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Austrian GP: F1 drivers term the track limits a “bit of joke” after 43 warnings were given

After 43 incidents were reported during the Austrian Grand Prix, F1 drivers criticized the circuit boundaries, calling them "a bit of a joke."

Max Verstappen and Lando Norris called the rash of track limits penalties at the Austrian GP “stupid” and “a bit of a joke”. George Russell reignited the race director controversy in Formula One by advocating for greater consistency.

This year, F1 has rigorous track limits regulations, and 43 drivers crossed the circuit’s white line in the race on Sunday. For repeated misconduct, Norris, Pierre Gasly, Zhou Guanyu, and Sebastian Vettel all received five-second penalties.

Austrian GP track changes this year

The new F1 race directors, Niels Wittich and Eduardo Freitas, adopted a tighter approach for 2022. Defining the boundary of the circuit as the white line and punishing any violations in accordance. This came about in response to many instances involving track limits at races last year.

Due to the shape of the Red Bull Ring in Austria, which includes the two right-handers at Turns 9 and 10 to conclude the lap. Drivers frequently run wide at a number of turns, making track limitations a key concern.

But among the discussion over the fairness of the race officials, some drivers voiced their displeasure with the weekend’s handling of track limitations.

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Max Verstappen’s comments on the Austrian GP track limits

Max Verstappen

“The track limits debate this weekend has been a bit of a joke, not only in F1 but in F2 and F3. It’s easy to say from the outside, yeah, but you just have to stay within the white lines. It sounds very easy, but it’s not, because when you go that quick through a corner and some of them are a bit blind, you have a bit more understeer, tyres are wearing, and it’s easy to go over the white line.”

He added, “But do you actually gain time? Maybe yes, maybe not. To be honest, it’s only like two or three corners where you can go a bit wider.”

“I don’t think we should have this, ah you went 1mm over, that’s a penalty or whatever. Then just add a wall or bring some gravel back.”

Verstappen continued by saying that he believed it “doesn’t look good for the sport as well” to impose restrictions. Especially, in places where drivers would “naturally be penalized” by running wide.

Also Read: 2022 Austrian GP: Takeaways From The Race

Lando Norris on the track limit penalties

Lando Norris

When Norris went above the track restrictions, he was assessed a five-second time penalty after already being warned with a black-and-white flag for his third violation.

The McLaren driver expressed his frustration with the stewards for pinging drivers for driving off at Turn 1. Where they would have lost time anyhow, despite the fact that he can “fully appreciate” the rationale for doing so for the final two turns.

“You can’t see the white lines,” Norris, who finished eighth. It’s just guessing and I’m obviously not good enough at guessing.”

“But I got a warning from Turn 1 and it was just a complete mistake. I lost time, so when you look at it that way, I can say it’s a bit stupid.”

“I’ve been punished enough, because I’ve lost one second. It’s a bit stupid, some of them. And it’s life and it’s the same for everyone, and we want consistency and so on. It’s a difficult track to judge the limits so finely on.”

Other drivers who received penalties were Lewis Hamilton, Charles Leclerc and Max Verstappen. They had “physio/drivers’ helpers that entered Parc Ferme without authorization. In breach of the process that was published prior to the race ‘for the orderly conduct of the event,'” it was discovered. They have to pay a fine of a sumof 10,000 Euros.

Priyanshu Dey Halder
Priyanshu Dey Halderhttp://thesportslite.com
Great storytelling skills and a nose for the truth as well as an excellent track record as a sports journalist and content writer in digital media in Truth Unfold News Media startup, India News and Sportsflashes .

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