Alexander Albon complained warnings over track limits breaches were issued too slowly after his penalty in last weekend’s United States Grand Prix.
But Albon felt he could have avoided the penalty had he been warned about his first infringements more promptly.
“I get frustrated with it,” he said. “I had one strike the whole race, and then from one lap to the next I had three strikes. So I went from one warning to an instant penalty.
“Either they’re so far behind or something’s going on. It’s the same thing, you stay in the limits, but we’ve talked about it before: it’s really hard to tell. And then if they don’t give you a warning and then suddenly chuck you three in a row, I don’t think that’s fair.”
Albon said the stewards need to take into account the lag which occurs in track limits warnings. “If they’re behind on their systems, maybe they need to put their hand up and say something or tell us that this is moving slow, and just give you a bit more leeway on it because it was my race that got ruined straight away.”
Track limits have been an especially acute problem at some races this year. Albon received two track limits penalties at the preceding round in Qatar, as well as at the Austrian Grand Prix this year.
Williams team principal James Vowles pointed out that the location of Albon’s violations at Circuit of the Americas, turn six, was a point on the circuit where fewer infringements occured.
“Track limits were being enforced all the way through the weekend, all the way through qualifying. But what was interesting on this particular occasion is all of a sudden in the space of two minutes, four or five track limits came through for turn six, a corner that wasn’t really being looked at, and didn’t give us an opportunity to correct that.
“So I think that investigation post-race will give the FIA and us enough time to understand what happened and what the outcome will be as a result of that.”
In total 35 lap times were deleted for 15 drivers during the race for track limits abuse, involving at eight different corners. Six of Albon’s laps were deleted, and the stewards considered applying more, but after reviewing his onboard camera admitted that “whilst there might be some indication for possible [further] track limit infringements in turn six, the evidence at hand is not sufficient to accurately and consistently conclude that any breaches occurred and therefore take no further action.”
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2023 United States Grand Prix
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