Sebastian Vettel, Aston Martin, Circuit of the Americas, 2021

Drivers warned not to cut turn six in updated track limits guidance

2021 United States Grand Prix

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Formula 1 drivers have been given new instructions regarding track limits at the Circuit of the Americas ahead of today’s final practice and qualifying sessions.

FIA F1 race director Michael Masi has advised them track limits will be monitored at the fast right-hander turn six after some drivers were observed cutting the corner during Friday practice.

The updated instructions for states: “track limits at the apex of turn six are defined as when no part of the car remains in contact with the red and white kerb.”

The Austin circuit is extensively bordered by asphalt run-off. Track limits guidance was already in place for two other corners, turns nine and 19, per the original instructions from the race director.

“A lap time achieved during any practice session or the race by leaving the track on the exit of [turns nine or 19] will result in that lap time being invalidated by the stewards,” read the stewards’ guidance, issued before yesterday’s running began. Drivers will be judged to have left the track if “no part of the car remains in contact with the track”, it added.

A total of 49 lap times were deleted on Friday for track limits violations. During first practice, 11 laps were deleted for violations at turn nine and 12 at turn 19. In the second session there were another 11 violations at turn nine and 15 at turn 19.

The latter included a lap by Lewis Hamilton which would have been the fastest of the session. During first practice Sebastian Vettel briefly held the fastest time until he had a lap deleted.

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Hazel Southwell
Hazel is a freelance journalist who roams the paddocks of Formula E, covering the technical and emotional elements of electric racing. Usually found at...

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3 comments on “Drivers warned not to cut turn six in updated track limits guidance”

  1. The white lines should be enforced for the purposes of cutting as standard.

    I think it would be cleaner if the same rules applied at exits too, but to not apply the track definition strictly on the apex of corners is madness.

  2. No one cut yesterday, though. Drivers don’t cut because of small yellow speed bumps, so a redundant note, even if only a general non-lap time one.

  3. If you cannot keep it between the white lines at any point of the track then you are not good enough to set a time and deserve to have it deleted.

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