Nicholas Latifi, Williams, Circuit de Catalunya, 2021

Changes to track limits guidance in Spain before practice begins

2021 Spanish Grand Prix

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Formula 1 drivers have been given revised track limits guidance ahead of the start of practice for the Spanish Grand Prix weekend.

Last year, F1’s track limits restrictions were revised during the Spanish Grand Prix weekend. They originally applied to turns one and two only, but these restrictions were later revised and an additional limitation imposed on turns 13 to 15, including the chicane past the old section of circuit.

Ahead of this year’s race the first track limits instructions given to drivers on Thursday matched the original guidance from last year. This has now been revised to reflect the updated instructions which were in force for last year’s race.

At turn one and two (pictured top), any drivers who touch the yellow speed bumps, pass between them or to the left of the yellow apex ‘sausage kerb’ at turn two will be required to follow the route directing them back onto the circuit. This leads them to turn three, where they must pass to the left of two yellow bollards at the entry to the corner.

Any drivers who fail to negotiate turn two will have their lap time deleted. If they do so on two occasions in the race, they will be shown the black-and-white flag, and may face a penalty from the stewards if they continue to run wide.

Drivers will also lose their lap times if they fail to negotiate turns turn 13, 14 and 15.

In all cases the restrictions will not be applied to a driver who is deemed to have been forced wide by a rival.

Circuit de Catalunya track map, 2021
Circuit de Catalunya track map, 2021

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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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  • 22 comments on “Changes to track limits guidance in Spain before practice begins”

    1. For goodness sake….
      I swear my dog could do a better job than the FIA.

      1. Is your dog called Toto? then no, cause he keeps adjusting the DRS to his liking.

    2. “Any driver must have two wheels within the white lines at all time. Detection loops will be placed inside the white lines and wheel rims of the car to detect failures. Lap times in practice will be immediately deleted. A 5 second automatic penalty will be applied for the 4th infraction during the race and again for every subsequent infraction. A fifth race steward will be appointed to check the infractions for false positives due to evasive manoeuvres or driving errors.”

      See Masi, ain’t that hard.

      1. I have another proposal:

        1 – Remove all kerbs from the circuit
        2 – Put a 1 meter wide strip of grass/gravel outside the white lines all around the track

        You’re welcome. :-)

        1. @miguelbento I’m also in favor of a physical deterrent at corner exits.

      2. @aiii Or even easier is to have ERS disabled for a period after

    3. Masi does seem to be making a mess.

      Part of the problem is a culture change in the FIA. We now have increasingly detailed and ever more comprehensive rules about everything.

      For Masi to stick to the rules as they are written would conflict with this new inflexibility/control freakery.

      1. I think the opposite is true with track limits.
        I believe Masi is trying to enforce track limits more closely to the way the regs are written, but F1 isn’t having it. “Too many penalties,” “it’s too hard,” “it doesn’t look good,” “it’s no fun,” etc etc…
        After so many years of Whiting being even more lax or ignoring them altogether, there is strong resistance to tightening things up.

        I just wish they’d actually do it properly, as it is noted in Article 27.3. It can’t be any clearer than that, and if drivers were still copping penalties then, it would only be their own fault. Nobody else to blame.

        1. It is a product of the circuits and the massive paved run offs. Drivers didn’t need to be punished in the past because they were beached or at the very least punished for their mistake. If beached, no one could touch the car to help, so effectively that car was out of what ever session they were in at the time. I for one am old enough to remember drivers not making a lap and being done. It was brutal for fans and teams.

          DRS is just not fair, I like Indy’s push to pass more, give drivers 200 seconds of extra power to use as they see fit, to defend or pass, and then it is up to who uses it best. Personally, don’t care for either, but a one sided advantage is not right and never has been.

          1. How about 200 seconds of DRS, used whenever you want to, to pass or defend?

            1. Works for Indycar.

    4. FIA doing their level best to make the sport inaccessible.

    5. I must be slow. LAST year, FIA gave instructions, THEN gave “revised” instructions. Did’nt FIA consider that this year before giving the FIRST instructions, which were the same as the FIRST instructions last year? Why were’nt the first instructions they gave them this year the same as the revised (lessons learned?) instructions that they gave last year?

      ‘What did we do last year Frank? No, I mean what did we tell them for the actual race? OK, tell them that again”
      Done.

      1. @waptraveler Or even better, stop enforcing track limits for lap time altogether since going off at T1 is already disadvantageous. The same for the former track part, as no one uses it for time and speed gaining purpose anyway.

    6. Two words: White Lines. It really need be no more complicated than that.

      1. It’s all about enforcing that he is now we do and then we don’t !

    7. Because Masi can’t make up his mind. Funny given that not a single session has taken place yet.
      Re T1-T2 runoff, crossing speed bumps is automatically slower than staying on track, so no advantage in going off at T1. Therefore, lap time invalidation for the sake of it is redundant.
      The old track piece is also redundant as no one uses it for gaining speed and time anyway. Sainz only used it for letting a faster driver by without impeding. Why can’t he keep things consistent instead of changing over and over again without actual need? He makes an unnecessary mess of these things by his indecisiveness.
      A better message for the latter would be that using the former circuit part is OK as long as it’s for avoiding being in someone’s way and making sure that no advantage gets gained, like at Yas Marina’s chicane before hairpin or Bahrain outer loop chicane.

    8. The F1 sessions haven’t started yet and they’re *already* making revisions? 🙄

    9. Im gonna go out on a limb and guess that Masi knows more than me. As this track limits thing seems like its getting dumber and dumber I wonder if there is some technicial or FIA reason why this silliness keeps happening. I make jokes like most but its laughable that Masi and Co. are stupid.

    10. let me pretend I was forced wide at 13 for the whole weekend.

    11. I think it’s great that more track limits are being enforced. These are supposed to be the best drives in the world and they should be able to deal with it. We don’t want the old days or walls and trees but making sure that drivers stay on the track should be part of racing.

    12. Why not use not very grippy paint beyond the track limit. Go wide and lose grip. Simple.

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