Sergio Perez, Red Bull, Yas Marina, 2023

Use off-season to fix track limits urges Perez, as penalty drops him to ninth

Formula 1

Posted on

| Written by and

Sergio Perez says Formula 1 must use the upcoming off-season to address the persistent problems it encounters with enforcing track limits.

The Red Bull driver originally took fifth on the grid with his final lap in qualifying before it was deleted because he ran wide at turn one. That left him ninth on the grid for tomorrow’s race.

Perez did not believe he had committed an infraction at first, asking his race engineer Hugo Bird: “Are we sure?” when told of his violation.

“We’ll double-check but race control message [says] we’ve lost it.” Bird replied. “I don’t think it was out,” Perez answered.

Speaking to media including RaceFans afterwards Perez admitted the situation was “frustrating.”

“Especially when it’s so close and you just have to rely on the stewards,” he continued. “It’s what it is now, but I really hope that in the winter we are able to find better solutions.

“For the drivers, but also for the people back home because it’s just confusing for everyone. I don’t think it looks nice, finishing qualifying and then you have teams that will be arguing this afternoon to try to get penalties on others.

Advert | Become a RaceFans supporter and go ad-free

“I just feel like it’s some work that we’ve got ahead of us to try to come up with a better solution on track limits.”

Penalties for track limits violations have been more acute at some circuits than others, particularly those with flat exit kerbs and generous run-off areas. Perez said F1 “should be working on a better solution than what we have now and working on the circuits.”

“I think we create these issues for ourselves just with how the circuits are,” he concluded.

Perez was one of six drivers who had at least one lap time deleted for a track limits infringement in today’s qualifying session, including his team mate Max Verstappen. Zhou Guanyu and Pierre Gasly also lost one time each.

Two drivers had two lap times deleted for exceeding track limits: Logan Sargeant, who failed to set a time in Q1 as a result, and Nico Hulkenberg, who will start one place ahead of Perez.

Perez previously fell foul of F1’s track limits enforcement in qualifying at the Austrian Grand Prix, where all three of his attempts in Q2 were struck off, leaving him 15th on the grid.

Formula 1 stewards urged the FIA to impose more rigorous track limits solutions after a spate of penalties at the Austrian and United States grands prix this year.

Advert | Become a RaceFans supporter and go ad-free

2023 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix

Browse all 2023 Abu Dhabi 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...
Claire Cottingham
Claire has worked in motorsport for much of her career, covering a broad mix of championships including Formula One, Formula E, the BTCC, British...

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

19 comments on “Use off-season to fix track limits urges Perez, as penalty drops him to ninth”

  1. Yeah right! He also needs to tell the other 14 drivers that they’re not helping his case by staying inside of the track limits.

    1. Pérez is like the opposite Norris/Leclerc; it’s never his fault.

      Every driver has to make the same risk/reward trade-off. It’s not the track’s nor the FIA’s fault that Pérez can’t get it right.

  2. The very same driver who was abusing them in Austin but didn’t get penalised….

  3. Wasn’t there a statement, some months ago, that the white line is the limit of the track?

    Of, course we will be treated to overcomplicated solutions like AI, when a simple measurement of contact with the line would show that they exceeded the limit.
    I know the Law of the Instrument, popularised as Maslow’s Hammer with the phrase “If the only tool you have is a hammer, it is tempting to treat everything as if it were a nail.” but the thing is people sometimes itis a nail.

    Although it does strike me that they are so used to coming up with complicated computerised solutions, they think a complicated computer solution is always the answer, so the Law of the Instrument does apply.

    1. What do you think the AI is doing if not classifying cars as close to being outside the line or not?

      1. its not AI, it’s simple DSP functions and simple logic that’s looking for the limit line infractions. why you would need heuristics or some GPUs to perform basic image analysis functions is beyond ridiculous. AI is a marketing term, it has nothing to do with what’s behind the camera.

        1. You sound like you have no idea what you’re talking about and are just using words you think make it sound clever, computer vision is an type of AI, hence the reason the FIA refers to the system as AI.

          1. @user576 – You sound like you have no idea what you’re talking about and are just using words you think make it sound clever. It’s not an AI. And won’t be in the nearest future.

        2. AI is a marketing term, it has nothing to do with what’s behind the camera.

          Yep, fancy worded hype for a pattern recognition system that works faster than a human, with lower accuracy as the current tech stands.
          I find it interesting how many people who aren’t in IT are misled by the fancy words.

      2. What do you think the AI is doing if not classifying cars as close to being outside the line or not?

        Making a calculated estimate of the proximity, as opposed to a solid measurement of contact.

  4. Yes over the winter the FIA should declare that all highly abused corners shall have gravel added starting at 1 full car width plus 1″. If you exceed track limits fore whatever reason you will touch gravel.

    Perez, funny for Mr. Track Limits to be complaining.

  5. What exactly is the problem with the rules? They are fair and finally provide consistent approach. It’s silly when you lose time and then get penalized in some situations, but since we can’t have gravel or walls everywhere, I see no better solution being offered. Stay within lines Perez and all will be well. There’s nothing to sort here.
    And enough with these rules talks already… Serious sports don’t change rules fifty times a year. Sure, this sport involves technology and it evolves fast, and car regulations change, as do the tracks etc., but in some sports they change the rules once every 20 years or so. Give it a rest.

  6. I agree. The current solution is far from optimal. IMHO, at this point it’s even better to just stop policing track limits altogether.

    The bad thing…… is having Perez in my corner though. The worst advocate making this statement at the worst possible moment

  7. There are known issues with accuracy and consistency of enforcement. If RBR have visual evidence they can provide it. They should also be faster. For example Sargeant was clearly off in t1 but they let him finish the lap. It was a qualifying lap so it’s not like they had a big queue to review.

  8. The only problems with the rules is they sometimes seem to be applied incosistently, and they take time to be evaluated. The simplest solution is to put stinger strips along lines that they really must not cross. Instant result, no debates, no need for stewards to put down their tiramisu.

  9. How about Sergio spends the off season learning to colour in between the lines???

    Limits are fine. Working as advertised.

  10. Without track limits there is no leaving room for another driver because the track is defined by the white lines. There is no cutting corners because corners are defined by the white lines. There is no rejoining the track in an unsafe manner because no one ever left the track without white lines defining it.

  11. as long as the rules are equally applied its all good, if some drivers get away with the infractions consistently then it’s just a way of punishing competition. Which isn’t without precedence.

  12. Have two car withs of grass outside the critical corners to make it slippery when driving over it. No kerb to lean on just a painted white line and then the grass.

Comments are closed.