Turn 12 exit, Losail International Circuit, 2021

F1 drivers told five corners are being policed for track limits at Losail

2021 Qatar Grand Prix

Posted on

| Written by

Formula 1 drivers have been told track limits will be policed at five corners on the Losail International Circuit this weekend.

The Qatar circuit is holding its first round of the world championship. Much of the track is bordered by flat kerbs and asphalt run-off, though some taller kerbs have been added in places to discourage drivers from running wide.

Nonetheless FIA F1 race director Michael Masi has already notified drivers of five points on the circuit where track limits will be imposed manually and lap times will be deleted if cars run wide at these locations. These are the exits of turns four, 12 (pictured), 13, 14 and the final corner on the 16-turn track.

During the race any driver who leaves the track three times at these corners, in any combination, will be shown the black-and-white flag. A further violation will lead to them being reported to the stewards, potentially resulting in a penalty.

A single DRS zone has been positioned on the pit straight. Drivers will be able to use DRS 200 metres after the final corner on the straight, which measures over a kilometre in length. The detection point is prior to the final corner, by the new pit lane entrance which was constructed for F1’s first race at the venues.

Advert | Become a RaceFans supporter and go ad-free

2021 Qatar Grand Prix

Browse all 2021 Qatar Grand Prix articles

Author information

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...

Got a potential story, tip or enquiry? Find out more about RaceFans and contact us here.

30 comments on “F1 drivers told five corners are being policed for track limits at Losail”

  1. Will they be policed all weekend, or is the run off fair game if you’re fighting wheel to wheel for the world championship and need to use an extra 10 metres to keep the other guy behind?

    1. @j4k3 That probably also depends on whether a former Red Bull driver will be one of the stewards again like last race.

      1. @f1osaurus Emanuele Pirro this time.

        1. @jerejj Heh. I guess he’s not afraid to penalize Verstappen when it’s warranted. Although he wasn’t happy with the backlash he got.

    2. I guess that will depend on the hearing today @j4k3. And then, it might be changed after FP1/FP2.

      And why not another change announced in the hours before the race, to make sure the commentary can again talk about how bad it is to see drivers constantly going off track to gain an advantage, how annoying it is they get all these laps deleted and how it will clearly ruin qualifying and then how bad it is that the fia backed down, only to conclude that it would have been better not to police it at all while at the same time being glad a random driver got punished for something another one did only last week/month/… without even getting reported for it.

    3. Damn beat me to it!

  2. Why can’t all 16 corners be policed? And the straights too? Because that would be too simple for F1, presumably.
    Creating opportunities for inconsistency and controversy are most important.

    1. @S What would be the point in doing something for its sake, especially on straights where drivers drive on a straight line anyway, LOL. Your suggestion would be over-excessive.

      1. @jerejj
        I honestly don’t understand your crusade to ignore the existing, active sporting regulations.

        Do you do this with other sports too? I bet those white lines really ruin your enjoyment of tennis and football, don’t they…. And having to hit the golf ball into the hole…? Why can’t they just hit it somewhere near a tree or into the lake? That’s good enough, right?
        Every sport IS its rules and their application – regardless of whether you think they are right, wrong, stupid, genius, absolutely vital or completely redundant.
        Mercedes just had a car excluded from qualifying for a 0.2mm infraction, and yet they let the cars drive several meters away from the defined racing surface. It’s crazy, and makes F1 look utterly pathetic and amateur.
        The underlying message being beamed to every viewer is that the drivers are incapable of driving on the track, and that F1’s administration is either pathetically inept or totally crooked.

        If the regulations change and omit references to the track limit, then fine – enforce whatever is written then.
        Right now, however, Article 27.3 is abundantly clear. And as a current regulation, it must be enforced consistently.

  3. Jay (@slightlycrusty)
    18th November 2021, 12:00

    Is this policed like Mexico “crowding is strictly prohibited” Brazil “no investigation is necessary”. Will all sessions be policed? All the way through? Will all drivers be policed? Yeah, I know: no-one has the answers to these questions. The stewards are a laughing stock.

    1. @slightlycrusty Always all sessions & all drivers, no different on these fronts, especially the former.

      1. Except in Bahrain, there it was okay, until others than Hamilton started to go off track.

        1. @Ronald Lap times didn’t get invalidated in the race, while going off itself was originally also OK in that one session until one point, correct. That was a single exception, though.

  4. LOL This has to be most number of corners at a track being policed this year.

    1. Completely flat track, miles of runoff around all corners of it, only flat kerbing (since it would quite upset bikes to ride over some of those more pronouced high kerbs) and all to gain by running wide. Yeah, I can see why they felt the need to announce as many @krichelle. Wouldn’t be surprised to see more added after the friday either.

    2. @krichelle Correct. Generally three corners at max.

  5. Generally, three corners at maximum on a given circuit receive track limit enforcement for lap time, so five is the highest thus far. I anticipated even more than the five chosen beforehand.
    I’m okay with these corners since they’re either high or medium-speed, but once again, I don’t get the white line reference instead of curbing, even though all five have curbs.
    Only Monza’s final & Nurburgring’s T4 don’t have curbs on exit/throughout exit edge, but others do, so curbing should always be the limit wherever possible.

    1. The point of kerbs isn’t to be the racing surface, @jerejj. They are explicitly defined as being outside of the track limit (which is the white line).

      A car can still use the kerbs with the outside wheels while remaining on the track surface (inside the white lines) with the other two, or even only one of them.
      And as there is a white line and not some invisible reference with no defined beginning or end point, everyone can see when a car exceeds it.

      1. @S @f1mre Curbs are an easier reference for drivers at their speeds & driving positions than white lines.
        Inconsistency is another issue, i.e., sometimes curbs, sometimes white lines.

        1. 2 wheels on a kerb gets the message across just as efficiently and effectively as 4 wheels does, @jerejj.
          Racing drivers learn circuits very quickly – they know full well where their car is placed and where the track goes.

          Inconsistency is most definitely part of the same issue, because instead of the track always being defined by white lines (as per the sporting regulations) – the current implementation is that the track is defined by the white line here, the kerb there and nothing at all over in that place.

          White lines everywhere, all the time = consistency.

    2. Kerbs are not part of the track layout. I never understood when they let drivers leave the track (white line) with all four wheels and made the outside edge of the kerb track limit. That’s just nonsense.

  6. Seems to me that the DRS zone is a bit long? If it starts 200 meters after the final corner, assuming that the braking zone for turn 1 will be around 75-100 meters, that makes for a DRS zone around 700-725 meters long. They’ll be breezing past before the first corner I think.

    Are there any comparisons to established circuits? Isn’t Barcelona’s front straight also 1000 meters long?

    1. I think they are so afraid of zero overtakes that they risk motorway-stlye overtakes rather than not having any overtakes.

    2. @geemac
      I disagree, just about an ideal length for a 1+ km long straight, about the same as on other similar-length straights.

  7. I’m pretty sure that applies to all drivers but one.

    1. You mean when Hamilton left the track with all 4 wheels 28 times in Bahrain yet when Verstappen did that once and overtook Hamilton, they ordered him to let Hamilton by?

  8. Let’s go a Balestre and say, “the circuit ends on the white line”. Well, he overreacted by disqualifying Senna, but you get the point.

  9. Its the same for MotoGP as well at Qatar GP, though they do have long lap penalty for offenders.

  10. Knowing Masi’s recent form on this, today it’s five corners and will change – constantly – throughout the weekend, alongside what is track and what isn’t. Sometimes twice or more in o͟n͟e͟ day…

  11. This article should have a link to a diagram of this unfamiliar track. Does anyone have a source for this?

Comments are closed.