Formula 1 teams to establish track limits working group

FIA smedley 2021 Bahrain Grand Prix start

The 10 Formula 1 teams have established a working group as part of the sport’s bid to find a solution to the ongoing debate over track limits.

There have been numerous incidents already this season where drivers and teams have criticised the way in which track limits are policed, with Max Verstappen’s pass for the lead on Lewis Hamilton at the Bahrain Grand Prix a notable example.

Verstappen also lost the fastest lap during the Portuguese Grand Prix after exceeding track limits, prompting Red Bull team principal Christian Horner described the manner in which the rules were being enforced as “brutal”.

Speaking after the Spanish Grand Prix last weekend, Horner revealed that a working group had been established, a step that he hopes will lead to a “simple, clear and understandable” solution.

“Obviously it wasn’t an issue at this track because of the layout,” he said. “I think that tells you something, doesn’t it?

“So why wasn’t it an issue here and it is at other venues? It won’t be a problem next race either and probably not the one after that.

“There’s been some healthy discussion, there’s a working group being created.

“We just need to come up with something that’s simple, clear and understandable for drivers, fans, teams, et cetera. It shouldn’t be that difficult.”

Meanwhile, race director Michael Masi said that there needed to be a “balance” based on the specific characteristics of each circuit.

“The facts are with the circuits that it’s been an ongoing evolution process,” he added.

“There’s some places that are track limit issues one year, aren’t the next and vice-versa. So it’s an ongoing evolution that we’re working together with each of the circuits. Obviously it requires significant investment from them from that perspective.

“In one sense it would be lovely to have walls everywhere, as we’ll see in a couple of weeks time in Monaco or in Baku. But obviously we’re racing at different types of circuits all the time, when we look at everything from a safety perspective, we need to find the best balance of everything in each and every situation. And each corner’s different, each circuit’s different.”