Carlos Sainz Jnr, Ferrari, Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez, 2021

Drivers notified of rules change for turn one at start and restarts

2021 Mexico City Grand Prix

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Formula 1 drivers have been told track limits will be enforced differently at the first corner following the start of today’s Mexico City Grand Prix.

Previously this weekend, drivers were required to rejoin the track by going around a bollard at the exit of turn three, if they had gone off at turn one. That requirement will remain in place for the majority of the race, but not at the start or if a standing restart takes place.

Under those circumstances FIA Formula 1 race director Michael Masi has stated that “any driver who leaves the track at turn one or two will be required to ensure that they rejoin the track safely and do not gain a lasting advantage. In practical terms this will mean giving up any positions that were gained.

“The instruction to go around the bollard at turn three in this circumstance only will not be a requirement.”

Masi also reminded the drivers of an International Sporting Code regulation which states “maneuvers liable to hinder other drivers, such as deliberate crowding of a car beyond the edge of the track or any other abnormal change of direction, are strictly prohibited.”

The policing of track limits at the start of races has been a subject of debate in recent grand prix weekends. Fernando Alonso has accused other drivers of gaining positions by using the run-off at the start of races, and the Alpine driver exploited the turn two run-off at the start of the Russian Grand Prix.

The three-corner complex of turns one, two and three at Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez has been a bone of contention in past seasons. In 2016 Lewis Hamilton failed to negotiate the three corners at the start of the race. Following that, the current system of kerbs and bollards to enforce track limits at the corner was introduced.

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2021 Mexico City Grand Prix

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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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4 comments on “Drivers notified of rules change for turn one at start and restarts”

  1. So basically if you think you’ll lose the place at t1 because of positioning it’s best to just drive through the grass and keep it. Great!

    1. Yes.

      Then again, drivers were literally trying out that line in practice, so …

  2. This will of course succeed in curbing any possible controversies arising from drivers using the lines they trained so well for in free practice on (re-)starts.


  3. Alonso must be (very not) thrilled about this…

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