F1 drivers propose solutions for addressing track limit issues during qualifying at the Austrian Grand Prix for the second consecutive year. Max Verstappen, Charles Leclerc, and Carlos Sainz discussed potential changes to mitigate the problem.
Verstappen expressed his frustration, stating that the situation made them appear inexperienced. He acknowledged the difficulty of judging track limits at this circuit due to its layout and tire characteristics, which cause overheating. While most tracks are fine, Verstappen suggested that certain tracks might require adjustments. One possibility he mentioned was widening the white lines, particularly in high-speed corners. However, he admitted that no definitive answers were available yet.
Leclerc agreed with the idea of widening the white line at Turn 4, where drivers risk losing time by running wide. However, he believed that this solution wouldn’t apply to the controversial Turns 9 and 10 sequence. Leclerc emphasized the visibility issue at Turn 10, where the car becomes lighter and obstructs the driver’s view. He expressed the need for more leniency in situations like this and hoped that the organizers understood the challenges drivers face.
Sainz proposed another solution related to visibility, suggesting that drivers should be able to feel the white line while driving over it to aid their judgment.
Verstappen praised the removal of small yellow sausage kerbs before the 2020 races, as they caused damage to the cars. Although they acted as a deterrent, the cost of implementing temporary gravel traps or permanent gravel was deemed prohibitive. Verstappen stated that further discussions would take place to find a viable solution.
Leclerc suggested a return to using painted kerbs as the track limit markers at this circuit. In recent years, the FIA has clarified that the white line defines the track limits at all circuits, including the kerbs behind it. Leclerc preferred using the red and white kerb as a tactile reference point, enabling drivers to better gauge the track limits.
The drivers’ suggestions aim to address the track limit issues experienced in qualifying, fostering fair competition and reducing the number of lap times deleted due to infringements.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about track limits
What issues did F1 drivers face during qualifying for the Austrian Grand Prix?
During qualifying for the Austrian Grand Prix, F1 drivers encountered problems with track limits. Many laps were deleted due to drivers running too wide out of the final two corners.
What solutions did the drivers propose to alleviate the track limits problem?
The drivers suggested several solutions. They recommended wider white lines in certain corners, especially those with high speeds. They also proposed using tactile references, such as feeling the white line, to aid judgment. Some drivers mentioned the possibility of returning to painted kerbs as track limit markers.
What challenges did drivers face in judging track limits at the Austrian circuit?
The layout and tire characteristics of the Austrian circuit made it difficult for drivers to judge track limits accurately. Overheating tires and the drop in the track’s elevation affected visibility, particularly at certain corners. The drivers emphasized the need for better visibility and understanding from the organizers.
Why were small yellow sausage kerbs removed from the final corners?
The small yellow sausage kerbs, previously used as physical deterrents, were removed to avoid damage to the cars. While they helped enforce track limits, they were deemed problematic. The cost of implementing alternative solutions, such as temporary gravel traps, was also considered prohibitive.
What impact did the drivers’ suggestions aim to achieve?
The drivers’ suggestions aimed to address the track limit issues encountered during qualifying, promoting fair competition and reducing the number of lap times deleted due to infringements. By proposing changes like wider white lines and tactile references, they aimed to enhance judgment and improve overall racing conditions.