During the Austrian Grand Prix, the ongoing issue of track limits took center stage once again as several drivers, including Hamilton, were penalized for exceeding them. Aston Martin even launched a post-race protest concerning this matter.
Although Hamilton received a five-second penalty for surpassing track limits at Turn 10, Lando Norris believed that further penalties were in order due to continued infractions while he was chasing the Mercedes driver in the early stages of the race.
In an interview with Sky Sports F1, Norris expressed his surprise at Hamilton’s relatively lenient punishment, stating, “I was providing live commentary on virtually every corner, and he only received a five-second penalty. Perhaps I should have commented more. He committed four violations in a single lap.”
Speaking to the written press after the race, Norris elaborated on his viewpoint. While he didn’t entirely blame Hamilton, he believed that the Mercedes driver was taking risks that could have been penalized.
“I didn’t just feel it; I knew about the track limit transgressions,” Norris explained. “If you go wide, you receive a penalty. But somehow, he didn’t, so I am a bit confused.”
Norris empathized with Hamilton’s situation, being pursued by a faster car with DRS (Drag Reduction System) enabled. He recognized the pressure Hamilton must have felt, trying to stay ahead at every corner.
“With the wind changing throughout the corner, even the slightest loss of control could result in going off the track,” Norris added. “So, it’s a bit unfair to be penalized because of the ever-changing conditions within a corner.”
Norris believed that the gravel traps at Turn 4 and Turn 6 weren’t sufficient deterrents due to the small strip of grass between the track and the gravel. This allowed drivers to still risk infringing the track limits.
While he admitted he didn’t have a concrete solution, Norris pointed out that all drivers could avoid track limit violations by taking fewer risks.
“As drivers, we would like to have gravel there [at Turns 9 and 10], similar to the exits of Turn 4 and Turn 6. However, even in those areas, we get penalized if we cross the white line by a mere 2cm without touching the gravel,” Norris explained.
“I find that absurd. We should be able to use the gravel as a definitive limit. If you go on the gravel, it means you’ve made a mistake, and you should face the consequences.”
Norris acknowledged the limitations due to MotoGP races also taking place at the circuit and how it affected the implementation of track limits. He emphasized that it was the responsibility of all drivers to stay within the designated track boundaries.
“I’m sure I would have a different perspective if I had received a penalty today,” Norris admitted. “I significantly backed off in the final corners, but anyone can do that. It’s challenging and not as simple as saying ‘back off.’ Especially when you’re pushing hard to stay ahead and compete with other cars.”
“I don’t want to trivialize the difficulty, but if you can’t keep your car on the track, then you need to go slower.”
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about track limits penalties
What penalties did Hamilton receive for exceeding track limits in the Austrian GP?
Hamilton received a five-second penalty for exceeding track limits at Turn 10 during the Austrian GP.
Why did Lando Norris expect Hamilton to receive further penalties?
Lando Norris believed that Hamilton’s continued transgressions during the race warranted additional penalties for exceeding track limits.
Did Hamilton face consequences for his track limit violations?
Yes, Hamilton was penalized with a five-second penalty for exceeding track limits at Turn 10.
What did Norris say about Hamilton’s penalties?
Norris commented that Hamilton’s penalties seemed lenient, considering the number of violations he committed in a single lap.
What were Norris’s thoughts on the track limit rules?
Norris felt that the rules were confusing, particularly as drivers could receive penalties for the ever-changing conditions within a corner.
Did Norris propose any solutions to address track limit violations?
While Norris didn’t present a specific solution, he suggested that having gravel traps at certain corners could serve as a more definitive limit and discourage drivers from exceeding track limits.
What were Norris’s concerns about the gravel deterrents?
Norris expressed concerns that the presence of a small strip of grass between the track and the gravel traps at certain corners still allowed drivers to infringe upon track limits without facing consequences.
Why were there limitations in implementing track limits due to MotoGP?
The presence of MotoGP races on the same circuit impacted the implementation of track limits, particularly in corners where MotoGP riders required different boundaries.
What did Norris emphasize regarding track limit compliance?
Norris emphasized that it was the responsibility of all drivers to stay within the designated track boundaries and avoid exceeding track limits.