Aston Martin driver Lance Stroll said there was a lot of “kerb riding” going on in practice, while Haas’s Nikita Mazepin said it would be “pretty easy to follow” the race director’s notes “as long as the rules are clear”. Drivers raised the topic with Formula 1 race director Michael Masi on the Friday evening, which prompted the changes.

The revised notes also confirmed Pirelli has increased the minimum rear tyre pressures. These will now be set at 20.0psi rather than 19.0psi. Pirelli’s F1 tyre chief Mario Isola explained the change after Friday practice.

“The lower pressure is possible because the tyres are more robust.” he said. “So the pressure, or the starting pressure, is a direct effect of the robustness of the tyre. So the two elements are strictly linked. Then obviously with a new tyre, with the reduced downforce and the fact that we can move around lower pressure, there is another benefit that is running lower pressures for better footprint and so on.”

Imola circuit map, 2021
Imola circuit map, 2021

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2021 Emilia-Romagna Grand Prix

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Author information

Elliot Wood
Often found in junior single-seater paddocks around Europe doing journalism and television commentary, or dabbling in teaching Photography back in the UK. Currently based...

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15 comments on “F1 eases track limits restrictions at Imola”

  1. didn’t they say they wouldn’t Change the tracklimit rules during the weekend again…?

    1. Yeah, I recall that too: https://www.racefans.net/2021/04/15/same-track-limits-rules-for-every-f1-session-at-imola/

      I’m annoyed. At the time of the “this won’t change” announcement, I nearly called sweep steaks on when they would change…

    2. Yeah. And the drivers were very much talking about how silly it is when things change during the weekend @mrboerns, @eurobrun. But then went ahead and lobbied for the clear rules to be changed to another weaksause in between thing for one turn that is not as clear.

      No doubt after the weekend we will again hear many of the same drivers wondering why it did not stay the same the whole weekend, and why they don’t just set a clear line …

  2. Here we go again.

  3. Well, I just won a bet.

    1. I actually think that this is a new income stream with their betting partner.
      How often will they change track limits, which corners will have them enforced, during which lap do they change the rules, etc.

      1. F1 track limits – a new lottery from The Lott.

  4. Good thing Masi realized how redundant T13 was because of the yellow bumps. Last year, he should’ve done the same thing with Algarve’s last corner later on the weekend after noting that no one was going off there anyway due to steering angle.

  5. Masi is starting to show his incompetence. He has been given loads of time after having to suddenly take over from Charlie.

    It looks like its time for someone that is upto the job, not someone that has to keep changing everything and keep on recommunicating miscommunications during a race weekend.

    Reply moderated
  6. I think this change makes sense as there’s little point monitoring track limits at a place where nobody can run wide & gain an advantage anyway. Plus as we saw in FP3 them able to go just a little bit wider created a bit of extra drama with cars running upto/bouncing off the additional yellow humps.

    I also like the clarification about the kerbs at Variante Alta. I still hate the current iteration of that corner & think the pre-2006 one was better, But at least we are kinda seeing them able to attack the kerbs in a similar way now. I also always felt that created an additional challenge, You need to really attack the kerb to gain time but it’s super easy to lose time by using too much.

  7. Increase in tyre pressures! Stupid.

  8. What a joke!! Any one betting that the rules will change mid race too?

    1. Nobody knows what the rules are now, so it’s impossible to know if they change

  9. Better they should bring ovals to avoid track monitoring..
    I still feel drivers exploits track limits and gain some time and makinv these cars faster..
    Interesting to see how actually they are faster if track limits are stricts

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