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Verstappen calls for consistency on track limits

NEWS STORY
06/05/2021

One of the most consistent drivers in terms of falling foul of the track limits rules, Max Verstappen has called for more consistency in the way they are policed.

"Now we've lost the victory, fastest lap, and pole position," Helmut Marko told Sky Sports Germany in the moments after Sunday's Portuguese Grand Prix.

"All good things come in threes," he added. "I just hope that's the end of it.

The Austrian was referring to the three occasions on which Max Verstappen has fallen foul of the rules this season; in Bahrain, where he was forced to hand back the lead to Lewis Hamilton after going wide and gaining an advantage while passing the world champion, and two incidents in Portugal which ended up costing him pole position and fastest lap.

Speaking ahead of the Spanish Grand Prix weekend, when the crackdown on track limits is almost certain to feature yet again, the Dutchman called for more consistency.

"I think we do need to find a solution," he told reporters. "Of course, I understand some tracks we race together with MotoGP and of course they want a bit different kerbs to what we like. But I think we need a middle way that works for both, because with our cornering speeds basically we can abuse the whole track with the grip we have with the cars, which makes it really difficult sometimes to really judge proper track limits.

"From my side I think we should try and put a bit more gravel in place," he continued, "but then sometimes that's not what tracks want as with track days you have people go off and the gravel comes on track and they need to clean it and it costs money to put it back in place.

"I think it is sometimes a bit confusing, looking from the outside where some places you can run on the kerb, some places are policed on the white line.

"I think we can make it a lot better by making sure there is a hard limit where you go off a kerb or whatever."

The youngster admits that part of his particular issue with track limits is no doubt due to his ongoing battle with Lewis Hamilton for the title.

"I'm trying to get everything out of the car when we are not on the same level as Mercedes," he admitted. "I can also just easily not be on that topic of using track limits or whatever but then I'm quite comfortably behind the Mercedes, which I don't like.

"I always try to get the best possible result out of it," he added. "But yes, I went twice basically outside of the track limit where it cost me a pole and a fastest lap but it's also because I don't settle for second or third."

Check out our Thursday gallery from Barcelona, here.

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READERS COMMENTS

 

1. Posted by Superbird70, 07/05/2021 13:38

"Use the sensors, three warnings, then lose DRS for rest of race, and a bunch of points. That will straighten them out. Supposedly the most technologically advanced racing format in the world and they can't determine what 'offtrack' is."

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2. Posted by TSGoodchild, 07/05/2021 13:07

"Put a sensor on a car. Put a sensor on a corner. Put bright lights on that corner. If driver goes off track, light turns on. Everyone knows.

Add a surface in the area off track to deter driver."

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3. Posted by kenji, 07/05/2021 12:41

"@ Spindoctor ... Track limits should not be 'track by track'. My suggestion is universal and there is no deviation between tracks after all every track has a white line. If you want to customise tracks so that there is a different approach to each and every track then the white line should be reprofiled along the lines that the deviant drivers take. There should, IMO, be no changes made to specific circuits as that is where the major problems are ATM. That being the case, that is why the the FIA are having to issue written notes at each and every race and that is just plain dumb and unnecessary. I don't know whether you caught it but during the latest FP1 Horner was bleating about lost times in Portimao and when he was reminded that the changes to the track limits at turn 14 were notified on Saturday morning and even highlighted in PINK he deftly sidestepped as if to say that Verstappen was aware and he took a risk!!!To say anything else would've laid the blame with the team for not passing the info on to Verstappen!! RB are a bunch of chancers....."

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4. Posted by Spindoctor, 07/05/2021 8:47

"There seem to be at least two issues:
1. Consistently & objectively identifying infringements:
MotoGP has strict Track Limits rules which are monitored using technology and appear to be implemented objectively. If the technology says "foul" there's no interpretation it's an infringement and after too many of those it's a penalty. F1 uses some of the same tracks and could use the same technology.

2. Determining a consistent regime of Penalties:
This can only be done satisfactorily if there is an objective measure of infringement, as in 1. above. Once that methodology is in place, we'd need to rethink exactly why this behaviour is being penalised, and an appropriate "punishment" put in place. This may vary from track-to-track.

As long as everyone knows where the Limits are, surely it's fair.

In more general terms, Max & RBR (in particular) might like to consider what has happened recently in MotoGP where some high-profile riders were penalised for Track Limits. They were upset, but mostly accepted their punishment. "Sportsmanship", so long absent from F1 is alive & well in MotoGP. Similarly, it would help RBR if they read more clearly the day's bulletins which indicate clearly which parts of the track are subject to Track Limits monitoring.

"

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5. Posted by kenji, 07/05/2021 0:11

"This issue is growing by the day!!! In Monaco drivers are able to place their cars within mm precision of the walls so why not at all other tracks, after all they are alleged to be the best in the world ? I still think that a simple rule stating that if you have two wheels over the white line the driver gets a warning, second time a 5sec penalty, a third time and they get a black flag. Obviously if they are having a wheel to wheel the stewards would need to look at that as they do now.ATM the 'white line' is a total joke. Public roads use a white line down the middle! We all know what happens if you stray over that....goodnight Irene."

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6. Posted by Superbird70, 06/05/2021 20:26

"Have them lose points, and disable DRS for 3 laps for each infraction."

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7. Posted by Daydah, 06/05/2021 17:58

"Bikes are using a long lap loop and kerb limit sensors. F1 seems to using a muddle."

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8. Posted by Greg, 06/05/2021 16:50

"With all the high tech tracking the cars, they could just monitor the lap. As suggested 3 warnings then after that 5 seconds added to the drivers race time. If they keep insisting they will see the drop down the posifions during the race... might work "

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9. Posted by jrbbacct50, 06/05/2021 16:47

"@Superbird70, The issue I see for not having a near immediate penalty is the driver is able to maintain position and impact the drivers around him that didn't infringe."

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10. Posted by jrbbacct50, 06/05/2021 16:45

"I assume we really don't want the cars to be damaged and we want to maintain safety for the driver and other drivers. So, can't force a crash or do flatten tires or anything like that. A gravel pit might bring a yellow or safety car and mess up the race.

How about use some tech and auto-alert if you go off anywhere (maybe do something different for the start or first lap). Offenders have to do a pit lane drive through on the very next time you pass pit lane. If it's on the last lap, then the pit lane drive through time must be added. It's severe but not as bad or dangerous as being damaged or stuck in a gravel pit.

This should not be some corners. If it wasn't an advantage to go off, they would not do it. It always helps avoid lifting or allows for a better line."

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11. Posted by Superbird70, 06/05/2021 16:42

"No time penalties, just deduct points after three warnings. 1 point point for every excursion."

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