In the round-up: Logan Sargeant wants the FIA to be more consistent in applying its track limits rules across all sessions of a race weekend after losing his best time in Q1.
Sargeant wants track limits enforced in practice after Q1 elimination
Williams driver Sargeant had his first lap time of Q1 deleted by the stewards after his left side wheels ran onto the painted divide between the race track and the pit lane entrance – something prohibited by the race director’s notes for this weekend.
Sargeant was one of four drivers to have times deleted for breaching the prohibited area in qualifying. his 1’29.721 would have seen him comfortably reach Q2.
“It was in the event notes to not cross the pit entry line, so it is on me,” Sargeant admitted. “But I feel like we need to do a better job of policing it through the free practices, to give us a reference. I pretty much did exactly what I’ve done all weekend and it gets deleted. So that’s a bit frustrating.”
After being eliminated from Q1 in 20th after failing to set a time within the 107% limit, Sargeant has been granted permission by the stewards to start today’s race.
First points “definitely on offer” for Piastri from eighthOscar Piastri is eyeing his first ever points from eighth on the grid today after unexpectedly reaching Q3 for the first time.
After being eliminated in Q1 in Bahrain and retiring early, Piastri was a surprise participant in Q3 in qualifying for today’s Saudi Arabian Grand Prix and believes his McLaren can fight for points. “They’re definitely on offer,” Piastri said after qualifying.
“I think it’ll be tricky. This result probably wasn’t that expected, to be completely honest, but we’ll try our best. Our race pace we thought was actually better than our quali pace yesterday – we’ll see if that’s true tomorrow. Obviously, our straight-line speed is not exactly our strength, so we’ll see how that goes. But I’m confident to try and fight for the points.”
Double Red Bull gearbox change “planned” – Horner
Red Bull team principal Christian Horner says that the gearbox changes made to both Max Verstappen and Sergio Perez’s cars earlier this weekend were a deliberate strategic decision made by the team.
Perez had his gearbox and gearbox casing replaced on Friday, before Red Bull carried out the same service to Verstappen’s car before yesterday’s final practice.
“That was actually scheduled, just to have two in the pool,” Horner explained. “There was nothing untoward that we saw to warrant a change. It was just planned.
Horner says there is no connection to the driveshaft failure Verstappen suffered in qualifying that left him 15th on the grid for today’s race.
“What’s happened there obviously was unplanned, so we’re now trying to understand exactly what the cause of failure was and try and make sure it’s addressed.”
Advert | Become a RaceFans supporter and
Motor racing links of interest:
‘A lot of money for nothing’: Fans’ frustration over Grand Prix ticket change (The Age)
"As organisers gear up for record-setting crowds at the Australian Grand Prix, some of the sport’s most loyal fans are unhappy about changes made to the event’s VIP ticketing program. Ticket holders to the event’s Access23 program no longer have access to exclusive viewing areas provided at last year’s event despite a price hike of almost $150."
Have Williams found a leader in James Vowles who can bring them back to their glory days? (F1)
"I think the primary thing is this: we don’t have the structure in place technically, as a result of the changes that were made. Number one is, let’s put in place a proper set of structures in terms of technical director, head of aero, etc, because clearly an organisation needs those to move forward."
Mike on... the Saudi Arabian Grand Prix (Aston Martin)
"We will get even more out of Fernando and he will get more out of us as our relationship grows. We are already collaborating at a very high level, and the celebrations in Bahrain showed the strong bond that already exists between Fernando and the team, but we're still very much in a building phase – still getting to know each other."
Enzo Fittipaldi on brain surgery recovery and 'honour' of carrying a great F1 surname (Mirror)
"You can't really do anything because you're really injured for one or two weeks in the ICU and those moments were the hardest, but also you grow a lot as a person on and off the track. It was a bad experience, but after it became something good because I think I became stronger as a driver, physically and mentally. I got through it and I overcame the difficult times."
Zane Maloney eyeing AlphaTauri 2024 F1 race seat and ''expects'' to win F2 championship (Mirror)
"There's a lot of pride when it comes to representing Barbados. It's the best place in the world as far as I'm concerned! I love Barbados and, to be able to show what we have on the island – we have lots of rallying and circuit racing – to be able to show that on the world stage means a lot to me."
Hauger: Salvaging Sprint Race point a positive after qualifying misfortune (F2)
"Overall, it was good I think compared to where we started, but obviously wish we could have moved forward a bit earlier because we came up quite a bit at the end. Tomorrow it’s going to be a longer race, so hopefully we can do a bit more there."
iRacing 2023 Season 2 Build Update (iRacing via YouTube)
"This season update includes three new cars: Late Model Stock, Ray FF1600, and Renault Clio R.S. V. Circuito de Jerez - Ángel Nieto joins the iRacing roster of racetracks."
We always endeavour to credit original sources. If you have a tip for a link relating to single-seater motorsport to feature in the next RaceFans round-up please send it to us via the contact form.
Advert | Become a RaceFans supporter and
Notable posts from Twitter, Instagram and more:
I was struck by how much calmer @Max33Verstappen sounded on the radio when his power unit failed in qualifying compared to past problems he's encountered. #F1 #SaudiArabianGP
— Keith Collantine (@keithcollantine) March 18, 2023
Feliz de estar de nuevo en la pole, el equipo ha hecho un gran trabajo.
Ahora a terminar el trabajo en Jeddah.#Vamooos #SaudiarabianGP
Happy to be on Pole again! Great work by the whole @redbullracing
Now let’s get the job done in Jeddah! #Vamooos #SaudiArabianGP pic.twitter.com/Yeg1IhIvti
— Sergio Pérez (@SChecoPerez) March 18, 2023
Feeling good. 🙌@alo_oficial will line up on the front row for the #SaudiArabianGP following his strong qualifying finish! pic.twitter.com/V9Cu6cw8QY
— Aston Martin Aramco Cognizant F1 Team (@AstonMartinF1) March 18, 2023
Good job Oscar Pastry!
— Zak Brown (@ZBrownCEO) March 18, 2023
This is wild. Josh Williams is like, “Oh you want me to park my car? Ok fine NASCAR but I will be choosing the location.”
— Nick Yeoman (@NYeoman) March 18, 2023
Advert | Become a RaceFans supporter and
- Find more official F1 accounts to follow in the F1 Twitter Directory
Comment of the day
Red Bull are planning on demoing an F1 car around the Nordschleife, but @d0senbrot isn’t particularly impressed by the idea…
Demo runs with modern F1 cars have never been a highlight on the Nordschleife. To drive fast there with any degree of safety would require days of preparation, possibly with substantial modifications to the suspension and aerodynamics. So it will probably be the usual half-throttle lap, and since it’s Red Bull, with the 2011 car.
However the demo run of Ralf Schumacher in the BMW Williams FW25 at the Moto GP weekend in Portimao will potentially be much more exciting. He already let it rip last year in Spielberg with a couple of push laps. And it’s a phenomenal car that embodies everything that modern F1 lacks. Light and nimble, relatively small size and pleasing proportions, accompanied by otherworldly sounds that once stood unmistakably for Formula 1.
No RaceFans birthdays today
On this day in motorsport
- 45 years ago today Keke Rosberg won the non-championship BRDC International Trophy in a Theodore in very wet conditions at Silverstone. Emerson Fittipaldi was second for Copersucar.
17 comments on “Sargeant wants track limits enforced in practice sessions after Q1 exit”
Short Circuit (@jjohn)
19th March 2023, 0:25
So Zak doesn’t know how to spell his non-British drivers name. What a “twit”.
19th March 2023, 0:34
I believe Pastry was the nickname given to him by his mechanics and team.
Short Circuit (@jjohn)
19th March 2023, 1:13
Thanks @joolsy. What’s left of my brain and eyesight filled in an “i” that wasn’t there and just saw the y at the end. Great to see good humoured nicknames still allowed. Apologies Zak.
19th March 2023, 16:28
No worries. My favourite mechanics nickname for a driver was the renowned irish racer Tim O’Glock.
19th March 2023, 0:34
That was a pretty tough call. I get it being out of bounds for the race, but I feel like they could have let that go and no one would have noticed. Ruined both Williams’ cars’ day since that deleted lap caused a whole chain of events that ended with Logan being rushed and stressed and spinning in front of Albon while he was on a hot lap. Also gotta question Williams’ wisdom putting Albon BEHIND a guy who was under pressure and was going to be pushing extra hard since at that point Albon was still in and Sargeant had no time on the board.
19th March 2023, 0:51
Re the Australian GP ticket prices
Standing room only (no seat) tickets for Las Vegas are $500 USD. And there are no support races…… so you’ll be standing for hours with nothing to do except queue for the toilets. Some hotels are asking in the $2000 USD range for three nights. I calculate I could fly to Oz, have a nice holiday, and attend the race for less than driving to Las Vegas for a late Saturday night ripoff. Maybe I’ll do that next year.
Rhys Lloyd (@justrhysism)
19th March 2023, 8:07
@stever just be sure to buy your tickets as soon as they’re released. They sell literally immediately.
Stephen Crowsen (@drycrust)
19th March 2023, 3:00
Logan has the right to complain. Rule 27.3 of the FIA Sporting Regulations states in part, “Drivers will be judged to have left the track if no part of the car remains in contact with it.” So Logan hadn’t exceeded the track limits according to the FIA’s normal rules because two wheels were still on the track. Probably there’s some clause somewhere in the rules that allows the Racing Director to come up with a special rule regarding Track Limits, but if there’s nothing in the rules then Logan’s time should be reinstated (even if it is too late to change the Starting Grid). The Race Director should have emphasised this at the Drivers’ Briefing, which he didn’t do. I know I’ve caught out because someone has posted important information on a notice board amongst lots of old notices, and it is really frustrating because now at every race all the drivers have to ask him if there’s a Special Track Limits rule at the Drivers’ Briefing because he was too lazy to tell them, yet he probably briefed the Stewards on this Special Track Limits Rule.
It does make sense that there’s a special Track Limits rule regarding places where a driver shouldn’t exceed the Track Limits for safety reasons, and yet painting the Track Limits line a car’s width over would be illogical or stupid, but if a different rule applies to the Track Limits at some portion of the track then it should be designated differently, e.g. an alternating white and yellow line, a white line with an adjacent yellow line, two parallel white lines, etc.
Logan also said he thought it was wrong that the Track Limits wasn’t policed during the Practice Sessions. It seems to me there’s merit for this but also reasons not to do this. My guess is the Stewards have lots to do before Qualifying or a Race, so why should they have to spend hours watching cars circulating the track for the odd occasion where a driver exceeds Track Limits? Usually the driver is well aware they have exceeded the Track Limits. The oddity in this case is the FIA allowed the Race Director to have a special rule regarding Track Limits, but he couldn’t be bothered to tell the most people his rule had the biggest affect on: the Drivers!
19th March 2023, 3:32
I wish Sargeant had kept his qualifying time, but the track notes, distributed to the teams prior to the event, take precedent. It’s the teams’ responsibility to be aware of the specific rules for a race and admonish the drivers to obey the rules for the track. Sargeant did a great job but broke the rules that were published and that all teams and drivers should have been aware of. Woulda, coulda, shoulda.
19th March 2023, 3:32
They never said he left the track, and it was in the notes that your lap wouldn’t count if you crossed the line.
It also wasn’t posted on a notice board with old information. If the team doesn’t go over the event notes before the event, that’s on them.
It was his fault he crossed the line, he knows it was his fault, and he owned it. There’s absolutely no case for his lap counting.
His point is valid though that they should do a better job enforcing the rules in practice.
19th March 2023, 5:42
@hunkulese Enforcing in practice sessions as used to be the case would be pointless as these sessions are non-competitive, so nothing to gain or lose points or grid position-wise.
19th March 2023, 13:24
Logan’s point is that would allow the drivers to have more clear understanding on what’s enforced and what isn’t. This is his first time driving this track. I see his point because drivers and engineers have a million other things to pay attention to. This is the first time I’ve seen a lap deleted for only putting a single wheel off. He drove that way in practice sessions and nobody complained. So why is it okay in practice but not in qualy? The reason for it is safety so it should be enforced in every session.
19th March 2023, 19:15
There’s a benefit for the drivers as they could be doing something wrong in practice and not getting a warning so they’d assume they could keep doing it.
19th March 2023, 9:52
There’s no big “special track limits rule” here. The problem is, he crossed the pit entry line, which is a track limit line. Due to the track layout, crossing that line on a timed lap is beneficial in Saudi Arabia. But pit in line is something no part of your car can go over, same as Brazil if I remember correctly. As there was even a reminder for that rule in the race notes given to the teams, he really shouldn’t be making a fool of himself here.
19th March 2023, 11:54
@renee Indeed, nothing to do with track limits per se but a general rule that a driver shouldn’t entirely cross the pit entry, i.e., go into the pit lane if driving entirely to the left, albeit nothing lap time beneficial either as distance to timing line doesn’t get any shorter, but still.
Overall, this thing can only really be an issue in Jeddah, Sakhir, Baku, & Interlagos.
19th March 2023, 5:41
They already were until 2021, so reverting to the last two RD’s approach would be redundant & pointless, as position order is irrelevant in non-competitive sessions.
Besides, what difference would that have made for Sargeant anyway?
Lap time invalidation or not, drivers still need to find the limits in practice sessions to stay within them in the relevant competitive sessions.
Zalone shouldn’t get ahead of things as not only does he have competition within RB, with at least Iwasa, Hauger, & even Lawson from SF having a better chance unless he happens to outperform all, but also for the series championship with Pourchaire the favorite.
19th March 2023, 8:45
The more I hear James Vowles speak, the more I think Williams might have made a great appointment. *I could be very wrong.
When watching DTS (never my choice, but it happens), I don’t think any of the Team Principals come across vey well. Though obviously Gunther has his supporters, but I’d be interested in James. He seems somewhat different to the rest. Obviously there’s a lot less pressure on him than most, but I wouldn’t be surprised if Williams begin to improve in a way I didn’t think was likely under Claire or Jost.