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Teams express concern over costly kerb damage

NEWS STORY
19/06/2021

For once Red Bull and Mercedes appear to be in total agreement, as they question the damage being caused by Paul Ricard's unforgiving kerbs.

Over the course of Friday's two sessions, fans heard Mercedes sporting director Ron Meadows and Red Bull team manager Jonathan Wheatley complain to race director Michael Masi over the damage their cars were incurring.

"We've just done a shed-load of damage to our car," said Wheatley, "and pretty sure Max didn't end up there on purpose.

"It just seems to be such a huge penalty for a minor indiscretion on the drivers' part," he continued. "I was wondering whether you would consider... I don't know, removing half of them.

"It just seems the penalty for going wide... is about £100,000," he sighed.

"Those yellow rumble strips on the exit of 2 have done an awful lot of damage to our car," said Meadows after Valtteri Bottas ran wide in Turn 2. "They're just too aggressive."

"They're the 60mm ones that we normally have in a lot of places, Ron," replied Masi, "and they were actually there in 2019."

"All I'm telling you is, our car's rooted because he went over them," insisted Meadows, "and we can't say ‘well you shouldn't go there' because that's tens of thousands, or hundreds of thousands of pounds worth of damage by going three-foot too wide," insisted Meadows.

"It's a bit more than three-foot, but I'll have a look, thank you," responded Masi in the sort of tone a mother uses when her child complains they feel ill after eating too many sweets.

"We shouldn't have kerb damage destroy a car, in my opinion," said Guenther Steiner, a team boss with every right to be fearful of the potential damage seeing as his line-up includes Nikita Mazepin.

"If you know it damages a car, why do we have them there?" he asked. "To know that something is on the racetrack which damages the car, we should be smarter than that."

When it was pointed out that we have just come from two tracks where walls and barriers define the track limits, the Italian replied: "Should we put barriers around the race tracks and then for sure we wouldn't go in them, because we destroy the car completely?

"There are other places where you go off the track limits and you lose time but you don't destroy your car. That's what it should be."

At one stage, after Max Verstappen's off, Red Bull asked Masi if the piece of bodywork shed in the process could be returned, though this was thought to relate more to rivals getting a closer look at the piece of front wing rather than anything else.

Check out our Saturday gallery from Paul Ricard, here.

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READERS COMMENTS

 

1. Posted by Burton, 19/06/2021 13:36

"Thoughts and prayers."

Rating: Neutral (0)     Rate comment: Positive | NegativeReport this comment

2. Posted by Roli, 19/06/2021 11:50

"Come on fellas, the reason why Masi wants them there is so that there will be debris on the track which will then cause a massive tyre blowout and hence "better racing" and a 2 lap sprint to see who can do even more damage to their cars. Masi is out of his depth and not fit to run the job. "

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3. Posted by Mad Matt, 19/06/2021 7:51

"They ask for natural consequences for going wide and then they complain.... As the article points out they've just come from two tracks with nasty walls.... I'm lost for words :-)"

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