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Team bosses call for simplification of track limit rules

NEWS STORY
05/08/2016

One of the key talking points at present is the thorny issue of track limits, a subject that polarises opinion at all levels.

While last week's meeting of the Strategy Group urged that the sport relax the rules, days later Charlie Whiting said such a move was "inappropriate" and promptly issued a directive making clear that limits at certain corners at Hockenheim were to be strictly adhered to.

Christian Horner and Toto Wolff are both in no doubt that the FIA must deal with the matter and end the growing feeling of inconsistence that is damaging the sport and risks further alienating fans.

"I think the problem is that you cannot take it corner by corner," said Horner, according to Motorsport.com. "Come up with something simple.

"There is a white line that goes all the way around the circuit and one very easy way of doing it is if you have all four wheels over that line, you are out," he said.

"In other sports it seems to work, be it with a ball or a foot," he continued. "There is a reluctance to have done that, which is fair enough, but if there is a reluctance to do that then you have to allow the drivers to use what is there. You cannot have one rule for Turn 1 and another rule for Turn 17 otherwise that is too confusing for us within a paddock, let alone for the fans to say he's a bit out there but he's a bit more out there.

"That for me isn't clear and something we need to move away from, so either come up with something simple or let them do what they like."

"If you go off the track you should be hitting a wall or on a gravel bed and if there's Tarmac, let them take the quickest line," said Toto Wolff, according to Autosport. What's the difference?"

"We have a million miles of run-off areas and it becomes less and less spectacular and we wonder why we have audiences with less interest in what we do. So my opinion is that be it Club or Copse or whatever, just let them drive the quickest line.

"If it is somewhere really unsafe because we are coming too close to the barriers, or when you rejoin you are putting others in danger, then look at the specifics of that one corner," he added. "But for the rest, just let them go, let them drive, create spectacular pictures.

"If you start to analyse the white line and whether a driver has put two centimetres of his tyre on a white line and his lap time is going away, nobody understands anymore. This is not long jump, where two centimetres make the jump invalid, this is a six-kilometre track and two centimetres shouldn't be changing that."

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READERS COMMENTS

 

1. Posted by mickl, 09/08/2016 20:44

"Another option is to use the pressure pads and attach electrodes to the genitals....you all know where I'm going with this......"

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2. Posted by Dilusi, 09/08/2016 18:20

"It is quite simple, the track verges are defined by the white lines. Allow 2 wheels over this line, but when 4 wheels go over the line, the driver is not driving within the track limits. This indicates that he (or she) requires more track to be able to drive faster than the next competitor. My opinion is that they should be penalized for more than 2 wheels over the white line."

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3. Posted by mickl, 09/08/2016 14:24

"Stay in the white lines....simples. They manage to do it a Monaco and Baku so why not all the other tracks? You can still drive at the limit up to the white lines, that's the skill. If you come off, it means you ran out of talent and not really that good, you SHOULDN'T get that second chance of being able to complete the lap.

Typo on prev comment"

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4. Posted by mickl, 09/08/2016 14:22

"Stay in the white lines....simples. They manage to do it a Monaco and Baku so why not all the other tracks? You can still drive at the limit up to the white lines, that's the skill. If you come off, it means you ran out of talent and not really that good, you should get that second chance of being able to complete the lap.

Brundle was right when he says if they can keep it perfectly within the lines when is wet, greasy and slippery and the cars twitchy as hell, why can't they do it when it's dry.

I'd advocate a 30sec time penalty for not being in track limits unless you had to avoid another car. There are forward facing cameras on all the cars these days so verifying that scenario is simple."

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5. Posted by RDFox, 08/08/2016 23:25

"Personally, I'd go with what Grosjean recently came out in favor of, NASCAR's approach to track limits. That is, except at Daytona and Talladega (where an inside track limit line was made mandatory for safety reasons, after too many big wrecks from drivers attempting to pass on the less-highly-banked track apron), the attitude is that most exceeding-track-limits infractions are "self-policing," in that they tend to either slow the car significantly due to the reduced traction on the grass, or because they tend to result in aerodynamic or mechanical damage to the car. The one big exception to that would be the "Inner Loop" or "bus stop" chicane on the back straight at Watkins Glen, where it would be possible to gain significant time without damage by just blowing straight through it on the original track alignment; there, the rule is akin to that at Nouvelle Chicane in Monaco, in that a driver who misses the chicane entirely must bring his car to a complete stop before returning to the racing surface. Beyond those few exceptions, the attitude is that if it's paved, it's fair game for racing."

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6. Posted by nonickname, 08/08/2016 6:09

"Short safety run off and a strong wall."

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7. Posted by F One, 06/08/2016 18:29

"Put gravel traps back on every single corner. The End."

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8. Posted by gturner38, 06/08/2016 1:13

"How about F1 follow the rules that exist for the rest of motorsports which includes keeping the car on track? Of course a car can go off to avoid a collision. That's part of the reason for having the runoff but apart from passing the car that was damaged or stopped in the middle of the track, you can't gain an advantage. NASCAR manages to do that with the line at the bottom of the track in Daytona. A driver can go down there to avoid contact, but passing is an absolute penalty."

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9. Posted by DJ, 05/08/2016 17:15

"I think the ball over the line analogy is excellent. My only concern would be if a driver exceeds the track limits to avoid a collision....would he still be penalizes???"

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10. Posted by edllorca, 05/08/2016 15:15

"It IS simple. there IS a white line all around the track. The teams complain about penalties but then the teams are not able to constrain their own actions. It is pathological behavior. Teams will do anything (read wrong) that doesn't incur a penalty and when the penalties appear they complain. Really shameful."

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11. Posted by ryanhellyer, 05/08/2016 12:48

"Why is this even an F1 issue? The same problems occur in all branches of motorsport. I don't see why F1 is suddenly have a track limits issue and other series are not."

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12. Posted by Cobra Driver, 05/08/2016 11:35

"I was interested in the interview given by Wolff to Sky1 at Hockenheim. Here is Wolf lamenting the fact that the drivers cannot display their driving prowess because Whiting was limiting what they could do on the corners. But Toto is silent when it comes to driver aids that do nothing more than allow the engineers in the pits to partially drive the cars. Probably tired of hearing my lament. Remove data streams to and from the car, go back to radio communication and pit board information only and, above all, get rid of the sewing machine engines and revert to the V8 and the V10. This might bring back a few disgusted F1 fans, Toto.
"

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13. Posted by VC10-1103, 05/08/2016 10:32

"I'm with Horner on this one."

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