Sebastian Vettel, Aston Martin, Losail, 2021

Further track limits restrictions added to three corners at Losail

2021 Qatar Grand Prix

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Formula 1 has revised the rules on track limits at the Losail International Circuit again following today’s second practice session.

Before practice began at the circuit, which F1 is racing at for the first time, drivers were told five corners would be policed for track limits. Those restrictions were scrapped between the first and second sessions and drivers were told the track’s kerbs would instead be used to denote the extent of track limits at all of Losail’s 16 corners.

That guidance remains in place in the latest update to the regulations following the second session. Further measures have been introduced governing what happens if drivers stray beyond the kerbs at three specific corners. One of those, turn 16, the final corner which brings drivers onto the long pit finish straight, was among the original five corners being policed.

Drivers have been told their lap times will be deleted if they cut behind the kerbs at turns two, seven and 16. The usual arrangement for enforcing this restriction in the race has been put in place: Any driver who goes beyond the limit three times at any combination of those corners will be shown the black and white flag, and reported to the stewards if they do so again.

Valtteri Bottas, who set the fastest time in Friday practice, admitted he was uncertain about the specifics of the track limits rules at times during today’s running.

“All around there’s Tarmac so it’s quite easy to go off and gain time,” he said before the latest restrictions were announced. “So even some of my fastest laps, I had confusion, I didn’t know what was allowed and what wasn’t.”

He expected drivers would raise the matter at their regular Friday meeting with FIA F1 race director Michael Masi. “I’m sure it’s going to be talking point in the drivers meeting today,” he said. “It’s just the nature of the track really that’s creating issues.”

Losail International Circuit track map, 2021
Losail International Circuit 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 “Further track limits restrictions added to three corners at Losail”

  1. Given what I read in this article, I reaffirm what I stated in the previous article about track limits: LOL

  2. I wonder how Charlie would have handled this.

    1. He wouldn’t have to as would never have happened on his watch in the first place may he RIP. Gone from hard old school Gentleman rules to outback grass track mower racing.

    2. Apologies, forgot to @bsanderson

  3. They really need to come up with a system to mark the edge of the track with lap times deleted if you cross it anywhere.

    Maybe some sort of white line…

    1. Yep, all wheels over the white line then deletion of lap times and a warning. More than three times and a drive through penalty. Pretty simple.

    2. It’s bizarre how the FIA find this so hard

    3. Yep, I do not get it. The rules actually state that drivers have to stay inside of the white lines! However only one driver in history (as far as I know) has ever been punished for simply leaving the track (as in one infringement leading to punishment) and that was Hamilton at Spa where he got a 25 second penalty for doing so!

  4. It should not be possible to go faster by driving over or straddling a curb. That’s the core issue. The purpose of curbs is to make you go slower off the track and discourage that. Curbs need to have less traction or be higher.

    1. Someone didn’t want to pay for the bike-spec curbs to be replaced.

    2. Off-camber kerbs?

  5. Exactly as I predicted yesterday. Masi really is the gift that keeps on giving…

  6. Does this apply to Car33….. asking for a friend

  7. I have a great idea. Tracks should have a white line defining the track and then have raised kerbs outside the white line to provide the drivers with an indication that they are drifting off track. Could be the same at every track.

    1. Probably a good idea.

  8. Bring back hay bales. That would stop them.

  9. I wonder if these track limits also apply to RBR.

    1. Of course, they do.

  10. No more T4, or 12-14, but instead 2 & 7 alongside the only remaining original choice, i.e., final corner.
    Masi just can’t make up his mind this weekend.

  11. Come on, F1! You want your series to be understandable and relatable for audiences, right?
    Then why do you keep changing the rules all the time?
    Your own sporting regulations are already explicit regarding the track limits. Stop ignoring them and making up new ones every event, day or session.
    Clarity and consistency please. Even the drivers don’t know what the rules are anymore.

    Defining the field of play is the simplest concept and the one thing I thought no sport could get wrong, but you’ve proven repeatedly that you just can’t do it.
    What an absolute disgrace.

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