Hamilton, Sainz and six more penalised as Aston Martin succeed in protest

2023 Austrian Grand Prix

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Aston Martin has succeeded in its protest over the results of the Austrian Grand Prix.

The team lodged its protest because it believed some drivers went unpunished for track limits breaches. The stewards agreed their protest was admissible and accepted their argument.

Seven drivers were originally given penalties for straying beyond track limits on at least four occasions. However the FIA revealed it had to investigate more than a thousand suspected cases of track limits breaches during the race.

The stewards have completed a review of the track limits infringements during the race and issued a further 12 penalties to eight different drivers.

Esteban Ocon is the most heavily penalised, receiving four penalties totalling 30 seconds. Nyck de Vries was also penalised multiple times, having 15 seconds added to his race time.

Lewis Hamilton, Carlos Sainz Jnr, Pierre Gasly, Alexander Albon and Logan Sargeant have all been given 10 second time penalties. Yuki Tsunoda received a further five seconds on top of the 10 seconds he was given during the race.

The FIA stewards said “an examination of the list of deleted lap times provided to the stewards by race control revealed that a number of track limit infringements had not previously been referred to the stewards for potential penalty.

“It was determined that some of these infringements warranted a penalty that was not previously applied when the Provisional Classification was published.”

The stewards said it had made the penalties less lenient in the case of drivers who received multiple infringements.

“[The] penalties have been applied as follows,” they explained. “For four infringements, a five-second time penalty; for five infringements, a 10 second time penalty. Then a ‘reset’ has been allowed due to the excessive number of infringements. The counting of infringements restarts. After another four infringements, a five-second time penalty will apply; after five, a 10 second time penalty.”

The stewards added they “very strongly recommend that a solution be found to the track limits
situation at this circuit.”

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2023 Austrian 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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119 comments on “Hamilton, Sainz and six more penalised as Aston Martin succeed in protest”

  1. That’s ridiculous that they’d even have to appeal that…. I can forgive someone making the wrong decision in the heat of the moment but this is just incompetence.

  2. BLS (@brightlampshade)
    2nd July 2023, 19:27

    This could get messy…

  3. Doing Hamilton’s work for him …

    1. Hamilton had 11 laps deleted butvonly 1 x 5 sec penalty…so he’s on the naughty list too! Maybe!

      1. Hamilton did serve another 5 second penalty during a pitstop though

  4. Over a thousand investigations to make?

    It’s another modern F1 triumph. This sport is just becoming a bigger and bigger joke in full glare of the entire world.

    1. The drivers just need to learn that they need to stay on the track, it’s perfectly possible to do – the throttle goes up as well as down.

      You want to risk taking the car to the last mm, that’s fine – but get it wrong too many times and you’ll get a penalty.

      Exactly as it should be, at last.

      1. Indeed, see verstappen and leclerc got no track limit violations, or at least, I have a feeling the fia only wrote on the broadcast when drivers got at least a black and white flag for 3 limits, and they didn’t get that despite being the fastest 2 drivers (combined with the car ofc) on track.

    2. Now this is tricky as I am fully supportive of making the drivers stay in the lines for 100% of the track. Especially as Hamilton is so far the only driver to ever be given a penalty for simply leaving the track once (as far as I am aware). But the number of warnings and penalties at this track is stupid. Something needs to be done about the track itself. Perhaps putting gravel all the way to the line at turns 9 and 10. Drivers need to keep in the lines but we need tracks that force them to do so.

      1. Jonathan Parkin
        3rd July 2023, 5:08

        Grass and gravel everywhere. It’s the only way we will stop these track limits issues every single fricking race

        1. Andy (@andyfromsandy)
          3rd July 2023, 9:39

          The track is used for motor bike racing so gravel is not used.

          1. And that’s the main problem. Stop using the same tracks as the bikes if their safety measures are affecting the sport.

      2. Especially as Hamilton is so far the only driver to ever be given a penalty for simply leaving the track once

        not sure where you are referring to.
        During the race PB multiple times warned him about the track limits and his possible penalty. When you see the onboards of Lando Lewis should receive a penalty for each lap as he crossed the white lines constantly.

    3. Yes, very much a joke that the drivers cannot stay within the white lines.

    4. It’s been a while since I turned off a F1 race and stopped watching but with 20 laps to go I did. Fed up with the penalty lottery a complete farce. All the arguments that drivers should be able to stay within the withe lines are nice and well – but the drivers will just continue to push and try to get the maximum out of the car and hope to get away with it – well unless the penalty is real – so that it either ruins the tires or makes one actually lose speed like gravel or grass. I would suggest to stop giving penalties for crossing the white lines and just let the drivers get on with it. Yes things will get out of hand but that might be a great motivation to come up with better trackside solutions!

      1. So then we have chicanes being cut every time….

        Consider also – this ‘problem’ doesn’t occur at Monaco.

  5. Ah yes. Some action after quite a non action filled race.

    However the FIA revealed it had to investigate more than a thousand suspected cases of track limits breaches during the race.

    Is this being exaggerated?

    1. 19 drivers x 71 laps x 10 corners = 13490 corners were made during the race.
      (I excluded Hulkenberg, who retired.)

    2. I’d guess that if what Norris mentioned about Hamilton going off more or less every corner on several of the lap he followed him is anywhere near real, it could well be that much. There’s at least 4 spots on track where they are focussed on, and with 20 cars doing 70 laps, it would still amount to an average of less than 1 case per car per lap to investigate @krichelle!

      1. Yellow Baron
        3rd July 2023, 4:50

        Do we know which cars the stewards checked after the Aston protest? I’ve heard epiple say Perez went of multiple times 10+ with no penalty yet hasn’t been given a penalty after this review

    3. @krichelle No, they said there were more than 1,200.

      1. No way… wow

      2. Am I the only one who finds this somewhat comical?

        I can’t remember the exact details (I’m sure someone else will know and where to find the footage). But either F3 or F4 a couple of years ago, completely gave up on track limits at turn 3. They ran wide on the exit by about 20 metres turning it into a kink rather than a corner.

        I’m guessing once everyone else was doing it, anyone not doing it would be seconds slower. And heck they can’t punish absolutely everyone, that’d be ridiculous! I’m guessing someone has a long night ahead of them this evening with a calculator trying to do just that.

        1. Presumably that then becomes a safety issue because you don’t have the runoff any more.

        2. @bernasaurus:
          No you’re not alone, I’m loving this. It suits them right. They wanted to make this an administrative, bureaucratic GP? Well, that is what they got. This should go off the rails completely and end up in court (CAS?) for maximum popcorn value. It is the only way to make them stop this track limit nonsense

      3. We’ll get the final results of the British Grand Prix before this one…(unless that gets stuck in the backlog too)

  6. Formula 1 should be more like tennis, which it has become quite like already. There should be a hawk-eye at every corner. For every crossing of the white line, drivers should get penalty points (in seconds). Their penalty balance should then be “paid out” on the last lap.

  7. This is getting ridiculous. Out of curiosity, does going off track for avoidance or a spin count as a track violation?

    1. @stever Yes in terms of lap time invalidation in competitive sessions.

    2. Avoidance does fall under ‘justifiable reason’, IMHO.

    3. @stever It counts for deletions.

      It may count for black/white flags, depending on if Race Control is aware that any of the occurrences should be excluded.

      It doesn’t count for penalties (and all track limits occurrences for a driver are considered by the stewards if a penalty is in the offing).

      1. As @alianora-la-canta writes, it does count for deletions, those are automated somewhat.

        I THINK part of the evaluation for those flags (and part of the reason why it takes some time, the FIA was behind some 12-15 laps during the race drivers complained) is exactly checking whether the “out of the lines” moment is a genuine mistake (or even a incident like Magnussen being pushed wide by De Vries) or just going over the lines that should be included in the track limits violations. That should be what they then base the penalties on, although I get that the Stewards were somewhat overwhelmed with the sheer amount of cases.

        I wholly agree with their closing statement / sentiment to “very strongly recommend that a solution be found to the track limits situation at this circuit.”

  8. To my eye many drivers were going 4 over at turn ten regularly. Including chief narc Lando Norris. I assumed like Toto that everyone would eventually get a penalty and it looks like he was right.

    As for people saying just go slower. It’s like throwing 10 free throws every 90 seconds when you can’t see the rim at the point where you shoot. Under several gs of force and fierce vibration.

    1. +1 it made me laugh that Norris was moaning so much yet proceeded to go off in both turn 9 and turn 10 the lap he got past Hamilton. The next lap he also looked very close in turn 9. How he didn’t get a penalty I’ll never know. Perez also did the same and surprisingly got away with it at the RedBull ring…

      I like Norris, but I’d love to see him fall foul of his own moaning. It seemed that race control only really stepped in when he started crying every lap. I understand why the rule is there but it’s a farce that this result could be protested for a while. I’m super plenty of teams are watching back to see if they can now get others penalised. With 1200 possible breeches ever driver could be in for punishments.

      1. Norris didn’t get a penalty because he didn’t go over track limits more than three times. That’s why he didn’t even get shown the black and white flag.
        Hamilton on the other hand did it so often he had the 5 second penalty he served during the race, plus the post race time penalties

      2. Waa waa Lando this Lando that, they were all at it. They’re told to because that’s how it gets through to race control. Don’t hate the driver hate the system.

    2. @dmw Yet the majority of drivers are able to stay within track limits at Monaco and Canada despite the same vibrations and g-forces. Curious!

  9. This needs fixing.
    Either alter the track so that the drivers are unwilling (scared?) to go off-line or take the circuit off the calendar.

    I am not a fan of street circuits, but at least we get to see the drivers working for a living instead of having to listen to them whine about how unfair track limits are.

    1. Or the drivers could sacrifice a tenth or two to not take the risk of a penalty.
      It’s really not difficult to do, speaking as a saloon car racer of the days gone by… Keep it on the part between the lines, an easy enough concept.

    2. Bring back the old Jochen Rindt Kurve, the 180° last corner with the barrier round the outside!

    3. @nullapax
      You don’t have to look at street tracks even. Just look at Zandvoort. Not a single track limit violation.

  10. Wouldn’t it be ironic if Alonsi or Stroll receive a 5-second penalty as a result of the protest?

    1. That was never an option, they didn’t have enough deleted laps.

    2. If the circumstances allowed that, it would be fun indeed, but ofc they wouldn’t have protested if they had known they were at risk too.

      1. As long as the people around them still get more penalty than they do… still worth it. Either way a good move from Alonso to have the rules enforced. Where did this out-of-the-blue ‘reset’ come from btw? No mercy. Just keep on slamming the +5s lap after lap after lap until they give up going beyond the limit.

  11. If they are going to strictly enforce track limits, it needs to be 100% automatic. Team gets notified with every infringement, black and white warning flag for 3 infringements, then penalties. It’s just not practical or fair to rely on drivers ‘snitching’ on their rivals to bring it to the stewards’ attention then just actioning those cases.

    Having it fully automated would also ensure penalties were handed out immediately so that penalties would correctly be served at the next pitstop where possible, and that drivers could react to their penalties and drive/strategise accordingly. As it stands, I can see teams counterprotesting this because if they knew they had penalties to serve they would have reacted accordingly (for example, imagine if Verstappen gets 10 seconds worth of penalties post-race and is classified second when he clearly could have just not pitted for fastest lap to ensure victory).

    1. Might as well automate the fans too.

      1. @bullfrog Some of Twitter’s are, if bot accounts count

      2. There already is an automated response here on some driver names 😞

    2. @keithedin Agreed. I wonder why they abandoned the system trialed at the 2016 Hungarian Grand Prix. According to a report at the time, they only checked turns 4 and 11, and used “timing loops in the kerbs” which were “set up to register a crossing when a car is approximately 20cm beyond the white line”.

      That 20 centimeters is of course nowhere in any regulations about the track limits, but that’s how the FIA rolled back then.

      It seems the technology is definitely there to make it work. They just, for whatever reason, prefer to do it like this – which inevitably leads to moaning drivers trying to get others penalized (a lousy tactic, but hate the game I guess), or to endless discussion about the results and the (perceived) unfairness of it all.

    3. Agreed. In the world of AI, how difficult it is to add a couple of sensors at each corner and have this automated.

      Sainz was saying the same thing after qualifying that the decisions need to be done faster.

      F1 is living in stone age. Why am I surprised, their official live streaming app doesn’t even work on a normal Android Smart TV.

      1. Not sure I agree with your Stone Age comments in general for F1, but fully agree that a simple set of sensors and onboard processing can make this whole subject go away very quickly.

      2. In the world of AI, how difficult it is to add a couple of sensors at each corner and have this automated.

        Don’t need sensors in the track anymore. They can do it with fixed cameras and software that optically tracks the cars in relation to the white lines, and which can be readily adjusted and refined in software.
        But that doesn’t negate the need to visually check each infraction to verify its context (why was the car off track). It simply can’t be entirely automatic, or it will be no better/more correct/more consistent than the current system.

        Besides – why would we want to further remove the human element from F1? Haven’t enough human elements been eradicated already? Sport used to be about humans…

  12. The problem is now, it will be unfair no matter how they resolve that case. Some drivers have been warned over track limits and could take care accordingly, while others couldn’t.

    1. There’s some inequality, sure, but at the same time they all knew that track limits were a big issue here and it’s their teams job to help them keep it clear. The teams shouldn’t sit around and wait for the FIA to issue warnings.

    2. @palindnilap The drivers have consistently been told over the last year and a half that the white line is now the boundary unless the pre-weekend notes say otherwise.

    3. If anything in such a case it’s worse for those who got the penalty in race, because they lost more than 5 sec during pit stop; now they lose 5 if it’s a simple case of 4th violation.

    4. I’m pretty certain the same was true in the race, though. With the delays involved, the black and white flag (which is supposed to indicate a final warning) was shown minutes after the infringement which earned it, and after the infringement which would earn their first penalty (someone can correct me if I’m wrong).

  13. What a mess.

  14. Pretty timely resolution by the FIA stewards given the number of infringements.

    Good on Aston for protesting! 👍

    1. Let me recant this.

      The stewards coming up with the fresh hell of an infringement count reset for “excessive number of infringements” is going to get this decision thrown out if anyone bothers to protest it.

      1. @proesterchen Which will only happen if someone stands to gain from Ocon losing another 50 seconds (quite unlikely as I think the 30-second penalty already makes him the last one over the line on that lap).

        1. Sorry, I reported your comment by mistake.

          Not necessarily. This might apply to anyone with a 10-sec penalty, as the stewards invented out of whole cloth a penalty reset after the first such penalty is applied.

    2. I’d agree that it’s good that Aston protested.

      There are still several glaring problems for me, though:
      1) The afterwards should not have to be prompted to do their job by a team lodging a protest.
      2) I’m very surprised at some of the missing names. I’m reasonably sure that I saw both Norris and Perez exceed track limits after they’d been shown the black and white flag, and that I’d seen more than three violations each before they were shown the flag.
      3) The delays in this, as yesterday, were just as ridiculous as the number of drivers who couldn’t keep their car within the limits all weekend.

      1. * the stewards should not have to be prompted…

      2. “The afterwards”

        COTD right there!

  15. It shouldn’t be necessary for a team to raise the issue before the stewards impose the regulations…

    If they cannot police track limits, or the work is too overwhelming for them, they should state that before the race starts instead of penalizing some at the start and then just forgetting about it…

    1. @fer-no65 I don’t think the stewards anticipated their workload going from 70 investigations (in qualifying) to 1200 (in the race), given the relatively low number of investigations that appeared to be needed in the sprint race. Perhaps it would have been wise to remember that breaching track limits is often less rewarding in the rain.

  16. So race control is keeping track of rules violations but only giving some to the stewards. No one is bothered by this? Is race control betting on the outcome of the race for a little bonus money? Something stinks. How many track limit violations did race control witness but then not put on the “list”?

    “The FIA stewards said “an examination of the list of deleted lap times provided to the stewards by race control revealed that a number of track limit infringements had not previously been referred to the stewards for potential penalty.”

    1. @jimfromus No, because the computer tracks it for Race Control and it’s possible Race Control itself didn’t know about the sheer number of breaches the computer noted some drivers were getting.

    2. The problem is in the rules, which make the race director King of Track Limits, as it is at his “absolute discretion” that a driver may be forced to give up any advantage gained.

      This is from an era where the race director had far too much power and influence, so rolling some of that back is a good start. The stewards can then decide to investigate on their own, as they can with other incidents (although the race director can still refer incidents he notes to them).

  17. This is just absurd. A total waste of resources looking out for millimeters of difference.
    Then the selective looking of the other way every now and then.
    Finally, receiving penalties without first getting a flag warning.

    1. The first 2 I agree with. However, it’s always been the case that a flag warning was strictly optional before issuing post-race penalties, if an post-race infraction would have led to a flag (or the infraction was so severe that the flag would have been skipped).

  18. I’m all for insisting drivers stay ‘within the white lines’ however there’s clearly something seriously wrong with this track with this number of incidents. I’m sure it will be discussed by the drivers and the FIA over the next couple of weeks anyway and hopefully they’ll decide on something sensible for the next time they race here.

  19. Just ridiculous now. This whole thing made a mockery of the race and now afterwards we find out all these extra penalties are being given.

    Surely a simple and safe solution would be to just stick down a thin stripe of astroturf (literally like the width of a tire) or something on the outside edge at these corners. Enough that putting a tire on it causes a brief slide and takes you off into the run off tarmac, you lose time naturally. No extra penalty needed afterwards. This concrete rule of staying within the white lines, punishing people even when they’ve clearly run out super wide and lost time, is just ridiculous. I couldn’t believe someone got a penalty for that. THAT is the penalty, and always was in the past. You gain no advantage or you even lose time, fairs fair. Cutting a corner to shorten the distance is a different matter entirely but these are all on the outside.

  20. I wonder how much it costs to return gravel traps for F1 and remove them afterwards. It shouldn’t be very costly. But most importantly, the return of gravel traps will eliminate this insanity with a review of 1000+ videos and a waste of time of many people. And the race result will most likely be determined when it should be – at the end of the race, not at the end of the day.

    1. Motorcycles.

      1. But he said installing it for F1 then removing it again straight after. Unless they’re running motorcycle races at the GP weekend, this seems a reasonable (if relatively costly) approach.

    2. Never mind gravel, pit a wall there! Make it like the wall of champions at Montreal. :-)

  21. Sorry but this is a joke. A sport worth billions without real referees and constant application of the rules.

  22. This won’t be the end of it. There are going to be so many appeals and video stills pulled up by teams with a position to gain in the standings. I know people are furiously screencapping the race right now.

    Also the Ocon penalized for other people’s crimes or for no reason memes have new life lol. 30 seconds. What a joke. They missed 6 rounds of black/white flags for him?

    1. Only possible for a periode of time after the race finish like Aston did the rest is now too late..

  23. Carless0664 (@)
    2nd July 2023, 21:33

    Was there anyone who didn’t exceed track limits? Besides Bernd Maylander, who only made a Virtual appearance.

  24. Looks like red bull ring as a choice. F1 or Moto gp

    Gravel trap or not.

    1. for MotoGP is gravel fine just make a small one

  25. if all these affected protest against it, they’ll likely suceed.

    what the point handing out penalties after the race? the only thing they proved with all of this is that they are not capable of properly supervise every single lap during the race.

    if they failed to issue warnings during the race, how can you punish all these drivers that were not warned that what they were doing was not allowed?

  26. Stroll & Son Wins (a protest)
    Nobody died. Not here, anyway.

  27. greasemonkey
    2nd July 2023, 23:04

    I see no problem with track limits enforced strictly. Having to go back and fix sloppy tracking and application should be cleaned up. But strict track limits without gravel is fine.

    We are used to it in almost every other sport with lines. We can get used to it here too.

    We don’t need gravel added here, just like tennis doesn’t need sand traps installed. Adding gravel will do what? It’ll make for more VSC and SC periods. Just clean up enforcement process and staffing.

    1. Agreed, if they keep this up the drivers will stop doing it soon enough.

    2. Agreed. The only real problems I have with this come down to timing, which could be addressed by staffing and/or automation. Other than that, the drivers just need to keep it on the track.

  28. I personally think that strict policy on track limits is good, however that turned out to be a straight mockery. Ocon was warned with black and white flag on lap 62, which made him think he was doing fine for whole race. Black and white flag was issued for third track limits violation, so I can see a reason he (and the team) thought they were fine. Apparently, stewards found 7 more violations earlier, which meant giving him 4 penalties, instead of 0. I can agree that the driver and the team should police themselves in order of avoiding penalties, but they really thought they were fine – especially since multiple drivers around him were getting penalties, and he wasn’t even warned with a flag up until lap 62.

    Pretty much similiar for de Vries, they found out 5 more times when he went too wide, which awarded him 2 more penalties (as he already had first 5 second penalty during the race, he got 10 seconds for his 5th track limits warning, and another 5 seconds for his 9th).

    I heard it’s an automated system. LOL.

    1. If you receive a penalty before the warning flag that opens a new can of worms.
      Alpin will surely protest on that with good reason!
      And I guess with a High chance of success.

      1. The thing is, I don’t think there’s anything in the rules defining that a warning must be given. It’s just an unofficial agreement. The rule is that you must stay on track*.

        I have to say, though, that if you are expecting a warning before a penalty, it’s really unfair to be issued a penalty based on incidents which occurred before the warning was given, which I believe was the case during the race: People were show the black and white flag several minutes after their third infringement, then given a penalty for exceeding track limits before the flag was shown.

        * I mean, technically the rule is you must not gain an advantage by leaving the track.

  29. Jockey Ewing
    3rd July 2023, 1:44

    Honestly, after handing out the first bigger wave of penalties, quite early, like at 30% of the race distance, I was quite surprised that they were not really handing out more penalties. It gave me a feeling that maybe they have stopped doing to avoid looking silly. But maybe it is, because many fans are quite loud about it, I mean track limits is a quite active topic. I mean, how would it look like in terms of social media reactions to hand over tens or even more penalties. But imo the stewarding tools could be improved.

    I think the slow evaluation of the cuts is maybe coming from the necessity of evaluating, that in a particular case, the driver had to avoid an accident or not. I mean, even avoiding a possibility of a major snap is or avoiding a high speed, quite uncontrolled -in exchange of a more controlled but granted cut- trip into the gravel is acceptabble. Or would be acceptable if the team of the particular entrant would protest. If this would not be part of the evaluation, a wholly automated system could be ok. But I think it hould be wholly automated by now, as a strong hinting to the stewards, that they have a incident to investigate, and the telemetry, GPS, and footages from good angles should be available to the stewards about the incident.

    Or they should come up with an entirely different penalty system, if having many incidents bothers many spectators.
    I think although, not the amount of the incidents is bothersome, in the end if is a quite narrow track, and quite fast for its width as well, with long straights where nailing the corner entry and exit before them is very imporant. An not just this is true, but many of these corners, are quite unique, even unusually cambered. I like this track, and many others, where cutting is easy.
    I think what really bothers the fan, is the slow evaluation of the incidents. It was a very nice race, so many high ratings, but things look quite differently, many would give a lower rating now.

    I tink cutting quite a lot, or more than other tracks is quite inevitable at tracks like this. Drivers are cutting this amount although maybe, because they are used to the former policing standars. Maybe the penaly, or the system or way in those penalties were applied was insufficient a bit? I mean, often the time penalty was just added after the checkered flag fell. So as many mentioned, often the penalized not had the opportunity to pull a gap, because he have not known about the verdict of the stewards in time. But very often he just sat in a better car than his opposition, and just pulled the gap with ease.

    So the thought behind my idea: For a violation of some law or rule, if the penalty just nullifies the advantage gained by the perpetrator, then to me that sounds overly lenient. I think laws are more strict than that. Let’s come up with a simple example: If a driver cuts a corner big time, and gains 1.5 seconds because of it, is an 1.5 seconds peanlty enough? If someone steals 1 million USD, and is forced by the police to give it back, are we all good? I do not think so. It is still encouraging for the perpetrator, because, if he occasionally not gets caught, or defends himself successfully in front of the jury, then he is playing a profitable game.

    So maybe an automated system, with smaller penalties, like 1-3 seconds added / cut? I would go for 2 seconds, I think 1 is not enough. Now as it stands they give an 5 seconds penalty for 4 cuts. I think if someone maximizes the effort, at some tracks can gain multiple seconds with 2-3 cuts. If he does it against an opponent in a worse car, he might cuts off the only chance of that opponent to beat him in that race. So to me 5 seconds for 4 cuts sounds inadequate. I would add 2 seconds / every cut, or I would come up with an even more fine grined system:

    We have so much data nowadays. Actually the IT giants have access to almost all of it.
    According to previous articles:
    “By partnering with AWS, Formula 1 is using innovative technologies like machine learning and high performance computing, which is taking the sport to the next level by making it data-driven.”
    “Each Formula 1 car is equipped with 300 sensors, generating more than 1.1 million telemetry data points per second transmitted from the cars to the pit.”
    Instead of seeing the effective use of these “data points”, I have seen for example when they have not had the footage, let alone the GPS and telemetry, to make the decision when Verstappen somewhat pointlessly lunged Hamilton in Brazil in 2021. They said, because of copyright issues, the car cameras’ footage was not available. Have not they trusted the stewards?

    So why not the stewards recieving these “data points? Why not these “big tech” IT companies, involved in F1, so proud of themselves, are coming up with a solution for things like this? Yes, it is easier to make some on screen graphics for TV, sure. But they are part of a business, which allegedly worths more than 20BN$. If they want to give their names for their TV graphics, and it is credibility-wise enough for them, so be it.

    But for exmple: with all these “data points”, I think a fairly good estimation of a time gain of a cut could be almost real-time calculated. Because we have micro sectors defined on a track, we have GPS, and previous laptimes of the particular entrant. I would say, I would apply a penalty worth 1.5x or 2x of the calculated gain. It would be available real time. The stewards could have many of these “data points”, and analytic softwares, and strong hinting from those softwares, data engineers to support their decisions. After all these they have, they need to decide is the driver took an evasive action or not. Although the necessity of an evasive action leading to a cut could be considered a plain cut, because to some extent, that was loosing car control (and penalties for that in case of a minor cut, would be minor, like a very few tenths added).

    I would mandate these big car factories, or let’s say the companies behind the factory (works?) teams, willing to participate in F1, to pay for softwares like these. Just to have a better credibility for the whole business. Because if there is a distrust towards the stewards, or towards the stewarding softwares already in existence, then it will just get worse by time. Social media is pretty toxic by now for example. It will not get any better by itself. It would be better for the involved IT sponsors as well. To show somwthing other than these tyre-life and overtaking probability graphics.

    If there is a distrust, for example security, or industrial-spying wise, and because of that the stewards are not provided many of those “data points” then something is fishy again. Those who make those softwares, and those who are stewarding, or data negineering there, should be people who can be trusted, or at least they should know, that a court penalty in environments, where the stakes are billions in investment, are pretty hard penalties.

    I would mandate the manufacturers involved to pay for other tools as well. Like a microsector based VSC implementation, mainly to almost entirely replace the SC, which allows racing at sectors of the track where cleanup and repair is not necessary. Or at least, again, for better automated tools, what makes the SC, VSC or red flag calls faster, and more accurate, because, I do not really like calling on and wasting a lot of the race distance, and then convertion into an other call. That happened frequently in the last 1-2 years.
    I also mandate them to fund a research of ways to make the cars even safer, with the goal of downsizing them. Maybe it could be a common knowledge base, so a research done together, as the cars are quite similar, quite specificated. This could be a nice field for AI, because that is good at generating unconventional, yet unexpolred ideas (obviously with human verification of the output), these big car and IT companies could generate ideas together.
    They could pay for many tools, helping the stewards in the investigation of incidents.

    So I am not sure whether F1 is heading towards the right direction, or into the future at all. They talk about road, and real world relevancy. But how F1 will be relevant, if a time comes when the self driving cars will dominate the public roads? It is maybe not even too far away. To such extent, where maybe only the poor will drive his own car, to his own responsibility, because even the law will forbid driving if self-driving is available?
    Maybe this is why I would like F1 to go back in time, be a bit sports-like and driving challenge-like, and come up with more raw, less planted cars. Because there are many ways towards becoming irrelevant, including becoming very predictable, and super automatized, while surely F1 was at the very least great a few decades before. I like electric vehicles for example, and historic cars equally, but I think, my question mentioning the self-driving cars and F1’s relevancy is convincing enough.

    I admit, I watch it for the drivers, because I like most of them, and a bit less interested in the teams, and much less interested in the companies involved.

    P.S. : big players involved dun’t katch me, look at the mirror instead, you are often your worst enemy :)

    1. In short?

  30. Jockey Ewing
    3rd July 2023, 3:20

    Additionally, I have a quite naive idea:
    Would not it be possible to do the following somehow?:
    Let’s have the ordinary gravel traps, but for series like MotoGP,
    let’s take a few centimeters of gravel off (huh with what kind of machine?),
    and let’s place similarly thick, fairly big concrete, or concrete-like tiles onto
    the remaninig gravel. Obviously, somehow the tiles should be fixed, attached to
    eachother, and to the side of the track as well. I am not relly good at mechanics,
    or applied physics, so I can not come up with a really good idea how.
    And then if a car racing weekend comes, this could be disassembled, and the
    removed centimeres of gravel could be filled back.
    Or let’s find a material, what is more cloth-like, and can cover the unevenities of
    the gravel, and the bikes can run on it. Nah these are not bad tasks for AI :)

    Many say, that gravel and grass should be placed everywhere, but
    as I remember, fairly serious research was put into the trackside safety,
    so I think altering nowadays’ runoff zones in this manner unconditionally,
    maybe would result in worse safety, even if the particular track would only
    be used by cars.

    For example I could not really imagine the fastest and most dangerous corners
    of F1 without any concrete runoff.
    Meanwhile gravel traps are not enough, if the walls are close, because the
    cars can bounce on gravel in unlucky situations, so act like a stone when
    someone does stone skipping or skimming.

  31. Make the kerbs narrower, set a strip of grass alongside, et voilà.

  32. The pinnacle of motor racing has now become the pinnacle of farce.

    Given the incredible technology involved in each of the cars these days, the fact that they can’t automate track limit violations, given they’re reluctant to use any physical barrier, be it gravel, astroturf, grass, kerbs or barriers, is just farcical.

    The FIA needs to decide on a methodology and then stick to it. The technology exists, the means exists, there just needs to be a will to make it happen unless someone thinks this sort or rubbish is “good for the show”.

    1. There can’t be any significant progress on this subject until the drivers respect the rules enough to want to obey them at all times.
      The penalties are simply not harsh enough to act as a deterrent. It doesn’t matter how their infringements are flagged if they are still satisfied to keep racking them up.

      And ‘this rubbish’ is absolutely ‘good for the show’. Controversy is always the best source of engagement for F1.
      What it’s done is show once again just how far ‘the best drivers in the world’ are from actually being the best drivers in the world.
      Only three of them made it through the race without running off the track multiple times, and only two of them made it through qualifying without leaving the track…

  33. I agree with the track limits rule, and the enforcing of it. The only issue is the gap between the infraction and the driver/team being notified. In my view there is no need for that gap as there are perfect technical solutions that can warn and help a driver to stay within the limits.
    What about two simple optical sensors, under the car in fixed positions? Sensor looks downwards, and “sees” the white line edges. A simple microcontroller software program knows the width of the car, including tires and can calculate exactly and instantly the position of all four wheels relegated to both side is the while line. Add a simple display for the driver: constant green means no issues, organs blip means going over one side but not yet the other side of the white line. Red blip means violation of track limit. Add a counter going up and the driver will see how close he gets to four infractions. I am sure such an instant feedback mechanism will “train” the drivers quickly to stay within limits.
    And yes, modern sensors and processors are fast enough to handle the speed of F1 cars.

    1. Too many typos, sorry.

      I agree with the track limits rule, and the enforcing of it. The only issue is the gap between the infraction and the driver/team being notified. In my view there is no need for that gap as there are perfect technical solutions that can warn and help a driver to stay within the limits.

      What about two simple optical sensors, under the car in fixed positions? Sensor looks downwards, and “sees” the white line edges. A simple microcontroller software program knows the width of the car, including tires and can calculate exactly and instantly the position of all four wheels as related to both side of the while line. Add a simple display for the driver: constant green means no issues, orange blip means going over one side but not yet the other side of the white line. Red blip means a violation of a track limit. Add a counter going up at each red blip and the driver will see how close he gets to four infractions. I am sure such an instant feedback mechanism will “train” the drivers quickly to stay within limits.

      And yes, modern sensors and processors are fast enough to handle the speed of F1 cars.

  34. Place the harsh serrated kerbs exactly 1 car width minus 1 inch outside the white line? If they go over it, risk less traction, floor, tyre & suspension damage plus rattled eyeballs & gentleman parts.

  35. Personally I’m okay with the penalties. What I’m not okay is with the time it took to warn the drivers when they exceed track limit. There are multiple things working together that ended up making it worse like less practice (because of sprint weekend), worse visibility in the new car, heavier car, but nothing as worse as not knowing that you exceed the track limit until like you already make 3 of those or even get +5 without warning. How a driver can adjust their driving properly without warning? Yes, they can drive slower, but since the warning came very late, how they can adjust? and when they adjust, how they know they are already adjusting it properly? Surely we don’t want to see driver overcompensate thus worse on track racing. Yes, there are drivers that stayed within the limit, but when a driver actually fighting closely with another, they tend to push a bit more instinctively, thus without immediate warning, we just get more and more infringement.

  36. This whole debate is pretty dumb really. They simply have to slow down to take corners, they are not slowing down enough if they can’t make it within the rules.
    Let’s make the corners wide and ramped so they never have to slow down, then they can just go flat out round and round and never have to judge or use skill to get around a corner within limits as fast as possible or hold all the races on street like circuits with solid walls on the limit, I mean. we don’t see anyone exceeding track limits at Monaco, do we?
    If you are going to fast to make the corner then slow down, if you can’t make it, penalty, car damage or both.

    1. Or make it only straights and rebrand the series F1 Drag Racing.

  37. Narrow gravel strip just after the kerbs and then asphalt/ cement run off area, this way the car wont get stuck in gravel but also penalize such incident or track violations.

  38. Sergey Martyn
    3rd July 2023, 7:57

    The Overtake Award goes to… black and white flag!

  39. Professional tennis can determine in real time, automatically, if a small yellow ball has gone over the white line. Yeah, it’s a relatively short line compared with a race track, so what?

    The cars have bi directional telemetry.

    Technology is used to determine, in real time, if there’s a track limit breach. If there is, telemetry triggers, in real time, a throttle/RPM governor for a set duration, designed to cost the driver 5 seconds, in real time.

    End of story.

    1. This solution only makes sense to normal people. But the myth of F1s best drivers on the world, high technology sport is layed bare when we have several people watching tv and writing notes to hand to 3 guys that have a whole lot of sticky notes stuck to the side of their TVs.

    2. Vlado Jakubkovic
      3rd July 2023, 10:27

      In the near future, artificial intelligence could be used to analyze things like this in real time.

  40. Dan Rooke (@geekzilla9000)
    3rd July 2023, 8:25

    The FIA may as well release a statement to say that next year: the Austrian Grand Prix winners podium will be held on the Monday.

    In all seriousness though – surely, there’s a better way to review track-limit breaches. All cars have a transponder so you know where they are on track. This data in itself isn’t enough to inform about breaches (unless they are *really* beyond the track) but you’d imagine that using this combined with dedicated cameras situated to automatically detect track limit violations would enable automatic logging rather than relying on drivers to sprag on the car in front of them.

    That way it’s just a clear slam-dunk, automated process.

    ….I’ve not used the word “sprag” for a good twenty years or so!

  41. Tim (@tsgoodchild)
    3rd July 2023, 9:39

    Either put gravel trap alongside where its outside the track limit or use tech. Sensor on car, go beyond what is permitted and some kind of lighting system is triggered on the track/car to let everyone know who has exceeded the limits – all this stewards room to look at data is tiresome. It should be a yes/no decision in the heat of the moment.

  42. If these are ‘the best drivers in the world’ surely they can cope with any safe and certified track whatever its limitations?

    Apparently not. Post race comments from several of them suggest they want it made easier for them, the poor darlings.

  43. A gravel trap is judge and executioner in one. No tampering, no appeals, no inconsistency. Use it.

    1. Red Bull Ring hosts MotoGP races too unfortunately…

      1. So do Mugello and the Sachsenring and Assen. With gravel. Am I missing something?

        1. Indeed, I saw motogp occasionally and they used gravel some years ago, I don’t see why all of a sudden they can’t race with gravel, sounds like f1 not racing in the wet, but they could 25 years ago!

  44. “FIA revealed it had to investigate more than a thousand suspected cases of track limits breaches during the race.”
    “Esteban Ocon is the most heavily penalised, receiving four penalties totalling 30 seconds.”

    Let’s do some math with that because the result will be a bit surprising. Given the structure of the penalties, it means that only Ocon has totalled 10 breaches or more (5″ for breach #4, 10″ for breach #5, 5″ for breach #9, 10″ for breach #10). The total number of breaches must then be well below 20×10 = 200, probably even less than 100. Which means than less than one “suspected case” out of ten led to a penalty. It now sounds like those drivers are not that bad in exploiting the track to the last centimeter !

  45. OK, it’s 24 hours after the race now.
    Is it safe to assume that the currently published finish positions are correct – or do we need to wait until next weekend to be sure?

    I note with interest that with 117 comments currently on this article, the word “farce” only appears three times

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