Track limits remain a major contentious issue in Formula 1 in Hungary – only this time differently than expected.
This time around, the FIA caused quite a stir in Q2, first erasing Red Bull’s Sergio Perez’s time for a track limit violation at Turn 5 before realizing the Mexican wasn’t over the white line after all, and the time suddenly accepted again.
Pierre Gasly was also quite frustrated after qualifying as his time was also canceled for an offense at Turn 5, which saw the Frenchman eliminated in Q1. Surprised, he asked how it can be in the curve at all.
Already in Austria, both drivers were the protagonists of another track limit posse, when Perez’s Q2 time was later canceled, which cost Gasly his place in Q3.
For world champion Max Verstappen, the FIA has now gone too far when it comes to track boundaries: “Last night they talked about turn 13. The dashed line was the track boundary at the corner exit,” says the Dutchman. “But there was a curb and a white line next to it, which for me personally is the track boundary.”
He etches: “We have so many stupid little things that make it harder for them to control too.”
The drivers would like to help and give advice to the FIA, “but they haven’t listened to us and it’s extremely frustrating for me,” he says. “I don’t want to fight with them, I just want to give advice. But it seems they don’t care.”
The Red Bull driver even goes one step further: “I think they look at us as if we were some amateurs, and I don’t think that’s correct.”
Max Verstappen wants a gravel bed
When it comes to the right track limits, he has a clear opinion. Verstappen prefers hard boundaries like gravel traps because drivers can’t see the white lines very well from the car: “We could do ourselves a favor and make it a lot easier by just putting some gravel at the exit or something. “
He wonders why there is a need for track limits in turns 4 and 6 in Austria, for example. “There’s a gravel bed, and if you get too far out, you punish yourself or damage your underbody and then your car is slower,” Verstappen said uncomprehendingly.
“They just make life super difficult for themselves. Of course people then say, yes, we should just stay within the white line, but that’s easier said than done,” said Verstappen.
“Don’t see who has any of this”
Perez himself says the confusion surrounding his missed lap was “chaotic” and that the system was “not really appropriate”. “We have to look at that and see how we can do better to have a little more consistency.”
Haas driver Kevin Magnussen agrees with both Red Bull drivers: “It’s very frustrating and I don’t know why they’re doing it that way. I don’t see who benefits from it.”
Valtteri Bottas adds: “I’m sure they’re pretty busy in the session monitoring the track limits. It’s not ideal, but at least they checked again, which is good. I think that’s the way it should be: If you can prove you were within limits then you should keep your round.”